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Rusty Shackleford

Soft Hackle Partridge body?

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It's available.  It's just called Morus silk now (and costs more than when it was called Pearsall's.)

Morus Silk Thread

The colors are the same numbers as Pearsall's. 

6a is the traditional color for a Partridge and Orange.

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14 hours ago, Rusty Shackleford said:

I want to tie some soft hackles up, specifically partridge and orange but all the recipes I've seen call for floss which as a beginner I have no experience with and from what I've heard, can be difficult to work with. Is there a simple substitute? all I really have at the moment in the proper color is 70D ultra thread.

Great pursuit soft hackles. The P& 0 has mostly been tied with silk thread through the ages but orange floss has been 

used a s well. As stated by others Pearsall’s is gone now and what you can find it pretty exorbitant.  Moris silk is a very good

alternative and if you wanted a few colors to tie some of these historic beauties I’d recommend orange,purple and primrose for

a good foundation for your future soft hackle tying and yes don’t let the lack of silk thread prevent you from tying these beautiful

killers as Utc 70 will do.

https://morus-silk.com/silk-for-tying-flies/?v=79cba1185463

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2 hours ago, Moshup said:

Great pursuit soft hackles. The P& 0 has mostly been tied with silk thread through the ages but orange floss has been 

used a s well. As stated by others Pearsall’s is gone now and what you can find it pretty exorbitant.  Moris silk is a very good

alternative and if you wanted a few colors to tie some of these historic beauties I’d recommend orange,purple and primrose for

a good foundation for your future soft hackle tying and yes don’t let the lack of silk thread prevent you from tying these beautiful

killers as Utc 70 will do.

https://morus-silk.com/silk-for-tying-flies/?v=79cba1185463

You can also try Ovale Silk Floss from J.Stockard - Au Ver a Soie Ovale Pure Silk Floss | J. Stockard Fly Fishing (jsflyfishing.com).   Not a bad value.

Kim

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I've tied these in size 14 and 16, use thread, floss and even thread with a very light dubbing on it. Used partridge, ruffed grouse and little natural hen hackles ( chicken)  for the soft hackle. Guess what ?  They all caught fish, every rendition. So in terms of fish -ability I don't worry about it. But if you want the traditional fly as a historic venture or whatever, silk thread is the right choice.

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Another brand of silk thread is Kimono 100.  It comes on a regular size spool of 220 yds, but with minimal tweaking will fit on a large bobbin holder.  It is a two strand thread, very fine but strong, and with a good range of colors.  .  

IMG-20210223-062317.jpg

But yeah, as long as the color and thread size are close to what you need, I wouldn't be too concerned about the brand.  When I first started tying I used mostly white thread and colored it with a Sharpie as needed.  

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A while back I wrote a post for the Jay Stockard blog entitled:  Soft Hackle Essentials.  A bit dated now on the hook advice but otherwise there was and still is this piece of advice—the Partridge and ANYTHING is a productive fly that is easy to tie.  Whether you use thread, silk, floss, dubbing, feather fibers, herl, flash, hair or whatever, the basic soft hackle design works.These are killer flies on the Firehole in YNP and my favorite bodies are made from pheasant tail fibers or goose quill fibers because they make great segmented bodies.  Another body material that has proven itself is Moose hair.  Dyed moose with hair up to 3 inches long is readily available and a single hair can be wound like a quill to create a slim, segmented body.  Another body technique is using a single pheasant tail fiber as ribbing over a thread body.  The segmented look is enticing.  Although we might call them partridge and ANYTHING other posters above have it right.  Just about any type of soft hackle feather will make a productive fly.  Although I tie a lot with partridge, CDL hen and simple old farmyard hen works just as well.  Give them all a tie going forward.

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20 hours ago, redietz said:

Silk thread is the traditional body, not floss.

You're right, thread is what I meant to write. I had floss on the brain.

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If you want to know what you need for soft hackle flies get a good resource.  One of the best I've found is Helen Shaw's "Flies for Fish and Fisherman" - one of the top 3 on my list of soft hackle books.  I am partial to all of Helen Shaw's works - a great tyer, teacher and writer!  Oh, by the way, this book is subtitled "The Wet Flies".  Hundreds of soft hackle fly patterns.

Kim

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