For a few years now this nymph (or minor variations) has been my go to nymph. Now, I’m not a believer in “magic” flies, but I also do not believe all flies are created equal. I’ve used this nymph everywhere that I’ve fished and had good success – so I have confidence that it’s got what it takes to be mistaken for food. Mostly what I’m looking for when I go to a nymph with my tenkara rod is a nymph that is a general size and look of many food items, and one that is not too heavy, but is heavy enough. I think that this bead head pheasant tail fits the bill in those respects. Pheasant tail and peacock are just proven to be good materials for nymphs and the addition of the antron “wing” adds a bit of attraction that I do believe helps. Do the fish think the antron is an emerging wing? Well – who knows? I know I don’t – but I do know that it seems to add a bit of attraction for fish – perhaps it just makes the fly more noticeable. After all – fish can’t eat your fly if they don’t notice it first.
The tungsten bead has good weight for its size and when matched with an appropriate length tippet (at least 1ft longer than the water depth – as a rule of thumb) you should be a bee to get down to fish. But it is also not too heavy and I find that accurately casting it is not too much trouble. Heavy nymphs can be more difficult to cast on light tenkara lines – but I find this size and weight nymph to strike a nice balance of weight and castability.
Still you may need to adjust your casting a bit compared to unweighted flies – notably you cannot change direction of the cast as easily with weighted flies – so keep that in mind. And you may need to tilt the cast out of the vertical plane on the backcast to load the rod without dropping the cast with the heavy flies. In general it’s an easy adjustment with moderately weighted nymphs – but just be aware that the casting stoke and timing will likely need to be tweaked.