“Thorax Bead Pheasant Tail” Fly of the month -January


Thorax Bead Pheasant Tail

The Pheasant Tail Nymph is a staple in most fly fisher’s arsenals. And for good reason, it flat out catches fish. Through the years many variations have been created from the original pattern. The Thorax Bead is my favorite. It is no secret that there are some huge trout in The Little Schuylkill River thanks to the efforts of the Schuylkill County Chapter of Trout Unlimited. On a cool day during early spring two years ago I had the pleasure of meeting one of the lunkers while fishing a Thorax Bead Pheasant Tail. I was fishing a tandem rig consisting of a size 12 Gold Ribbed Hares Ear with a short section of 5x tippet attached to the bend of the hook. On the end of the 5x was a size 16 Thorax Bead Pheasant Tail. As I cast upstream allowing the rig to dead drift through a good-looking run, the drift stopped. Lifting the rod tip set the hook and the fight was on. After what seemed like an eternity and an increased heart rate, a huge rainbow that mostly resembled a steelhead was in my net. After a couple of photos and a bit of resuscitation, the largest fish I ever caught in the Little Schuylkill slowly disappeared back into the run from where it came living to fight another day.

Thorax Bead Pheasant Tail:

Hook- Standard Wet Fly 14 to 18

Bead- Black 2.4mm

Thread- Brown 8/0

Tail- Pheasant Tail Fibers

Rib- X-small Copper Wire

Abdomin- Two Pheasant Tail Fibers

Thorax- Peacock Herl or Arizona Peacock Dubbing in front of bead

Collar- Hungarian Partridge, brown

Tying Tip:

Place the point of the hook into the smaller diameter hole in the bead. Slide the bead up to the eye of the hook and mount the hook in the vise. Tie in the tail and the copper wire. Select two fibers from a ring neck pheasant center tail feather and tie in by the tips. Advance the thread to the mid-section of the hook shank and wrap the tail fibers forming the abdomen then trim the excess. Reverse wrap the wire over the abdomen, tie down and remove excess. Make several wraps of thread creating a base for the bead to rest, secure thread with a couple of half hitches and cut to remove from hook. Put a drop of super glue on the thread base then slide the bead into place. Reattach the thread in front of the bead and finish the fly with the peacock and a turn of partridge.

jdr 12/17