Trout and grayling actively search river and lake beds for mayfly nymphs to munch on. The Dark Olive Pheasant tail Nymph is a great imitation for this natural aquatic insect.
PHEASANT TAIL FLY PATTERNS. Hook size 12 14 16 18 - $US each
The English Fly Fishing Shop's version of the traditional Pheasant Tail Nymph has flash on the top of their body but not the wing case. From experience we have found that the addition of the flash helps catch the eye of passing trout. These flies out fish Pheasant Tail Nymphs without the flash. Another fly we stock called the Flashback Pheasant Tail Nymph has flash on top of the whole length of the nymph including the wing case.
How to fish Dark Olive Pheasant Tail Nymphs
The natural Chironomid buzzer or midge suspended from the water surface filmI like using this set up of buzzers and Pheasant Tail Nymphs on droppers when other tactics are not working. Rather than have the point fly at the end of your leader, the largest and heaviest fly to help the leader sink, I tie on a very buoyant booby nymph. This keeps the end of the leader up near the surface. I then tie on a mixture of three buzzers or Pheasant Tail Nymphs each on their own dropper. They dangle down in the water, off the horizontal leader, just like clothing hanging down from a washing line. It simulates buzzers that are nearing the surface just before they reach the top and emerge into adults. I tie the leader onto an intermediate or slow sinking line. In August during a heat wave I went to a local fishery in Southern England. Talking to a few of the anglers on the lake they said that the fishing was slow as expected. They were all fishing deep with three buzzers on droppers tied to a long leader. If I did the same I would get the same results. It was too early for a hatch but I believed that the nymphs might be getting ready for the hatch and moving up through the water. I tied on a "washing line rig" and sent out my first cast. I caught four times the amount of fish as the other stillwater fly fishermen.
Nymph Tactics when fishing from a boat
I would like to share with you a technique I have found useful when fishing from an anchored boat close inshore on the windward side of the lake where the depth of the water is only about 12 feet. You can entice trout to take your dropper by allowing your heavier point fly to hang up on the bottom. Side winds create bows in the fly line that imparts drag on the flies and the leader is put under tension. This gives an unnatural appearance to the trout and scares most of them off. For this method to work it is important to position yourself so the wind is coming from behind your back. That way you have more control of your floating line and it is possible to make your dropper lift when the point fly grounds itself on the bottom.
You can detect an increase in tension as the point fly hits small clumps of vegetation or debris on the lake bottom. The leader straightens from point fly to fly line as tension increases. This movement causes the dropper to lift slightly and makes your fly more attractive to nearby trout. It makes your fly look like it has natural independent swimming action. It suggests to the fish that your artificial fly is in fact alive and edible. This method of nymph fishing is known as the sacrificial nymph technique as you are in effect wasting a nymph on the bottom and using it just as an anchor. Over the years I have been surprised at how many times trout have taken the point fly even when it was ensnared with clumps of water weed.
They work great for bluegills - Leoncio Camacho
The Dark Olive PT is the best for me - Stefano Maldarelli