Fly Tying: The Ice-Dubbed Pheasant Tail Nymph

The Mini-Hopper and the Ice-Dubbed Pheasant Tail Nymph (aka – The Dynamic Duo)

The two flies pictured above, the Mini-Hopper and the Ice-Dubbed Pheasant Tail Nymph, are my go-to flies for small stream fly fishing. I have already posted a tutorial for the Mini-Hopper here, or if you are short on time, you can always buy them in the Arizona Wanderings Shop. Below is a short tutorial on how to tie the Ice-Dubbed Pheasant Tail Nymph.

Materials needed:

  • Nymph hook – I prefer to tie mine on a curved caddis hook size 14-20, but any hook will do.
  • An appropriate sized bead – this pattern can also be tied without a bead
  • A pheasant tail
  • 70 denier thread – I prefer olive, but again, any color will do.
  • Small copper wire
  • Hare-Tron Ice Dub Olive
Pheasant Tail Nymph 1
Pheasant Tail Nymph 2
Pheasant Tail Nymph 3
Pheasant Tail Nymph 4
Pheasant Tail Nymph 5
Pheasant Tail Nymph 6
Pheasant Tail Nymph 7
Pheasant Tail Nymph 8
Pheasant Tail Nymph 9
Pheasant Tail Nymph 10
Pheasant Tail Nymph 11
Pheasant Tail Nymph 12


Ice Dub Pheasant Tail Nymph
Just last weekend


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10 Responses to “Fly Tying: The Ice-Dubbed Pheasant Tail Nymph”

    • azwanderings

      You bet Mel. It sure is a productive pattern and even when it gets beat up it still catches fish.


  1. mr blur

    oh gee but that’s a sexy little nimp. I have a hard time replacing a buggy fishy material like peacock herl, but ice dubbing is neat stuff.

    tie in yer wingcase fibers the same length as the tail fibers and if proportions are correct the tips should be perfect length for legs. that way you don’t have to trim them. I know the fish don’t care whether you have legs trim them or whatever, I look at it as you may as well tie it right.
    nice fly. now you can leave all yer boxes at home and travel around w/ an altoids mini tin full of minis ant idpts.

    • azwanderings

      Thanks Mike. I do like peacock but the ice-dub is much easier to work with and honestly I like how it’s so flashy.

      Good info on the wingcase. Thanks for the kind words.


  2. Kirk

    Ben I know the rule is not to trim the legs, however I do like the look of that fly. The dubbing thorax is awesome, and obviously the legs trimmed still works. I think the extra effort of tying in the legs without trimming isn’t worth it. Nice tie. Adding some of these to the box.

  3. Dan Wight

    As just another old geezer that loves to fish and tie this pattern has definately been given a jazz up with the synthetic dubbings. The leg thing can be an issue if you let it but when tying the pattern for a while and fishing it along with trimmed legs and untrimmed legs it is amazing how fast the fish rip the legs off and still keep hitting the fly. In the end I suspect that for the tier it may just be a numbers thing as opposed to art. I never met a cutthroat with a college degree. I’ve given away more than I have lost to the water gods. Yours are just what the Doctor ordered!

  4. Drew

    I started tying this pattern about two years ago. I’ve fished it in Arizona and New Mexico small steams with great success. Works great when dropped beneath a copper john.


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