The Frenchie is a simplified pheasant tail nymph pattern popularized by the French in competition fly fishing and one of the most popular flies used in European style nymphing techniques that have become popular here in the US.
Coq de Leon is used as the tail on the Frenchie in lieu of pheasant tail as it is more durable. To further increase durability, George demonstrates how to wrap the pheasant tail used for the abdomen at a 45 degree angle and counter wrap the wire rib at a similar angle.
The Frenchie is designed with a very slim profile to minimize resistance in the water and allow the fly to sink quickly. This is why the Frenchie has no legs like the original pheasant tail nymph. George points a number tips to help maintain the slime profile including minimizing the number of thread wraps (note he tells you about how many thread wraps are needed in several places during the video) and the importance of tying in the wire wrap right after where the lead wraps on the hook shank end.
Lastly, George notes that he ties the Frenchie on a competition style hook which are barbless and have a longer, thinner point for better holding power. All good tips.
Hook: Umpqua C200BL, Size 12
Bead: Tungsten Brass Bead, 7/64
Thread: UTC 70, Fl. Orange
Underbody: Lead Wire, 0.015, 8-10 wraps
Tail: Coq de Leon
Abdomen: Pheasant Tail
Rib: UTC Ultra Wire, Small
Thorax (hot spot): Ice Dub, UV Shrimp Pink
About George… George was on the US Fly Fishing Team from 2006 to 2010, placing fifth at the 2006 world championship (the second highest finish in US history). George’s book Dynamic Nymphing: Tactics, Techniques, and Flies from Around the World is one of the most authoritative and interesting books on nymphing techniques including the popular Czech nymphing and French nymphing methods. If you haven’t already, I’d highly recommend picking up a copy.
Ken is an avid fisherman of 40+ years who loves to explore and find new places to fish. He created DIY Fly Fishing to help you do the same.
Fly Fishing with Strike Indicators
4 Tips to Catching Big Trout Down Deep
European Nymphing Fly Rod Craze or Bandwagon?
[Video] How-to Make a Backing Sighter for a European Nymphing Rig
[Video] How-to Make a European Nymphing Coiled Mono Sighter
[How-to] Build a French / Spanish Nymphing Leader
[Video] How-to Rig a 2-Fly Czech Nymphing Setup
[Video] How-to Build a Czech Nymphing Leader