The Pheasant Tail Nymph or PTN was originally designed by Frank Sawyer for the chalkstreams of Southern England where he was a river keeper. He designed the Pheasant Tail fly pattern to imitate several nymph species of the Baetis family, aslo known as agile darters, the Baetis species are generally referred to as the 'olives'; this fly pattern quickly became world famous and there are many variations of this stuning fly pattern. Sawyer is probably best remembered for the development of the ‘sunken nymph’ fly fishing styles. Sawyer’s nymphs were innovative in that they were tied with fine copper wire instead of silk or thread, we use Semperfli Fine fly tying wires for this. This allowed the nymphs to sink and also gave them a translucent colouring when under water. Frank Sawyer developed the ‘sink and draw’ method of nymph fishing where the pheasant tail nymph is allowed to sink and then made to ‘swim’ towards the surface by drawing in the line or slowly lifting the fly rod tip. This was coupled with the ‘induced take’ where the nymph was made to swim up in front of a fish thereby inducing the fish to take.
The Pheasant Tail Nymph is tied with fine copper wire and the tail feathers of the cock pheasant. The Pheasant Tail Nymph is designed as a generic nymph pattern and imitates any of the dark coloured swimming nymphs.