Peacock Doctor

fotm october 2015

Originator is unknown but first tied around the 1920’s 



The origin of this streamer is vague, but it appears to have been created in the early 1920’s or late 1910’s. Pat Barnes relates on a plate of his favorite flies, now owned by his son Charles that he “fished this fly extensively in prohibition days.” One of his favorite places to use it was Ennis Lake, known in those days as Meadow Lake. In prohibition days, Barnes, who began fly fishing at the age of twelve and as a teen-ager like Most Montana fly fishers favored presenting wet flies in the 1920’s. Pat was no exception.



HOOK – Mustad 79580, or equivalent, size #4 - #8
THREAD – Black 6/0
BODY – Flat silver tinsel
UNDERWING – Red bucktail under medium blue bucktail or calf tail
OVERWING  Six or eight peacock sword herl (Don’t use regular peacock herl




  1. Debarb hook – mount in the vise – start your thread in just a little bit behind the eye of the hook then tie in your silver tinsel on top of the shank and with very close wraps so you make a smooth underbody and using the tinsel to help you – wrap back to the bend of the hook with the thread and the tinsel then again with very close wraps bring just your thread forward and stop just about 4 of 5 eyelets from the eye.
  2. Wrap the tinsel forward keeping each edge real tight to the other (touch wraps) and stop where your thread is now and tie off and clip the tag end of the tinsel off.
  3. Now grab some red bucktail about the thickness of two hook shanks and one hook gape longer than the entire hook shank and tie in where your thread is now (4 or 5 eyelets from the eye) and on top of the shank (tips facing rearward) – this will be the bottom part of the of your underwing, clip off your tag ends of the bucktail at an angle so you will have a nice tapered head.
  4. Grab some medium blue bucktail about the thickness of one hook shank and the length of the hook shank then tie it in on top of the red bucktail (tips facing rearward) – clip at an angle again for that smooth tapered head.
  5. Tie in six or eight peacock sword herls (pull off of sword feather – don’t use regular peacock herls cause it’s not as vibrant and full) on top of the blue bucktail with the tips facing rearward and extending one gape length past the red bucktail – tie off then clip off your tag ends.
  6. Using the thread build up a tapered head to cover all the material tips and make a nice looking head – it should be about four or five eyelets space from the eyelet. Whip finish – clip off your thread then put some head cement on the head.