Posts Tagged ‘PTN


Unrequited Love: GRHE

Photography-Macro-Fly Tying-Hares Ear-SwittersBIn the day, the Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear (GRHE) was a must have, go to nymph pattern for the fly fisher along with the Pheasant Tail Nymph (PTN). The two patterns covered the Clinger, Crawler, Swimmer, Burrower nymphs for mayflies. The gold bead head brightened up the pattern along the way, but one would be hard pressed to find this pattern today in most fly shops (or am I wrong?)

Synthetics (dubbings), wires and beads have allowed for smaller, denser patterns that are easier/faster to tie and seemingly as productive as the older fur/hair concoctions. I admit, I have not tied many of this pattern in the last ten or so years. I have about a couple dozen left, all on Mustad hooks of old.  Rabbit is still a part of many blended dubbings and worthy of use. So, is the Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear. I bet many new tiers have not used gold tinsel in their tying.


Ringneck Pheasants U.S. Origins

Yesterday, early, I was busy with something and the TV was on in the background. I heard the very tale end of a piece involving ‘Oregon’, ‘Pheasants’, ‘Denny’ in 1880’s. I didn’t get the gist of the piece beyond ‘introduced’. This morning, I found a brief historical piece by Kit Oldham at HIstory.Link describing the introduction of China’s Ringneck Pheasants to Oregon & Washington. Today, they seem to be a natural part of the landscape. Much like many Trout species not native to an area, the Pheasant was not native to the U.S. Today, of course, we use feathers from the birds for fly tying & fishing. The link provides an interesting story.

Dette Fly Tying Materials

A Pheasant Tail Nymph (U.S. version) tied with natural feather fibers.

Owen & Gertrude Denny traveled to China on U.S. diplomatic business and sent back pheasants to Port Townsend, Washington and then to their home in Oregon.


Fly Tying: Original Pheasant Tail Nymph

Looking at the original Frank Sawyer Pheasant Tail Nymph you see a different look than many of the PTN’s today: no thread, more copper wire and no peacock herl.

Frank Sawyer's Original Pheasant Tail Nymph tied here by Tom Sutcliffe

Looking at the Pheasant Tail (Russian Artist Vladimir Fedot)

Tom Sutcliffe’s How To’s on Tying the Original Sawyer Pheasant Tail Nymph with some informative background.

 Also, check out the comment section for a fine video by Hans Weilenmann c/o Norm Frechette.


BWO’s: Small Nymph Time for Winter

Patience Brewster

As a beginning fly tier, you may be jumping all over the map with your tying. Perhaps as the trout season slows down a bit hatch wise, now is a good time to catch up on tying a fly fishing staple and it will also serve you well through the Winter season (if you venture out in the cold to chase trout…a steelheader will, of course, relish this masochistic time of year).

SwittersB Fly Box (Direct Sunlight Shot per advice of Planet Trout)

Tie up a bunch of Pheasant Tail Nymphs and fish the little beauties for the coming Blue Winged Olive’s this Fall and then again in late Winter/early Spring. I am sure you tied a few of these in your beginning fly tying course last Winter. Now revisit the pattern and tie a bunch more in sizes 14, 16 and yes 18’s.

Pheasant Tail Nymph (SwittersB)

In addition to Blue Winged Olives (BWO), you should consider/research some “Little Dark Stones” and Chironomids/Midges. 



Fly Fishing: Nymphs You Must Have Recap

For the beginner, a recap of the often successful nymphs that are so good you must carry them along with a multitude of also’s, pretenders, maybe’s and mights. (not including all the dries, wets, emergers, pupa, larvae patterns)

PTN by SwittersB

Copper John

Prince Nymph

Possie Bugger


Stubble in Trouble (The Respectfully Tucked Away Hare’s Ear Nymph)

The Hare’s Ear..The Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear…The Bead Head Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear….so it progressed. And, did it progress right out of your fly box? Oh, some of you still have a spot for a few along with the must have Adams. But, in the quest for the new fix, I think perhaps, if not taken for granted like you know who, then you have perhaps opted for that new curvaceous  hook and some concoction that owes its worthiness to the original bristling gem…the Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear.

The GRHE or the beaded version, became the nymph staple up until about eight or so years ago when boredom, innovation or anarchy set in and the Hare’s Ear became respectfully tucked away. No, you say. Well, perhaps not you, but the old dynamic duo of the GRHE and the PTN (Pheasant Tail Nymph) have been set aside in a 7 year itch sort of way….later to be appreciated. Oh, and don’t think just because you reflexively resort to a hare’s ear dubbed thorax you’re off the hook. This is a good pattern for the chunky, clinger mayfly nymphs. Don’t let it go the way of the Green Butt Skunk and Woolly Worm!!!

Tutorial (Tier initially uses pheasant tail fibers for tail….see how easy the classic is forsaken? Then note in the bead version the tail is hare’s ear tied in at the tail).


Pheasant Tail Nymph (PTN, a classic pattern)

Pheasant Tail Nymph~SwittersB

Pheasant Tail Nymph~SwittersB



As you can see, I tied these two pictured PTN’s differently. I am rarely consistent in tying a dozen flies all the same. The top fly is thicker, has more PT fibers for the tail and body, and I positioned a back strap of flash-mylar tinsel up the top of the abdomen and wrapped the copper rib up over the flash. I used PT for the wingcase. The bottom pattern is more sparse and has no mylar flash. I have previously talked about being a bit disenchanted with the PTN. It just never came thru for me. Of late, it is producing on stillwaters and streams. Wiser fishers swear by it…who am I to ignore this simple pattern.   

Below @ “The Past” you can search back to 2008 month by month

May 2020

Please visit MUNCY DESIGNS (click)

Welcome to SwittersB & Exploring. Please Share, Comment & Like Away!

Please subscribe just below. Use the Search box to search topics.

Enter your email address to subscribe to the SwittersB blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,193 other followers

The Past

231!!! Countries Visiting SwittersB~Thank You!!!

free counters

Blog Stats: There are lies, damn lies and statistics

  • 4,806,314 Visits/Views (WP Original Stat~Pre Flag Counter Stats)

There’s No Accounting For Taste; Search the Blog for Much More. Thanks for Visiting!

%d bloggers like this: