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rstaight

Flies and Their History/Hackles

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Hey all, maybe someone can help me out here.

 

A couple of years ago my wife got me a reprint of Mary Orvis-Marbury's book Favorite Flies and Their Histories. Crappy reprint but that's another story.

 

Looking at the flies used in the 1880's to early 1900's I got idea that I want to use those flies on a bamboo rod for bass. Don't know why, just something I want to do.

 

Started looking up and researching patterns and the only one I can't find anything definite is what is being refered to as "hackles". They are mentioned in white, yellow, brown, and gray. By attempting to put 2 and 2 together the best I can come up with is that they are a soft hackle.

 

Are they a soft hackle, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

 

Thanks for any help.

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Since you will be using these for bass, you will want to use bigger hackles. Strung Saddle, and strung neck hackles would work fine. #1 Red Hackle, would use a neck hackle in ginger (not red.) #2 Soldier Palmer would need a dark ginger saddle hackle just like a woolly bugger. #3 The Ashy would need a dun (gray,) saddle hackle.#4 Zulu has a black hackle from a strung neck hackle. #5, 6, and 7 would use Yellow, Scarlet, and Brown neck hackles. #8 Grouse hackle would use the body feather from a grouse. #9 Coch-y-Bonddu hackle is brown with an almost black center and black tips (very hard to find these days.) #10, 11, 12 use Yellow, Brown, and Green neck hackles. These Pennells have thinner bodies of floss or wool. #13 and 14 use deer hair spun around the hook as hackle. #15 Crane Fly uses a large over sized gray hackle. #16 Epting is a honey ginger hackle #17 is an over sizes Black neck hackle.

 

These patterns would traditionally have much more hackle than the soft hackles we tie today. Over sized hackles for the spider, and the Crane Fly would be 2 hook sizes larger. Err on the large side for all these hackles.

 

I have tied most of these, and they do work.

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A "Hackle Fly" in that context is just a pattern with a body and a hackle collar at the front. Other old books mention a "Hackle Fly" as something more like the "Palmer" flies in the plate in the previous post. I can't remember what references I learned that from, probably Henshall and Marbury. Any wide, webby saddle hackle will work fine. I've caught quite a few smallmouths on this style of fly, #6 though #2 usually. No magic involved.

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Thanks guys for the replies. It's what I thought, todays soft hackles but oversized and heavely hackled.

 

Flytire, thanks for posting the color plate. You don't know how helpful that is to me.

 

Xpman, these old color plates are cool, regardless of the flies on them.

 

Utyer, the descriptions you provided, awesome.

 

JSzymczyk, the sizes you provided gave me the final piece to the puzzle. I was thinking of using schlappen to tie these with.

 

Again guys thank you so much.

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post-57765-0-55816000-1472691780_thumb.jpg

 

First attempt. Or rather second and third attempt. The first one was tied on a size 6 Mustad 9672 using schlappen and it looked like, well not very good.

 

These 2 are both on a size 8 Mustad 9672. Though not showing up very well, the tails on both are hackle fiber from a brown Whiting bugger pack. Both also have gold rib.

 

The brown one is dubbed with a generic brown dubbing and the hackle is ginger saddle. The yellow bodied one is dubbed with yellow caddis dubbing and the hackle is from the bugger pack.

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