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Black Claret Pheasant Tail Nymph Bead-head

Tying the Black Claret Pheasant Tail Nymph Bead-head


Black Claret Pheasant Tail Nymph Bead-head.
Black Claret Pheasant Tail Nymph Bead-head.
Step 1 Place bead on hook, set into vice and catch in thread.
Step 1 Place bead on hook, set into vice and catch in thread.
Step 2 Catch in wire rib and run thread down to hook-bend.
Step 2 Catch in wire rib and run thread down to hook-bend.
Step 3 Take three or four pheasant tail fibres.
Step 3 Take three or four pheasant tail fibres.
Step 4 Catch in pheasant tail fibres at hook-bend.
Step 4 Catch in pheasant tail fibres at hook-bend.
Step 5 Run thread back up to bead forming tapered body as you go.
Step 5 Run thread back up to bead forming tapered body as you go.
Step 6 Twist pheasant fibres to form 'rope' and wind in touching turns to back of bead.
Step 6 Twist pheasant fibres to form 'rope' and wind in touching turns to back of bead.
Step 7 Run rib in the opposite spiral to the pheasant tail, catch in at bead trim waste (bend wire back and forth to break off).
Step 7 Run rib in the opposite spiral to the pheasant tail, catch in at bead trim waste (bend wire back and forth to break off).
Step 8 Take CdC feather and lie over thumb and index finger.
Step 8 Take CdC feather and lie over thumb and index finger.
Step 9 Press CdC feather down using dubbing needle and complete fold using finger and thumb.
Step 9 Press CdC feather down using dubbing needle and complete fold using finger and thumb.
Step 10 Grip folded CdC feather in clamp.
Step 10 Grip folded CdC feather in clamp.
Step 11 Trim off CdC from feather stem and set aside clamp for later.
Step 11 Trim off CdC from feather stem and set aside clamp for later.
Step 12 Form dubbing loop at head of fly.
Step 12 Form dubbing loop at head of fly.
Step 13 Place CdC fibres into dubbing loop and twist to secure (a dubbing twister very good for this step).
Step 13 Place CdC fibres into dubbing loop and twist to secure (a dubbing twister very good for this step).
Step 14 Wind on CdC 'rope' to form head hackle.
Step 14 Wind on CdC 'rope' to form head hackle.
Step 15 Ensure CdC hackle is evenly formed.
Step 15 Ensure CdC hackle is evenly formed.
Step 16 Place small amount of fine varnish onto thread and whip-finish.
Step 16 Place small amount of fine varnish onto thread and whip-finish.

When Frank Sawyer devised such a simple fly back in the mid-1950’s, I’m pretty sure he would have been amazed and proud at just how popular and successful this little fly would become.

Since then, many variations have been produced, of which this is yet another, which alters the original, straight nymph profile for one tied on a curved hook, something I feel can add attraction by both imitating a nymph or buzzer in a state of battling against the current, or as a general, dark shrimp-type fly. The use of the dark claret dyed pheasant tail gives the impression of an insect tinged with haemoglobin, but retains a silhouette and profile dark enough to be easily seen by the fish. Although I tend to use a natural coloured PTN most of the time, this is a good addition, and is especially useful if the water is coloured, as the darker image can help it stand out. That said, it’s also worked for me as a tail fly on a loch 'team', so it’s certainly more versatile than just a nymph for running water.

The white bead is something I place occasionally on my nymphs as sometimes this can grab fish-attention, especially in coloured water (a little tip given to me by friend and fellow trout nut, Liam Stephen, which I must admit worked way better than I thought it would!) I also tie this one with silver, copper, gold or hot orange beads with the only other variation I like to do if the bead colour altered is to try and match this with rib wire colour (ie. silver bead, silver rib; gold bead, gold rib; copper bead, copper rib; orange bead, actually not an orange rib but a copper one).

The final touch on this one is the addition of the cul de canard collar which adds movement, and also the attraction of those tiny air bubbles trapped in the fibres that look so natural. This step isn’t essential and, to be honest, is something I don’t always add, often substituting this for a simple, very sparse collar of dark olive or dark brown Glister and as this is such a simple tie it’s worth having a few of these varied finished examples to hand.

This fly works well fished ‘Kink n Dink’ (duo), Euro or Czech style nymphing, or equally as good as a tail fly below two Spiders for swinging a team of flies on running water. It is also great as an anchor tail-fly below a team of wets on lochs, in fact the options on its use is almost as varied as the different tying styles that are out there.

Dressing:
Hook: Partridge Patriot Barbless Grub Straight Eye K4AY-SE, size 10–16.
Bead: 2.0mm – 4.0mm white bead: size to suit hook size (demo fly 2.5mm on a size 14 hook).
Thread: 8/0 Black waxed thread.
Wire: Fine silver wire.
Body: Dark claret pheasant tail.
Collar: Natural CdC.

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