A little soft hackle pheasant tail nymph using dyed orange and natural pheasant tail in conjunction with a dubbed thorax.
Soft hackle pheasant tail nymphs: don’t you just love them? Out of all the patterns that I tied during the close season this pattern is perhaps the one that instils the most confidence that it will be successful in the coming season. Confidence in a pattern is crucial. It leads us to fish the pattern more diligently perhaps. But what we think or feel about a particular pattern is in some ways irrelevant, since it will be the trout that ultimately decide on its effectiveness and how acceptable it is.
With the Orange Furnace PTN I wanted a soft hackle pheasant tail nymph, but with a slight twist. A twist of orange as it turned out. The abdomen and tail are orange and natural pheasant tail fibres (three of each). Once you have formed the abdomen, leave the ends of the abdomen in place just in front of the the thorax area as they will form the thorax cover later. Rib the abdomen with fine gold wire. Touch dub the thorax with micro fine mahogany dry fly dubbing (or dubbing of your choice). Bring over the reserved abdomen fibres to form the thorax cover and then wind the furnace hen hackle. A whip finish and dab of varnish completes the fly.
Pheasant tail nymphs are often used to represent the baetis nymph and this was my intention when tying the Orange Furnace PTN. Orange is often a very effective addition to baetis nymph patterns. That said, I hope it will also prove to be acceptable to the chironomid feeding trout too. But it is when the olives are hatching that I will most likely fish this pattern. Using a floating line and just drifting the cast of flies downwind, employing the occasional ‘twitch’ to the flies using my line-hand and all during a hatch of olives, is something that I am looking forward to with great anticipation.