- wrapping hackle and finishing a fly -
By Niklas Dahlin
dear followers, today I played with a pattern called "Mörke
John" ("John the dark"). The fly is a variant of the more famous
"Europea 12", same fly but with different colour. The fly "Mörke
John" comes from the vice of Harry Strandberg who comes from the
northern part of Sweden. Harry is unfortunately no longer with us,
he passed away a couple of years ago. My friend Leif Milling has
written a nice piece about his friend Harry in his book "Länge
leve flugfisket" (Fly fishing, may it last forever), Harry was
actually one of the first professional fly tyers of Sweden.
I like the
the pattern, and after fishing in caddis hatches in the parts of
where Harry was active I do understand why he choose the darker
While tying this fly I
decided to take some pictures to tell my friends how I do the
hackle and how I finish of a hackled fly leaving a decent head.
As we all know this information is more for the eye than for the
fish... I don't either think the fish cares if there's a bump at
the head or if we have some hackle fibres sticking out here and
there. But I do believe in the satisfaction a really nice fly in
my fly box gives me.
To get an nice and
straight hackle on your dry flies can sometimes be an pain. Well
off course there is a question of the quality of the hackle, but
not just that. Some really nice hackle can have stems that are
not entirely round and sometime the stems are kind of thick
which also can make it harder. Well anyway, here I want to share
some thoughts of mine that has helped me to get a slightly
better hackle collar on my flies.
I use the best hackle I
can get, I use Whiting, Charlie Collins and I also have a Keough
that was awful until my friend Roy Christie dyed it for me,
after that the stems got softer and by that the hackle got
easier to work with. When I started to tie I had some Indian
capes, I have heard that you can find decent quality, but the
nice ones that I have found don't have the length of the feathers
in the sizes I tie. So I have given that up and I stick to the
Well then, let me try to
explain, start with making sure that you have a nice and even
foundation, bumps can make your hackle slip. Tie in the hackle
in and set it into an 90 degree angle towards the shank of the
hook. Make sure that the hackle has a bare stem the first wrap,
that will help us to not get any fibres pointing backwards.
Wrap the hackle in tight
turns toward the eye of the hook. Secure the hackle with three
hard turns of your tying thread, wrap the thread towards the eye
of the hook.
Grab the hackle point and
fold it backwards, wrap another three tight turns of thread but
now backwards away from the eye of the hook. By doing this we
have locked the hackle point.
Take your hackle
and attach it to the hackle point, hold the thread tight as you
start winding the hackle plier. After a couple of turns the stem
of the hackle point will brake off at the point of where we are
have the pressure on the tying thread.
Here we can see the
result after that the hackle point has gone. Now give the head
two wraps of thread and finish it of with two whipfinish knots.
Cut the thread and give
the head some varnish. Done, with a nice and clean head.
Satisfaction on a hook...
Hope you enjoyed it this
little session, I did..
Over and out../Niklas
By Niklas Dahlin
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