Fishing | Fly tying | Video spotlight

Phat and Phunky Pheasant Tail Nymph

Wood duck tail fibers look a lot like natural mayfly nymph tail fibers.

If you nymph at all, chances are you have a few Pheasant Tail Nymphs already in your fly box. The venerable fly is a nymphing staple—it works, and it’s an excellent all-around mayfly nymph indicator pattern that can work throughout the year in virtually any conditions.

Above, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions puts a slightly more complex spin on the good, old Pheasant Tail. The two-tone body is a nice touch that I’m anxious to try, and the buggy pine squirrel fibers have inspired me to get the .22 out of the safe and get it cleaned up (we have a good population of pine squirrels here in eastern Idaho—not only is their fur good for numerous fly patterns, they’re pretty tasty, too!) for a little early spring hunting. Squirrel season closes here in Idaho on March 31—please be sure to check your state’s regulations on pine or red squirrels before you harvest any.

Throw in a twist of light copper wire, and you’ve got yourself a very handsome nymph that’ll give you lots of opportunities over the course of fishing year.