After watching both video’s and live nymphs that I’ve picked from the streams I’ve fished I noticed the motions made while free nymphs attempt swimming, it looks like a full body heave for the clingers, the crawlers and the burrowers. The swimmers are the only nymphal type that this pattern might not imitate well due to the difference in motion expressed while swimming free. For a reference check out the video posted here

Mustad 37160 #20

I saw this hook shape and immediately thought of that shape with the curved body and the tail flailing high. This is a Mustad 37160 #20 and I really like the shape, it’s a heavier hook and well suited for nymphs. The only issue I can see with the hook itself is that the shape may hamper hooking a fishes lip which is why I used a hemostat to bend the shank 10 degrees to offset the point from the shank to increase the odds of hooking a fish.  I should also note that even though this is a size 20 is makes a size 18 or 16. 

Swimming PT

I’m experimenting with different materials. The one above is a more “natural” looking Pheasant Tail while the one below is more of a flash pattern using a bit of Peacock Ice Dub.  I like the look of this pattern, I also experimented with how to best keep the tail pointing the direction I wanted. I think the best method was wrapping thread behind the tail until it could not lay down anymore. I’m hoping that with a bit of a twitch especially during a hatch and in slower water that the different form on this fly will set it apart from other PT’s. 

Swimming PT


  1. Thanks, the first one has a few wraps of .15 weight on it which adds the bulk, I will be fiddling with the approach on this one seeing as I have 100 hooks like this and I don’t see these hooks working for many other patterns.

    Email me an address, I’ll send you a bunch.

    avatar winonaflyfactory
  2. Pingback: Winona Swimming Pheasant Tail Nymph « SwittersB & Fly Fishing

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