How to tie a Bead Head Pheasant Tail Nymph

This popular fly pattern is definitely among best flies of all time. Trout will eat a BeadHead Pheasant Tail Nymph in every season. This bead head pattern can be made to imitate every color and size of mayfly nymph that exists. I often use different colors of thread or copper ribbing to add contrast.

Watch how to tie this fly:

 ~ Click any image to enlarge ~

Materials List:

I use quite a few Bead Head Pheasant Tails throughout the year. One thing I know is you would be smart to tie this fly on a strong hook, it will get tested.  I prefer using a Tiemco 3761, sizes #20 - #16 for the majority of my pheasant tails.
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I like to use strong thread to a point that it is not bulky for all of my small Nymph Patterns. This fly is tied with Brown Ultra Thread size #70
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This Pheasant Tail Nymph is tied with Red Copper Wire for the rib.  I prefer using the Small or X-Small when I tie nymphs this small.
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The Thorax of this fly is tied with a couple Peacock Hurls.
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Finally, the tail, body, wing case and wings of this fly are all tied with Pheasant Tail.
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~ Click on any image to enlarge ~

Step By Step: How to tie a Bead Head Pheasant Tail

Start a strong hook with a small bead
Use strong thread and leave it ready at the top of the bend of the hook.
Tie in a clump of Pheasant Tail for the tail of the fly and leave it tied back.  Be sure to use as few tight wraps as possible to avoid a bulky fly.
Add a stretch of small copper wire for the rib.
Now wrap the clump of pheasant forward to the middle of the hook and tie it off.
Counter wrap the copper wire forward to the same point.
Trim the wire and tie the clump of pheasant back to prepare the wing case of the fly.
Add two Peacock Hurls
Wrap the peacock up to the bead
Now tie in a new clump of pheasant tail for the legs of the fly, tips facing forward.  I count 6 or 8 for equal legs on each side.

Clip the excess from the legs and pull the wing case forward.
Here is a view of the underside.
Bead Head Pheasant Tail

Bead Head Pheasant Tail Nymphs work for trout around the world.  This fishy pattern can be made to imitate every mayfly nymph.  The trout around Aspen, CO are particularly gullible for pheasant tails.  For an incredible guided experience, whether you are wade fishing or float fishing, go to

"How to tie a
Bead Head Pheasant Tail"

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