Partridge and Orange
Soft hackle flies have emerged from relative obscurity with the
increased popularity of “swinging”–referring, of course, to the
down-and-across drifting technique, not the lifestyle that goes by
that name. The wavy, enticing movement of the long soft hackle as
the fly works across the current, can produce vicious strikes from
Soft hackle flies were called “spiders” by English
anglers, because of the leggy hackle. “Spider” has a different
meaning for American anglers, who envision a fly with oversize
hackle that causes it to “skate.” Soft hackles are distinct from
traditional “wet flies” both in form and function.
flies are quite simple to tie, and the patterns call for common,
inexpensive materials. Simple and cheap–now there’s a pleasant
||Tiemco 3769, Mustad 3906, #10-16
||Orange 6/0 pre-waxed
- Cover the hook with a layer of thread, but only back to a
point just above the hook point.
- At that point, tie in a 2 inch tag of floss so that the tag
sticks out to the rear. Now tie in the floss to be used in forming
- Return the thread to the front of the fly and tie in a
partridge hackle after stripping off the fuzz. It should be tied
in by the quill with the shiny side of the feather facing forward.
- Wrap the body floss forward, forming a nice tapered body. Tie
it off at the front 1/3 point on the shank.
- Pull the floss tag forward as a shell back and tie it off at
the same 1/3 point.
- Dub a small thorax with the hare’s ear dubbing. Be sure that
the hackle is positioned in front of the thorax.
- Grab the hackle with hackle pliers and wrap one or (at most)
two turns. The shiny side of the hackle should be facing forward,
so that the barbules gently sweep backward.
- Whip finish...and
Copyright 1998 by Granite Bay Flycasters unless otherwise noted.