Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sawyers Pheasant Tail Nymph

I think everyone knows the Pheasant Tail Nymph, but I'm not sure how many know Sawyers Pheasant tail nymph.  The pattern is dead simple.  And. like most patterns I tie, it follows the K.I.S.S. rule.

For those who don't know the pattern, it's a killer.  It was designed by Frank Sawyers to "Baetis" nymph, or  "olives."  I've found it's also a good imitation of the "Ephemerella" nymphs, which include the Hendricksons and Sulphurs nymphs.  For the "Baetis," tie the nymph in sizes 18 - 20, and for the "Ephemerella," tie in 14 - 16.  If you have long Pheasant tail, than a size 12 is possible.

Back in January 2010, I posted step-by-step tying instructions Sawyers Pheasant Tail Nymph - Tied with Parawire.

Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions filmed me tying the Sawyers Pheasant tail nymph at the Annual Sparse Grey Matter Fly Tying Festival on February 26th, 2012.

Sawyer Pheasant Tail Nymph from Tightline Productions on Vimeo.

I recommend you check out Tim's other videos at Vimeo. 


  1. I use PT's all the time in many different styles including Sawyer style and they always catch fish. Plus easy to tie and you don't get emotionally attached to them which is good when nymphing.

  2. Easy to tie is my motto. I lose far to many flies to get emotionally attached. When you're not attached to your flies you send less time freeing them from the bottom or trees. Which means more fishing time.

  3. Ha. Parawire is a cop out. To be authentic, you need to unwind copper wire form an old motor armature.

    1. I know. I'll have to go to a scrap yard and find some old relays. In the mean time I'd rather spend more time fishing than searching for the authentic relay wire.