Unicoi Outfitters is north Georgia's premier guide service and fly fishing outfitter, located on the Chattahoochee River near alpine Helen. Look for fishing reports, gear and book reviews, and general musings here from our staff and guides.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Lowly Pheasant Tail Nymph

So, just how important is the lowly pheasant tail nymph to trout fishing? Well, if the flyboxes of the Unicoi guides are any indication, they would prefer not to leave home without them. Unquestionably, these tiny flies produce more strikes from trout than possibly all other flies combined. You've heard the age-old question of "Which fly would you choose if you could only have one?" And a lot of times the choice is a woolly bugger because it is so versatile and can be used for trout, bass, bream and a host of other species. However, if your quarry is trout, may we suggest that the pheasant tail will consistently out-fish most any pattern you can think of. Sure, there are times when you know you need something bright and attractive or something riding on the surface to "match the hatch". But even in those times, your success ratio will improve if there's a little pheasant tail dragging along behind and below those other flies. You can get fancy and tie in all the "legs" or you can wrap a nice soft hackle around the collar, but just as often all you need is the old Frank Sawyer pattern.

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