The Frenchie is one of my go-to patterns. It's quick to tie, and fish love it. The Frenchie is my version, or my favorite color combination of a common competition fly. When I first entered the world of competition fly fishing I was introduced to many fly patterns that seemed too simple to work, or too flashy, gaudy & outrageous to take fish. Yet, my boxes are now adorned with similar atrocities. Anyway, the Frenchie was one that seemed tolerable. Though I never had great success on standard pheasant tails, I had caught a few fish on them and I'd certainly taken note of the regularity with which customers purchased pheasant tails, so somebody was getting them to work. ;) The first Frenchie style fly I saw used natural pheasant tail fibers for the tail and body and had a hot spot behind the bead which varied in color. I simply found a color combination that consistently caught fish utilizing the standard "frenchie" theme. So, for clarification, I did not invent this style of fly. Egan's Frenchie is a variation of this style of fly.
The color combination sold by Umpqua is my most productive combo. I replaced the pheasant tail, tail, with Coq de Leon for improved sheen, speckling and added durability. The natural pheasant tail body was swapped for dyed dun pheasant tail and uses Hareline's shrimp pink ice dubbing teamed with a red thread collar to create the hot spot. This color combination was solidified for me at my first World Fly Fishing Championship in Portugal, 2006. There I won a river session (basically catching the most total centimeters of fish in 3 hours) on the River Alva using the Frenchie and Bionic Ant in a dry dropper rig. I was sold. The fish in every country and state I've fished since have also been impressed with this fly. Tie some and fish them. Your catch rate will thank you.