Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by weiliwen, Feb 26, 2018.
In this case I guess it's the thought that counts.
If you have the patience, you can try to tie the partridge first. Again, a Hans technique on video. The end result is typically better as your thread coming through the hackle not only locks it, but also flares it a bit.
If I wanted to keep my hackle as sparse as shown in the photo I would strip one side, tie it in by the tip and do 1 or at most 1 1/2 wraps. At the tip of the feather the barbs are less webby and less dense, plus the rachis is thinner and more easy to manipulate. To get your barbs to stand out perpendicular to the hook you may have to do a bit of twisting of the rachis on its axis.
I tie hundreds if not thousands of soft hackle flies and have found that you really need to buy the highest grade of partridge skin you can find and look closely at the collar feathers to make sure there is a good range of sizes and the quality is good. I usually strip all the collar feathers and remove the webby barbells and then size the feathers for ease of tying later on.
You can go online and search for wild hungarian partridge skins, they are my favorite as the stems seem to be more delicate yet tougher than domestic raised birds.
Hope this helps