Hook: Mustad 94842
or 94840 (sizes 14 - 20)
Thread: Waxed silk
or 6/0 color to match natural
Tail: Any fibers
from a waterfowl, upland bird, or chicken feather. Use whatever looks
like the tails of an insect you want to replicate.
Wing Hackle: Any
game bird or chicken feather. Try to match the color of the natural
Body Hackle: A
rooster or hen feather long enough to let you reverse-palmer it over the
Body: The tying
thread, or very sparse dubbing. If you use dubbing, it should let the
color of the thread show.
1. Tie on near the rear of the
hook shank. We are tying a mayfly so we tie in tails, in this case wood
duck fiber tails. On a pattern without tails, attach the thread one eye
length behind the eye of the hook.
2. Wind the thread forward to a
point one eye length behind the eye. Tie in the wing hackle on top of
the hook shank. The hackle feather has slightly more fibers stripped off
of what will be the bottom edge of the feather and is tied in with a
short section of bare stem between the feather fibers and the thread
wraps. Preparing the feather in this way makes for a neat first turn.
Try to match the color of the natural insect's wings. The barbs should
be considerably longer than those of a dry-fly hackle you'd normally
3. Wind three to five close
turns of hackle toward the bend of the hook. Catch the tip of the
feather with a couple of wraps of thread.
4. Attach the body hackle
immediately behind the wing. The glossy side (top side) of the feather
faces you. Leave a little bare stem between the thread wraps and the
5. Apply dubbing very sparsely
to the thread, if you are using dubbing. Wrap the dubbed thread
rearward, stopping just before the last wrap of the tail windings. Strip
any excess dubbing from the thread.
6. Wind the body hackle to the
rear in a spiral. Catch the tip of the feather with the thread.
7. Spiral the thread forward
through the body and wing hackles, making a rib while reinforcing the
hackle stems. Wind a small head and tie off the thread.
8. Trim the fibers on the bottom
of the fly.
9. You can also trim the fibers
on top of the body, and a few along the sides. If the fibers of the wing
hackle are too long, you can trim them, too.
10. On a small fly, one feather
can serve as wing and hackle. Make three or four close turns at the
front, then spiral the hackle back over the body.
Text by Bruce E. Harang
Photo: Ed Gallop ©
Visit Bruce website,