Soft Hackle Basics

February 2010

                             Technique: Soft Hackle Basics

                   Tyer's Name: John Gort                  Email:
                   Date: Feb 1, 2010                       Phone:(see roster)

    Fly Originator and History: For all practical purposes, the soft hackle fly 
    was first documented in the 1750's as "Charles Bowlker's Hackle Fly". 
    Comments: Rather than tying a specific pattern, John gave us some pointers 
    on how to tie soft hackles that are proportionally uniform. Using these techniques 
    will give your flies an appealing look that you can be proud of.

                                       How the Fly is Fished
    Suggested line and leader: Line depends on conditions. Fluorocarbon tippet.  
    Depth range: Wet fly 
    Suggested retrieve: Hand retrieve with a pause.

                                       Fly Material
    Hook make /size / length: Dai-Riki 710, TMC 5263, size #8 to 22, 3XL. 
    Thread: size / color / type:  8/0 black and any other colored thread.
    Weighted? y/n: No.
    Tail material / size / color: Optional.
    Body material / color:  Floss, colored thread, or metallic tinsel-choose a color.
    Ribbing size / color:  Fine copper wire.
    Thorax size / color:  Peacock herl or dubbing. 
    Wing size / color:  -- 
    Hackle size / color:  Brahma hen for smaller flies, larger game birds for larger flies.
    Head size / color:  Thread (your choice of color).
    Other:  Experiment with other materials. Add a tail, try different colors.

                                     Tying Steps

    1. Thread: Tie floss or colored thread onto the  hook about 1/3 down the shank. 
    Wrap thread forward with tightly touching wraps up to the eye. 

    2. Unwrap back down the shank 12 wraps leaving a bare shank - this is now the 
    starting point. Then tightly wrap down the shank to the bend (just above the barb) 
    and back to the starting point.

    3. Tie on the rib wire onto your side of the hook at the starting point. Then 
    run the wire back to the bend, wrapping it with the thread. 

    4. Form the body. Wrap the colored thread or floss forward to the 1/3 point 
    of the shank.

    5. Wrap the wire forward and away for you up to the 1/3 point, tie off and 
    break off wire. 

    6. Thorax. Tie on a peacock hurl (or dubbing), make several wraps forming a 
    ball rather than an elongated thorax. Use a whip finish to tie off the herl 
    (or dubbing) and cut off the excess thread and material.

    7. Tie on a black (or other color) thread just behind eye and make 12 wraps 
    down the shank (back to the starting point).

    8. Measure and modify a Brahma hen feather for a hackle that is  one shank's 
    length (not including the tip). Preen the feather so that the barbs are perpendicular 
    to the shaft.

    9. Tie in hackle by the  feather tip onto the thread base at the starting point 
    with the shinny side of the feather facing the eye of the hook.  Make about 
    three wraps toward the eye.  

    10. Make an additional 1-1/2 wraps with the feather stem, tie down stem and 
    cut it off.

    11. Form a thread head, tie off, whip finish and glue. 

		               Erik Simpson 2.12.10