Saturday, December 3, 2011
Fly Fishing: Fly Friday
English River Keeper, Frank Sawyer designed the Pheasant Tail Nymph to imitate Baetis nymphs aka blue-wing olives or “olives” as we hoity-toity fly chuckers say. Whatever you call it PT is, if not the oldest of modern nymphs tis right up there. When exactly the first PT dropped from Sawyer’s vice is more than I know but when his book Nymphs and the Trout hit the streets in 1958…well the rest as they say is history. In the half century and change since the original version is all but lost, especially amongst the brethren this side the big pond.
Age aside the PT has to be one most fiddled with nymphs ever—you have your Sawyer PT, Peacock Thorax aka American PT, Olive, Yellow, (you name it) PT, Flashback PT, Soft-hackle PT, Bead-head PT, Bead-head Flash-back, Bead-head Soft Hackle PT, Micro-tube PT (ya got me?) Quasimodo PT and on and on; and yes, no doubt, I missed a few.
One reason for all the fiddling is the PT in its many variations imitates way more than the “olives” as originally intended. To me properly-sized (perhaps tweak the color a bit) mimics close enough just about any mayfly nymph and from what the trout tell me not a bad caddis/yellow sally/calibaetis/chronomids or, as I say, you name it. If I were to guess as to its near universal appeal I’d say Sawyer flat out nailed the silhouette…But who knows? Yet another one those imponderables just is and let it go at that, eh?