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Pink Lively Legz Pheasant Tail Nymph

Pink Lively Legz Pheasant Tail Nymph

The Pink Lively Legz Pheasant Tail came to life as I was prepping for the first day of trout season in April of 2021. I wanted to come up with a pattern that had the attractive qualities of the frenchie nymph, but with a more realistic profile, including the legs and wing case. I'm not the inventor of this type of pattern but this is just my rendition of the classic pheasant tail nymph. To my delight, this fly fooled 22 trout on opening day. I've tested it on a couple of streams including Spruce Creek and Yellow Creek to great success. It is an attractor style nymph that works well on stocked trout. Sometimes, you need a "junk" fly in your box to use when nothing else seems to work. The Hot Pink Lively Legz mixed with the UV Pink ice dub really makes this fly stand out to the fish. This fly seams to work best when the water is a little high and off color. I usually keep a dozen of these on standby and many times I've been saved from a thorough skunking. What are you waiting for, tie one on!!!


Materials List

Hook: Tiemco 5262 #14 or TCO model hook 5262 #14
Bead: 7/64" (2.8 mm) Gritty Tungsten Bead (Gold Grit) or 7/64" Plummeting Tungsten Bead (Gold)
Weight: .015 Lead wire
Thread: Danville 6/0 Flymaster (Fl. Pink)
Tail: Natural Pheasant Tail
Ribbing: Small Copper Wire
Body: Natural Pheasant Tail  
Wingcase: Natural Pheasant Tail coated in thin UV resin   
Legs: Small Lively Legz in Hot Pink
Thorax: UV Pink Ice Dub 


Step #1 Insert the tungsten bead onto the hook small hole first and place securely in the vice of your choice.

Step #2: Take 10-12 wraps of .015 lead wire around the hook shank and shove the lead into the back end of the bead. This will center the bead on the hook, add some additional weight, and add to the overall taper of the fly.

Step #3: Start your thread directly behind the lead wraps by creating a thread dam, then proceed to wrap over and completely cover the lead. Take the thread back all the way to the start of the bend.

Step #4: Take approximately six natural colored pheasant tail fibers and align the tips. Measure the fibers to form a tail about half a hook shank in length. Secure the fibers and wrap your thread forward to the back edge of the lead. Trim the excess pheasant tail fibers.

Step #5: Take a piece of small copper wire and secure the wire to the hook shank on the far side of the hook and wrap back to the base of the tail.

Step #6: Take 6-8 pheasant tail fibers and secure the fibers right at the base of the tail. Wrap the fibers up the hook shank to form the body by taking touching, slightly overlapping wraps. Stop wrapping the fibers 2/3 of the way up the shank and secure with a few tight thread wraps. Trim the excess off clean.

Step #7: Take the small copper wire and counter wrap it up the hook shank with evenly spaced wraps. This will protect the delicate pheasant tail fibers underneath. Secure the wire 2/3 of the way up the hook shank. Helicopter the excess wire off and wrap the thread forward to right behind the bead. Let your bobbin hang. We are now ready to tie in the wing case.

Step 8: Take 15 pheasant tail fibers and trim the tips off. Place the tip end of the fibers at the back edge of the bead and secure the tips with wraps of thread. Wrap the fibers back to about the halfway point on the hook shank. Make sure you go back far enough to cover the front end of the body. This will avoid exposing thread wraps and leaving a gap in your fly.

Step #9: Secure the lively legz by placing the forward pointing portion directly behind the bead and take three tight wraps of threads. Take another three tight wraps of thread behind the first set of legs. Finally, take another three tight wraps of thread behind the second set of legz and let your bobbin rest. Trim off the back set of legs and also trim off the small tab behind the bead. Make sure the legs are centered directly on top of the hook shank.

Step #10: Take an ample amount of pink of UV Pink Ice Dub and form a tight, 3 inch dubbing noodle. Begin by wrapping the noodle around the back set of legs. Next, wrap the dubbing between the set of legs. Build up some bulk here. Finally, take a couple wraps with the dubbing noodle in front of first set of legs. Go light on the dubbing here to make room for the wing case.

Step #11: Pull the wing case over the thorax and secure directly behind the bead. Take several wraps to form a pink hot spot with your thread.

Step #12: Whip finish your fly. Make sure to seat the knot tight. For a more durable fly, do another whip finish and trim the excess thread off clean.

Step #13: Coat the entire wing case and thread hot spot in UV flow resin. We aren’t looking to build bulk, but rather to protect the delicate pheasant tail fibers.

 Your fly is now complete and should look something like this...

Thanks for following along with me!!! Jacob



Jacob Gilliland works in the TCO - Boiling Springs shop and is a fly fishing guide for Relentless Fly Fishing. To find out more about Jacob, check out his TCO Fly Fishing bio and his Relentless Fly Fishing bio.

Call TCO at 717-609-0169, ext 5 to book a trip, or contact Jacob via email: 

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