Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fly Box Essentials I - Frenchies

As you can see from the title, this will hopefully be an ongoing series.  I am going to show you how to tie flies that I always make sure are in my fly box.  The first pattern is a Frenchie, which is a spin off of the tried and true pheasant tail nymph.  These are much simpler and easier to tie, since they only really involve four materials not counting the hook: bead head, thread, pheasant tail, and wire rib.

Hook: your favorite hook, I use nymph hooks, scud hooks, whatever
Bead: brass bead or tungsten bead, your choice
Thread: match pheasant tail color
Body: pheasant tail in your choice of color (I carry natural, olive, black, pink)
Rib: ultra wire in your choice of color (I will use something that compliments for a natural look or go crazy with a contrasting color)

Step 1:
Crimp the barb on the hook and slide your bead on

Step 2:
Start your thread and tie your wire rib in

Step 3:
Tie in a tail using the tips of the pheasant tail fibers

Step 4:
Wrap your pheasant tail up the shank to create the body and tie off

Step 5:
Wrap your wire rib up the shank in the opposite direction of the pheasant tail.  This will help to create a little more durable body.  Tie off the wire.

Step 6:
Whip finish or half hitch and you are finished

Tail: Use wood duck for a tail (or coq de leon)
Hot spot: Add a collar of thread behind the bead head or dub a hot spot behind the bead head
Experiment with different color pheasant tail, wire rib, hot spot, beads, etc.  You are only limited by your imagination.  Every fly has its day!


  1. Nice looking frenchies!

    They are favorite of mine.

  2. They look great. Now that i got new jaws for my vise i will turn a few of these guys out. I bet they are just as effective as other nymphs.

    1. I think the secret with any general nymph (one that doesn't imitate a particular insect) is to have faith in the fly. Also don't be afraid to fish it deep. That's where quick patterns come in handy. If it takes me 3 minutes to tie a fly, I'm not a afraid to fish close to snags.