Pattern Recommend 2 gotta have soft hackles

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by wioiei, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. ceviche

    ceviche Active Member

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    Hey Les,

    What do you mean by "self-bodied"? You have me curious, as I'm a huge fan of the olive hackle and peacock herl body Carey. I prefer to use that fluffy, marabou-like stuff below the hackle tip for the tail--for a touch of movement when the fly is paused and sinking a little. Plus you don't waste as many feathers using them for tails. Same as you, I use the copper wire for reinforcing and ribbing the body. I've heard that copper iridesces when exposed to UV light. Nice combining that element with the peacock herl. This fly makes me look better than I deserve and has saved and made many a fishing day for me. I think the fly should be re-named "The Crutch."

    Wapsi produces this strung pheasant rump hackle that is not only gorgeously dyed (a deep, vibrant olive), but one of the two strung clumps in the bag has very long hackle tips. I mean they're long enough to properly hackle a Carey tied on a #10 TMC 300 hook. This fly sits at about the max length for a dragonfly nymph--about 50 mm. This is a very nice product. I stumbled upon this product almost two months ago while at Michael and Young's fly shop in Vancouver. I suspect people tying salmon and steelhead flies would be interested in this hackle. Have you seen this Wapsi pheasant rump hackle yet?
     
  2. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Les is referring to the technique in which a pheasant rump feather is tied in by the tip at the rear of the hook shank then spiraled forward up the hook to form a body. A few fibers always escape which adds to the ragged,"buggy" appearance. A counter-wrapped rib (usually copper wire) is necessary to keep the first fish who grabs it from destroying it. A few turns of a pheasant rump feather of the same color are then wound on to form the hackle. They are usally referred to as Self-Bodied Carey Specials. The most famous of the breed (and the only one to have garnered a name of its own) is Karl Haufler's Six Pack. It is tied with yellow-dyed pheasant rump. The yellow dye, applied to the gray green rump feather, results in a very natural-looking olive shade.

    As the story goes, Haufler tied up some Self-Bodied Carey Specials using this material and took them to Pass Lake to try them out. It turned out to be one of those days, and Karl was pulling them in one after another on his new fly while no one else was doing any good at all. He was soon beseiged by other anglers who wanted to beg, borrow or steal one of his flies. Being an enterprising sort, he quickly established a barter rate which also gave the fly the name it's been known by since then.
     
  3. ceviche

    ceviche Active Member

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    Thanks Preston! :thumb: The next time I tie up some Careys, I'll give the self-bodied style a try. And great story about the origin of the "Six-Pack" name. I've always wondered about that.
     
  4. Birdsnest

    Birdsnest Active Member

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    My favorite soft hackle is size 16 with a spring green body with counter-wrapped fine gold wire rib, sparse gray or brown partridge hackle. I pull the hackle back and tie a few wraps around the front to keep it there. It works great fished slowly just under the surface on those calm early mornings/evenings on E. Wa lakes when there are lots of finicky risers.
     
  5. Rory McMahon

    Rory McMahon Active Member

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    hares ear soft hackle, and a plain olive soft hackle. Both use partridge for the soft hackle part.
     
  6. David Holmes

    David Holmes Formerly known as "capmblade"

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    This is like the best thread ever on soft hackles.

    I tied up a bunch of Partridge & Peacocks this weekend myself. Such a nice easy fly. One tweak that I do is to use a glass bead for the thorax -- it simultaneously pushes the hackle up and forward and gives it some weight.
     
  7. ceviche

    ceviche Active Member

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    iagree

    I just finished tying up 3 each of:

    Soft-tailed olive and peacock Carey Special
    Soft-tailed natural Carey Special
    Olive Self-bodied Carey
    Natural self-bodied Carey

    The self-bodied ones look really cool--thanks Les and Preston for the idea! I plan on tying up a couple more Carey 3x4-sets. This first one will probably go to a good friend of mine who I introduced to stillwater f'fishing. I need someone to fish these for me.

    I'm kind of thinking of offering these Carey 3x4-sets for sale. Since it's going to be a while before I can work again, it wouldn't hurt to make a little under-the-table pocket money. Nothing will be for sale until I have several 3x4 sets on hand.
     
  8. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Pics - we need pics!! :)
     
  9. Willie Bodger

    Willie Bodger Still, nothing clever to say...

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    I like the self-bodied careys. Use red thread, lacquer it up good and that is a sweet looking fly when you are done. Hey, I wonder if that fly tied with Golden pheasant tippets would do a good shrimp imitation in Belize? Ooh, or tie it with some dyed Lady Amherst... So many options, so little time...
     
  10. ceviche

    ceviche Active Member

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    Unfortunately, I gave away my first 3x4 set before I could take pics. :( Fortunately, I just finished tying another set. :D

    Pics soon. :thumb:
     
  11. ceviche

    ceviche Active Member

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    Here you go: The 3x4 Carey Pack. Sorry the resolution isn't that great.
     
  12. Richard Olmstead

    Richard Olmstead BigDog

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    Nice looking flies, Dave. It looks like the self-bodied ones have some of the downy barbs at the base of the rump feather sticking out in the thorax just behind the hackle. Nice.

    One of the guys at the Avid Angler turned me on to a variation of the Hale-Bopp leach that he likes on Pass Lake. It looks like a hybrid with a Carey Special. The standard Hale-Bopp has a sparse marabou tail and a mohair leach body. The variant has a pheasant rump feather hackle at the front similar to a Carey Special.

    Dick
     
  13. Ron Eagle Elk

    Ron Eagle Elk Active Member

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    I know I already answered this once, but I'm really surprised no one has mentioned the Doc Spratley. Tied with either black or green wool it has brought a goodly number of fish to hand. I like it fished on a tight line, with most hits as the fly rises to the surface. It also fishes well hung under a caddis dry fly when a hatch is on.
     
  14. ceviche

    ceviche Active Member

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    Exactly! That build-up should keep the hackle pushed out a little, so that the fly breathes more when stripped. At least I'm hoping so.

    No kidding! That description of that Hale-Bopp/Carey hybrid sounds a lot like something I tied a few months ago. Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to fish it yet. I'll have to scrounge it up and post a pic of it. The thing I tied has the same short webby hackle for tail as my Carey Special variant, but it uses picked dubbing for the body. It also uses pheasant rump for the hackle. Another variation uses peacock sword for the tail. These are pretty big flies--6x shank, #10 or #8 hooks. I lumped these variants under the label of "Carey Monsters." I was gunning for something at the max size for dragonfly nymphs. Here are some pics.

    --Dave