How to Tie Flies with Pheasant Tails

Wingshooting and fly-fishing go more hand-in-hand than is readily apparent. Let Kyle Wintersteen explain why.

Wingshooting and fly-fishing go more hand-in-hand than is readily apparent. Participants in each tend to share a passion for conservation and enjoy a connection to the outdoors. So, perhaps it should come as no surprise that there also tends to be a good deal of crossover—folks who hunt birds in the fall and winter, and fly fish in the spring and summer.

And why not? There are no better feathers for tying flies than those found on the ringneck pheasant, wood duck and other game. Unfortunately I've never been more than a casual fisherman, but the idea of shooting a pheasant, using its tail to tie flies and actually fooling a wild brown trout with my creation—well, that's enough to excite me. And, given that I now live in central Pennsylvania, amidst some of the best wild trout streams in the northeast, I have no excuse.

Especially since the Lyon County Chapter of Pheasants Forever has provided easy, step-by-step instructions and a handy illustrative photo. So, maybe this is my year. I've got pheasants tails and fly-tying instructions—the casting part is easy, right?

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1 Response to How to Tie Flies with Pheasant Tails

Nick Simonson wrote:
April 09, 2014

Thanks for the plug - we really love to push the 'full circle' aspect of pheasant hunting. There's no better birdthan the pheasant for fly tying - dries, nymphs, soft hackles, streamers - with hundreds of feathers in dozens of colors. The tail is just the beginning!