Different Approach For A Soft Hackle

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by GAT, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 4,028
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,602 / 0
    I got this idea from watching Hans' SBS
    http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/forum/index.php?threads/video-iron-blue-dun.85421/

    I've wanted to try tying a soft hackle with the feather fibers wrapped through the peacock thorax.
    I used his technique of tying in the hackle feather first to accomplish the effect.

    His fly, of course, looks much better than mine but I do like attaching the feather first and wrapping in to the rear through the thorax area. I don't know if it will make any difference to the fish but it certainly is a tying option.

    I used a wool material we call John's Green for the body. It is very effective for my soft hackle patterns. You'll notice the color of the wool is not green. Well, John is color blind and it looks green to him so the name for the wool dubbing became an inside joke and we've never called it anything else.

    IMG_1375.jpg
    dfl and ScottP like this.
  2. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,165
    Moses Lake, WA
    Ratings: +972 / 1
  3. Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Posts: 2,487
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +786 / 0
    I like the look of that. It's almost flymphesque.
    D
  4. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 4,028
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,602 / 0
    That's what I was thinking. I'm going to use the technique to tie additional patterns in different colors.
  5. Gary Knowels Active Member

    Posts: 1,081
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +403 / 0
    I rewatched Hans' video and not sure I completely understand. So you tie in the partridge and an additional hackle feather first, then lay down the body and thorax, wrap the hackle back over the peacock thorax, then wrap the partridge back? So the hackle will lay on top of the peacock with the thread spiraled through it?

    Sorry for the silly question, but I'm new to the game and struggle with some of the details.
  6. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 4,028
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,602 / 0
    It's not a silly question. I tied in the feather, tied the body, then added the peacock herl at the rear of the thorax. Ran the herl forward to the feather quill then back to the thread at the rear of the thorax. I then wrapped the hackle reward and over the peacock. I tied off the feather and trimmed the excess. As the final step (which is just for durability) I wove the trying thread forward through the thorax and the hackle fibers and made a three wrap whip finish for the head.
  7. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,655
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +540 / 0
    Nice one GAT. I have done that by tying in the hackle just in front of the body, then tying in the herl and wrapping the herl forward and tying it off and trimming, followed by winding the hackle forward over the herl, tying it off & trimming, then winding the head. Of course, without winding any thread over and thru the hackle, mine won't be as durable.

    As an aside, your comments about your color blind friend make me wonder if my neighbor across the street is color blind. He changed the color of his house from a pleasing and tasteful hue into a pale washed-out green that resembles pond scum. At least it will hide any algae growing on the shady side. I think he unwittingly achieved what might be the ugliest possible shade of green. He did that while going thru a divorce, and I suspect that his changing the color was a reaction against his ex-wife's taste, as she had chosen the previous color.

    Its so ugly that I'm thinking of painting my house an ungawdly color just to get even.:eek:
  8. Gary Knowels Active Member

    Posts: 1,081
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +403 / 0
    Ok, so you use a single partridge feather, tied in by the base with the tip extending forward of the eye and the curvature up. Did you twist the peacock and thread together to make a rope or just tying in and wrap?
  9. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 4,028
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,602 / 0
    Yes, just one feather. No, I did not create a rope with the thread and herl. I figured the hackle wraps and the thread wrapped through the fibers and herl would keep the peacock in place. So I used two peacock herl and twisted them into a rope for application as the thorax.
  10. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 4,028
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,602 / 0
    Well... there goes your home value! It's hard to believe they even sell such ugly colors of house paint... houses really don't look good when painted in cartoon colors. There's a couple of houses in my neighborhood that look like they belong in Disney Land.
  11. Gary Knowels Active Member

    Posts: 1,081
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +403 / 0
    Thanks Gene! I'm going to tie some up in this fashion after work today.
  12. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,655
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +540 / 0
    Hmmm. I just might start tying my hackle feather in first when tying a small soft hackle fly, before I make the body, just to anchor it better with less junk in front of the body. My techniques are still rather primitive.
    I've used thread or wire wraps to anchor the tip of a backward-palmered hackle on wooly buggers, and then wound the thread or wire forward. This is sort of the same idea, I guess.
  13. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 4,028
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,602 / 0
    You could use wire for ribbing through the thorax and hackle wraps... I thought of trying that and most likely will.
  14. Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

    Posts: 448
    Helena, Montana
    Ratings: +595 / 0
    GAT - I too like winding my tying thread through palmered hackle. It keeps the fly together a lot better. Hans' flies are really neat and pretty, and his technique buries all the tag ends of hackle. Very nice!
  15. ScottP Active Member

    Posts: 602
    Ratings: +825 / 0
    [IMG]

    [IMG]


    Tied these as my attempt at an epeorus emerger. Couple differences, besides the fact it's not nearly as pretty as Hans' - used a Dai Riki 125 #14 (don't have any Umpqua 203, and I really don't like Tiemco 200s in anything smaller than a #14) and I tied the partridge in tip first since I'm clumsier with the smaller feathers and this way there's less chance of breakage.

    Regards,
    Scott
    GAT likes this.
  16. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 4,028
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,602 / 0
    Scott, they look good to me. It's an interesting alternative for winding hackle... most of us were all taught to tie in the hackle feather as the last step, not the first.
  17. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,165
    Moses Lake, WA
    Ratings: +972 / 1
    Lots of soft hackles on this page. Maybe we should have a soft hackle swap.
  18. Gary Knowels Active Member

    Posts: 1,081
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +403 / 0
    I'd be up for that!

    In fact, I think I may tie some six packs with this style tonight too.
  19. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,655
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +540 / 0
    Geez, Gary, you have those Six Packs down pat already. I'm one of those "don't mess with what works" foos. Of course, considering that box of 'em you gave me, I'll bet I have most of the ones you've already whipped up in my possession!
    Good thing, as I don't have any Pheasant Rump or Pheasant Tail that is dyed yellow (or olive).

    (Note to self: Must avoid getting sucked into another swap. Must stay focused!:D )
  20. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,165
    Moses Lake, WA
    Ratings: +972 / 1
    I started a soft hackle swap in a separate post. I know my flies will have the backwards tied down hackle ala Gene and Hans. It does make for a tidy head.