BH Featherduster Nymph SBS

We’re a little late with May’s fly of the month, but it’s by design.  We’re continuing to feature flies that have worked for us on the trout at the cabin, though prior to this month they were all from last year’s trip.  I’m fairly certain they will work for trout elsewhere and probably other fish too.  The first one will be a beadheaded version of the featherduster nymph which was first tied by Wally Eagle out in West Yellowstone.  As you’ve probably guessed the original pattern was tied from a feather duster.  The sizes that were effective in North Georgia were 14 and 16, but this one is tied in a size 12 for purposes of picture clarity.


  • 2x long nymph hook(I prefer 2x long hooks when using a bead and regular hooks without a bead)
  • Bead to fit hook
  • Lead wire
  • Gold wire
  • Ostrich herl
  • Pheasant tail
  • Thread

1. Put bead on hook and slide to the eye.


2. Wrap lead onto the shank and butt it up against the bead. I put enough lead on there to take up the space where my thorax will be.


3. Cover lead with thread and create a smooth underbody.


4. Tie in a wire rib on the far side of the hook. I tie it in on the far side so that the first half wrap goes under the hook.


5. Tie in two peacock herls at the bend and bring thread to the area at the start of the thorax. Twist herls together and palmer. I try not to make this very dense.



6. Measure some pheasant tail fibers for length and tie them in at the thorax. I like my tails to be roughly half the length of the hook shank.


7. Use the wire rib to tie down the pheasant tail.


8. Tie in a few more pheasant tail fibers with the tips pointing over the eye. These will be the legs, so they should also be roughly half the length of the hook shank. The butt ends of the fibers will become the wing casing.


9. Tie in a few more herls, twist together, and palmer. You could twist these with the thread to reinforce the herl if you want. I like to make the thorax area a little more dense than the abdomen.



10. Separate the pheasant tips, pull the butts over to form the wing case, and tie them in dividing the tips.


11. Cut off the butts and whip finish.




Finished fly, enjoy!


This kype jawed rainbow fell for the beadhead featherduster nymph.


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