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brookie207

Soft hackle streamers

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Hi everyone....I have been tying/fishing soft hackle streamers for a while now and have had decent results...my question is: How can I get a more realistic and lifelike profile to my flies? When fishing these flies I have noticed the marabou tends to "splay" out more than I would like. What I'm looking for is a fly that maintains a tight baitfish profile in the body and a lot of movement in the tail like a small baitfish would have. I tie the flies as the original pattern with a mallard collar....are there any tricks out there to achieve a more lifelike action and profile? Thanks

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It's the nature of marabou to appear bulky at times, whether it be in the jaws of your vise or sitting still in slack water. When stripped or swung through the current, the marabou will sleek back and undulate.

 

Be sure to use the right type of marabou, usually labeled as blood quill or the tip portion of a select quill. Making adjacent wraps of marabou could contribute to excess splay; try open turns and not too much material.

 

I'm sure others will chime in with their choice for patterns with slimmer [dry] profiles, but Gartside's streamer is such a good design that I wouldn't stray from it just yet.

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Bugsy nailed it. Even an enormous amount of marabou will be very streamlined in the water. They answer is to get your flies wet after tying them to see what they look like.

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Thanks....I love the pattern... I always use blood marabou when tying this fly. I was hoping to get an effect that was more streamlined and held it's shape even in slower currents while still allowing good movement in the tail from the marabou....thanks for your responses

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Cheech, I respect you but I think you are wrong on this one. Getting a fly wet and then looking at it out of water will not tell you what it looks like in the water. Actually, a fly that is dry and out of water looks much as a fly does in the water. The only difference beiing when it is being pulled through the current. As soon as it stops, it puffs back up and looks like it does when it is dry and in the air. When you jerk a streamer through the water, it pulsates. Becoming fluffy and skinny as the speed increases and decreases. During a dead drift it does not look streamlined.

 

I always chuckle when people get their flies wet and take pictures of them to show us what they look like wet.

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Brookie, I think you are missing the point on the attraction of this pattern to fish. The fact that is pulses as it moves is the reason for its effectiveness. This pattern has been by far my most effective streamer for the last 15 years.

 

Steve

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I know what the fly does....just looking for better ways to adapt it to certain situations...ex. A different type of collar...not trying to take anything away from the original pattern just looking for different variations that other people might have tried...I like playing around with patterns thanks for your responses

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Here is what I use. Color variant of a moto's minnow. I do several colors. Easy to tie.

 

MWL

post-30178-0-25912500-1396025513_thumb.jpg

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I had never tied this fly before, so I looked it up and carefully followed Jack Gartside's instructions. I think I understand your problem now. This fly is tied by palmering marabou the length of the body. The point is, "palmering" is a open wind up the hook shank, like on a wooly bugger. If you make your wraps touching, or nearly touching, as in an Alaskabou fly, you'll wind up with a nice big puffball. On the other hand, if you space your winds out a bit, you'll get a more sparse, and more tapered body a la Jack's examples.

 

If you check out Jack's tutorial, you'll also notice the pictures of his flies. The two tone flies are layered, not palmered. He doesn't explain how he did that, though.

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Cheech, I respect you but I think you are wrong on this one. Getting a fly wet and then looking at it out of water will not tell you what it looks like in the water. Actually, a fly that is dry and out of water looks much as a fly does in the water. The only difference beiing when it is being pulled through the current. As soon as it stops, it puffs back up and looks like it does when it is dry and in the air. When you jerk a streamer through the water, it pulsates. Becoming fluffy and skinny as the speed increases and decreases. During a dead drift it does not look streamlined.

 

I always chuckle when people get their flies wet and take pictures of them to show us what they look like wet.

I'll stand behind what I wrote. It is VERY important to know what your fly looks like wet. You already know what it will look like out of the water (as you said), but without getting it wet, you really won't know what it looks like while it's moving through the water (Which happens a lot).

In a river, 90% of the time, the fly will have some kind of water pushing past it. When you strip it, it will slim down a lot, and in between strips, it may puff out a bit, but it will still be under the influence of current. Only in a back eddy in very calm water will it completely puff out for an extended period of time.

 

I always chuckle when guys tie sculpin patterns with single plumes of marabou puffing out like pectoral fins. They look great on dry land, but they just slim right down with the rest of the fly once it hits water.

 

I recently did a seminar on tying streamers, and 90% of the battle is understanding the properties of different materials. You need to know what they do dry and wet. Also, sometimes when you combine different materials they will have different properties dry and wet.

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