Start by stripping 10 or so pheasant tail fibers free from the stem and, while keeping their tips aligned, snip off the curlies and pass the fibers to the fingertips of your left hand. With the tips pointing forward, allow half a hook shank length to extend from the back edge of the hook eye. Secure the fibers to the shank with wraps of tying thread then build up the thorax of the fly.
Pick up your bodkin or half hitch tool or anything with a small hole at the end. Use this to push the pheasant tail fibers back and then spread them equally on either side of the hook. Push the butt ends forward to on top of the tool and hold them there with your right hand. You can then pinch everything tightly in the fingertips of your left hand and take two thread wraps to bind the fibers down. Follow this with a single wrap around just the hook shank then two more over top of the fibers. Whip finish rearward and then snip or cut your tying thread free.
Breaking off the pheasant tail one or two fibers at a time, results in a much clearer eye then cutting them off. A drop of head cement and the fly’s complete.