I have stated my boredom with GRHE’s and PTN’s (a little insider acronym stuff there) But, truth be told and that is what we do here for better or worse, the Pheasant Tail Nymph is an excellent nymph in streams and stillwaters. Above you see ones I have tied as a flashback nymphs with copper wire ribs (a touch to heavy of wire, should have gone to small wire) and a peacock thorax. The flashback is mylar or strands of flashabou or Krystal Flash and the pheasant tail fibers are swept back to suggest legs. Sometimes in small sizes these legs can be omited and the fly tied in the traditional style (sans legs).
A beadhead can be included for flies that are destined to tumble down moving waters. I would forgo the bead head on any fly that you intend to present in a steady, parallel direction, say in stillwates. The abdomen can be tied traditionally with pheasant tail feather fibers or for added density use copper wire, which is really nothing more than a Copper John. I have never altered from the natural color but recently I saw a PTN at the East Lake Resort store, which was tied with red pheasant tail fibers. It was nice looking pattern (see photo). the PTN is a very good and simple to tie pattern to match mayfly nymphal stages. These shown flies are on size 14 and 16 hooks. So although I am tired of some flies that does not mean they aren’t true(ly) (had to make sure you got the header) dependable patterns. Tumbled down a stream, tied on as a dropper or fished in the surface (without the bead) this fly is a proven fly and you always see it noted and recommended for the obvious reason.
In the top pic you see Chironomid Pupa’s with peacock or peacock Ice Dub thorax and wine colored Krystal Flash body and silver ribbing. I tied them in two sizes (12/16’s). I tied green wired ‘Copper John’s’ behind those you see Cracklebacks, a Renegade and Olive Parachute. My boxes start out neat but I have remarked before upon how they end up: https://swittersb.wordpress.com/2008/04/05/signs-of-my-true-organizing-skills/ Double click on photos to zoom in for a detailed view. I like the shot above, which I took outside in direct sunlight. Tim B. of planettrout gave me advice several months ago that his son takes certain shots outside. Turned out nice, I think.