How to Tie The Sparrow

What You’ll Need


Tiemco 3769 size 12-14


Ringneck pheasant (philoplume)


Uni-thread 6/0 (color to match the body)


Antron dubbing (color to match)


Pheasant rump feather (color to match body)


Ringneck pheasant (philoplume)

This is a Michigan fly I learned when I was living there for awhile. I’ve found out from fishing this fly it’s an all-around great pattern anywhere you go. I’ve caught fish dead drifting it and stripping it in. It’s just something they can’t refuse. It’s my little secret searcher and I thought I would share for those who don’t know about it. You can tie these in all colors, but the three that work for me are olive, black, and a hare’s ear color. I also tie these with a bead fishing high water.

Step 1

Start the thread somewhere in the middle and wind back almost to the bend. Leave a little room for the stem to be tied in that you’ll prepare in the next step.
Showing what to look for when you select the philoplume. On each one of these feathers you pluck it should have a loose piece of philoplume attached to it. That’s going to be the tail. The feather will be used for the collar’s hang on to that. You can find these in several colors also. This is called a ringneck pheasant rump if you go to look for it in the fly shop.

Step 2

Strip a little off the stem at the bottom so you can tie it in. You only need to strip a little. The key is to tie it in until you meet where the plume will start at the back when you start to wind forward. Look at the picture for placement on how to tie it in.

Step 3

Wind about three turns wrapping in the same general area. The key is to wrap each wraps side by side, but still going in the upward direction. Tie off the excess and then wind on top of it making a few turns backwards. This will lay the tail down and clean it up a little. You should still have the excess hanging. Don’t cut it off, just pull on it and it should break clean. Leave the thread back there and your ready to start the dubbing.
This is what it should look like. Notice I’m still past the point of the hook.

Step 4

Dub some antron dubbing to the thread and build your body from small in the back to getting bigger as you wind to the front (taper). Make sure you leave a little room for the hackle and another piece of philoplume. You can see where I stopped.
Peel everything off the feather until it looks like this. Similar to how you would prep a partridge feather for tying a soft hackle. Same concept.

Step 5

Split the feather and tie down the tip where you split it in the middle. How to gage how many feathers you need to leave to make your collar is about three turns worth. So most of what you see on the feather shown above will be pulled back and tied in.

Step 6

Wrap the wire up. You don’t want your first wrap to be too tight or you will cause your wire to shift to the side of the hook shank. Then after the first turn you can add more tension as you make your segmentations up. I do about five keeping the segments evenly spaced. Tie down the wire and move it real fast back and forth. It will break from it getting hot. If you cut it with scissors more than likely you will have a little tag showing (and will dull your scissors over time).

Step 7

Now the last step is going to make this fly come to life. Your going to tie in the same way you did the tail. Make about three turns again and cut the excess off. Make sure you don’t crowd the eye. This can happen real easy if you don’t pay attention to the wraps. And remember that you need to wrap back on the excess before pulling it off. This will help on not crowding the eye.

Step 8

Whip finish the fly and glue the eye.

Step 9

Step 10

Step 11

Step 12