I chose to tie the Golden Pheasant wet fly for a number of reasons. First, I had never tied it before and second, because it is a beautiful fly. The most compelling reason to tie this fly (and the third reason) is the wing. I had never tied any flies using the Golden Pheasant Tippet for the wing and want to give it a try. At first glance it seems like it would be easy but reality turned out to be a bit different. Lastly, I just enjoy tying these old wet flies and reading up on their history. This fly is also in Ray Bergman’s book Trout. The fly is pictured on Plate #3 and the recipe is on page 431. I did not find much other information on the history but I confess I did not search that hard. I became to wrapped up in getting the wing right on this fly which distracted me from my search. If you know any of the history or know of links to the information add it in the comment section below.
As I said, at first glance it does not seem creating this fly would be all that difficult. After all, it has all the pieces and parts of a standard “wet” fly. Indeed, it was fairly simple until I got to the wing of the fly. The difficulty is in finding a tippet feather that, when stripped down, has the right length for the hook, in this case a Mustad 3399 size 8 (a classic wet fly hook). The end of the wing should be about half way down the tail and unfortunately many of the tippet feathers I have when processed for the right length end up just too narrow. I explain this better in the video. I sort of assumed it would end up being a hunt and peck sort of thing to find the right feather that would work but also thought I might just have some “lower grade” feathers. I reached out to a fellow tier at Grizzly King Flies, Fred Klein to get some suggestions. He had recently published a beautiful photo of the Golden Pheasant that he tied on Instagram (and it is on his website – www.grizzlykingfly.com). He confirmed my suspicions that it was a matter of picking through the patch of feathers to find the ones that will work for the size and model hook I am using. He also suggested steaming the feathers to get them to fill out again and look better. Keep in mind, all this applies to the fly if you are tying it for show, meaning to frame, take photos or in this case make a video to demonstrate the process. Which brings up a point I have mentioned on a number of videos that if you are tying a pattern to fish it often the tying materials or methods are different. A fly you tie to show may not cast well, it might not swim that way you want it and it might not last more than a few fish. Therefore you tie it different if you want to fish it so it does cast well, swim well and last longer. That said, Fred mentioned that when he ties the Golden Pheasant to fish he only uses a few of the Tippet barbs as a wing. I tie one like this for the video, with a few extra barbs so it would show up in the video well. The choice is your how you tie the fly but keep in mind if you do not have the exact materials used in the video, or even that exact color you can substitute and still have fun at the vise and on the water. Who knows, you might come up with something new! – Enjoy.
|Danville 6/0, Black & White
|Danville Mylar Tinsel, Gold, #14
|Goose Quill, Black
|Danville Mylar Tinsel, Gold, #16/18
|Danville 4-Strand Rayon Floss, Orange
|Golden Pheasant Tippet
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If you would like to purchase some Golden Pheasant wet flies there are a number for sale (while supplies last).
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As always, if you have any questions about this fly (or any other) you can leave a comment on Dressed Irons or any of the videos I have produced and I will help in anyway I can. Enjoy!
Remember….. It’s Fly tying….. If you’re not having fun, You’re Doin’ It Wrong.