Fly Tying: 3 useful pheasant tail patterns

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3 useful pheasant tail fly tying patterns

I’m a big fan of pheasant tails. It’s a super useful material that can be used for quite a few things when fly tying. It’s quite common, and it’s a material that you should always have on hand when tying flies.

As the material name implies, it’s primarily used as a tail material, but I find it being used more for wrapping bodies as well. Here are three different patterns, all utilizing pheasant tail that I think are pretty stellar.

The Pheasant Tail Nymph

This one really needs no introduction, as it’s one of the most commonly tied nymph patterns ever. Nevertheless, it’s a staple and one that you need to have in your box.

You’ll find this fly tied 30,000 different ways, and none are wrong really.

Video from Fly Fish Food

The Shop Vac

The Shop Vac is another fly that is really simple to tie, and a killer pattern on the water. Pheasant tail is typically used for the body on this pattern, with an optional thorax of peacock herl. If you haven’t tied (or fished) this fly, give it a try as I think you’ll dig it.

Video from Tightline Productions

CDC Pheasant Tail

The CDC Pheasant Tail is another fly that is pretty awesome, but certainly not as common when talking about pheasant tail materials. This pattern is similar to the standard Pheasant Tail Nymph but adds CDC for some wing profile.

Video from In The Riffle

Do you have a go-to pheasant tail pattern other than these 3? Drop me a comment below and let me know about it.

Cory Perry
I'm a husband, father and fly fishing geek living in Greenville, SC. I'm down with slinging flies, tying flies and spending every minute I can enjoying the vast outdoors with my family and friends.

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