The Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail is my favorite fly! It can be fished on tailwater and freestone rivers and imitates a variety of insects. Most people would say that it is a Mayfly Nymph, but it also imitates a small stonefly or caddis as well. You primarily use it for a late spring and summer fly, because this is when the mayflies are most active. It can also be fished in a smaller size year around, even in the winter though.
The Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail is a great fly when the mayflies are emerging or actively free floating in the current. When a mayfly nymph is in the current, it spreads it’s legs out wide and floats helplessly. This is where the soft hackle on the Pheasant Tail comes into play. When the pheasant tail is wrapped around the hook, the fibers stand up, thus giving it the appearance of having the gills on the body (as seen in the picture). It can be tied in sizes #12-20 in order to imitate all types of mayflies and is best when fished on a nymph rig or dropped below a dry fly as a dropper.
Now let’s see what you can do. #avidmaxflytyers