Algonquin Park fly box, Part 2

Posted by Steve Galea at


Like the Muddler Minnow, the Hot Spot Pheasant Tail nymph is a fly that can really make things happen in the brook trout waters of Algonquin Park and beyond. Some of my biggest brook trout of last season fell to tiny PT Hot Spot nymphs. Quite a few smallmouth bass and suckers couldn't leave this fly alone either. 

It works quite nicely when fished on a short line with enough split shot to get it ticking the bottom of the stream.  It is equally effective when used as a dropper fly in still waters.

This  should come as no surprise. After all, the pheasant tail nymph is on every top ten list of must-have patterns. The only difference here is that we've added a hot spot by using hot orange or pink dubbing to create the thorax. It  looks totally unnatural but  brook trout love it. 

The pattern is as follows:

Hook: size 10 to 18 nymph hook

Thread: Tan or brown 8/0 (or finer thread)

Tail: A few fibres of pheasant tail

Body: Pheasant tail fibres to match size of hook  (A slender profile is preferable.)

Counter ribbing: Fine copper wire or Uni Micro-tinsel in copper.

Wing case: Pheasant tail fibres or Mottled brown Bugskin. (Bugskin, though not often used on PT nymphs, adds weight and durability.)

Thorax: Ice Dub UV in hot orange or pink

Legs: A few pheasant tail fibres splayed on each side.

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