The frenchie is a wonderful variation of the classic pheasant tail that is quickly becoming a household name. This is a version takes the minimalist approach so you can fill up your box in a hurry. It's pretty common to go through a fair number of flies when euro nymphing the midwest so having a pattern that you can quickly produce is essential.
- HOOK: HANAK H550-BL or H550-BL (12-18)
- BEAD: Tungsten bomb (2.0MM-3.5MM)
- WEIGHT: Lead Wire (0.010-0.020)
- THREAD: Veevus 6/0 (fluorescent orange)
- TAIL/BODY: Pheasant Tail (natural)
- RIB: Utra Wire (copper)
- Renzetti Traveler 2000
- Renzetti Material Clip
- Rite Bobbin (ceramic shorty)
- Loon Razor Scissors
- Standard Whip Finish
- Loon UV Finish Flow
- Loon Infinity UV Light
Although you can tie and fish this in larger sizes, I find this fly fishes best for me in the 14-16 range. The slim profile really helps this fly get down quickly and the natural material body is great for soft water where fish have a little more time to make their decision.
This is one of those flies where I don't deviate much from the original formula. If anything, I will occasionally mix up the color of the hot spot but that's about it. For some reason, there are times that a pink or chartreuse hot spot will work better than the classic fluorescent orange.
The Hanak hooks are great but as always, do not be afraid to substitute. I think a shorter shank hooks works the best for this fly because the body is so simple. Other hooks that are great options include: TMC 3769 and Firehole 633. If you think you might run into steelhead, don't be afraid to tie up a few on something like the Gamakatsu C14s