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Revisit the hackle gauge


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44 replies to this topic

#16 SilverCreek

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 12:26 PM

i use the shank of the hook as a hackle gauge

 

14Whiting100b.jpg

 

dry-fly-proportions.jpg

 

try doing an online search

 

When you use the hook gap as a guide, you know exactly what you're getting.  It doesn't depend on who made the hook or any of it's properties.  It's the only way I'm ever done it, so I don't know what I'm missing... ; )

 

Actually the hackle length should be proportioned to the size of the fly body and NOT the hook gap. Therefore, I agree with the method Flytire uses.

 

The reason is that it works on all hooks. The reason is that hook gaps change with the hook manufacturer and also when small flies are tied on wide gap or extra short hooks.

 

The length of the hook shank determines the "biological" size of the fly, by which I mean, the size of the insect that we are trying to imitate. So the since the hook shank is determines the biologic size of the imitation, the length is the hook shank will always give you the proper length of the hackle to use and always results in the correct fly proportion.

 

Even on hooks where 1.5X hook gap = hook shank, using the hook shank requires an estimate whereas the shank length is a direct measurement.


Regards,

Silver

"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

http://tinyurl.com/lgkbu7v

#17 Mark Knapp

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 01:13 PM

 

i use the shank of the hook as a hackle gauge

 

14Whiting100b.jpg

 

dry-fly-proportions.jpg

 

try doing an online search

 

When you use the hook gap as a guide, you know exactly what you're getting.  It doesn't depend on who made the hook or any of it's properties.  It's the only way I'm ever done it, so I don't know what I'm missing... ; )

 

Actually the hackle length should be proportioned to the size of the fly body and NOT the hook gap. Therefore, I agree with the method Flytire uses.

 

The reason is that it works on all hooks. The reason is that hook gaps change with the hook manufacturer and also when small flies are tied on wide gap or extra short hooks.

 

The length of the hook shank determines the "biological" size of the fly, by which I mean, the size of the insect that we are trying to imitate. So the since the hook shank is determines the biologic size of the imitation, the length is the hook shank will always give you the proper length of the hackle to use and always results in the correct fly proportion.

 

Even on hooks where 1.5X hook gap = hook shank, using the hook shank requires an estimate whereas the shank length is a direct measurement.

 

Wouldn't that make the wing and the hackle the same length if you made the hackle the same length as the hook shank?



#18 SilverCreek

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 03:41 PM

No it would not. If you look at the Catskill dry fly I attached, which is tied by Mary Dette.

 

The wing is much longer than twice the hook shank and even the hackle is longer than the hook shank.

 

I think the proper proportion for the wing is the length of the hook shank, which should also be the length of the tail and the body. All three should be the same length.

 

I think that the fish palmered hackle to represent the wing and that is why variant patterns work.

Attached Thumbnails

  • dette2.jpg

Regards,

Silver

"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

http://tinyurl.com/lgkbu7v

#19 SilverCreek

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 04:03 PM

i use the shank of the hook as a hackle gauge

 

14Whiting100b.jpg

 

dry-fly-proportions.jpg

 

try doing an online search

 

If you actually measure the wing length in the guide above against the hook shank, the wing is longer than the shank. The wing measures the length of the hook from the back of the eye to the end of the bend. The hackle, however is the length of the hook shank as it should be.

 

If you tied the fly WITHOUT the wing it would be called a variant dry fly and the fish take the hackle to be the wing. I prefer the proportion image below but even in this image I think the length of the wing is too long to be realistic when you compare to to a real mayfly. Measure the body of the real mayfly and compare it with the real wing. ARe the biody adn teh wing length about the same? I think they are.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 81c4d360ce6c0913f57cd33caaa6e44d--fishing-stuff-fly-fishing.jpg
  • Mayfly3_new.jpg

Regards,

Silver

"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

http://tinyurl.com/lgkbu7v

#20 SilverCreek

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 04:36 PM

I think most of us will agree that the comparadun is one of the best imitations of a mayfly dun. How long is the comparadun wing? It is the length of the hook shank which is how long  it should be to be to imitate the wing of most mayfly duns.

 

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=6Lq_R4PM0Dc

 

As to palmered hackle, what is important TO ME is what the trout think the silhouette of the palmered hackle represents. That is why I use the hook shank length which matches the wing of a mayfly dun. If you want to add the split wings of a Catskill pattern, I think they should not be the traditional long wings but match what the proportion of a real mayfly is rather than what tradition dictates.


Regards,

Silver

"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

http://tinyurl.com/lgkbu7v

#21 Mark Knapp

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 07:10 PM

I see what you're saying, your tail, wings and hackle would be bigger as compared to the traditional, but they would be consistent regardless of gap size. Got it.



#22 Jaydub

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 09:40 PM

Real Mayflies don't all have the same proportions. Some species have significantly longer wings than others.



#23 tjm

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 11:11 AM

I think the traditional hook shape was something like Shank = two times the gape plus the the eye? If so hackle shank length would raise the hook point above the  water by a bit more than gape width.

In the picture SilverCreek posted above it shows  the body extending  ~2/3 shank length and in the one flytire posted it shows the body extending  the full shank length. So in one instance the tail starts forward of the bend and the tail is longer than the body and in the other the tail starts at the bend and is ~equal to the body; so, like the real bugs not all dry flies have the same proportions. It seems after reading many descriptions of such pictures that many authors don't actually see what they describe. I doubt that the fish see what we think we see. 

I don't tie or fish many conventional dry flies, but prefer the body shorter than the shank as in SC's illustration, somewhat giving an impression of a smaller bug on a given hook size.

Having observed from the comparaduns and parachutes that the fish tend to ignore the hook point hanging in  the water and prefer the body in the water, I wonder if  using ,hackle that is less than gape width or cutting the hackle off flush with the body on the lower side would result in more or fewer fish?



#24 SilverCreek

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 09:32 PM

I think the traditional hook shape was something like Shank = two times the gape plus the the eye? If so hackle shank length would raise the hook point above the  water by a bit more than gape width.

In the picture SilverCreek posted above it shows  the body extending  ~2/3 shank length and in the one flytire posted it shows the body extending  the full shank length. So in one instance the tail starts forward of the bend and the tail is longer than the body and in the other the tail starts at the bend and is ~equal to the body; so, like the real bugs not all dry flies have the same proportions. It seems after reading many descriptions of such pictures that many authors don't actually see what they describe. I doubt that the fish see what we think we see. 

I don't tie or fish many conventional dry flies, but prefer the body shorter than the shank as in SC's illustration, somewhat giving an impression of a smaller bug on a given hook size.

Having observed from the comparaduns and parachutes that the fish tend to ignore the hook point hanging in  the water and prefer the body in the water, I wonder if  using ,hackle that is less than gape width or cutting the hackle off flush with the body on the lower side would result in more or fewer fish?

 

My opinion is that the traditional more heavily hackled flies are better fast water flies where the fish do not get a good look at the flies and the hackling improves floatation.

 

Take the the most famous caddis pattern, the elk hair caddis, as an example. It is the most popular adult caddis pattern and yet it is not even listed in the most famous fly fishing/tying book about caddis - Gary Lafountaine's book, "Caddisflies." Those of you who own a copy, check it out. Why would Gary Lafountaine leave out the most famous caddis pattern from his book on caddis?

 

Because of the hackled body lifts the fly body OFF the surface of the water, and adult caddis lie ON the water. So it does not present the impression of a caddis on the water. However, it is a fast water fly and a skittering caddis pattern because you can skate the fly. When I fish my old EHC's, I cut the bottom hackle off so the body is on the film.

 

Why did Craig Mathews eliminate the hackled body when he based his X caddis on the EHC? Because caddis bodies are not elevated above the water, they are on the water. He followed Gary Lafountaine's example.


Regards,

Silver

"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

http://tinyurl.com/lgkbu7v

#25 Charlie P. (NY)

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 09:38 PM

i use the shank of the hook as a hackle gauge.

 

 

That's what I do.  Bend a hackle under the hook and see how the fibers are in relation to the hook tip.  If 1/3 of the fiber is pat the point you're golden . . . mean.  ;-)


   Not that Pearsall

 

Pearsalls_logo.gif


#26 chugbug27

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 09:04 AM

Aren't the "standard" dry fly hackle proportions designed primarily so the fly floats upright with the wings and tail at body length? I've always found if I tie them out of proportion that I get a fly that doesn't float or that floats on its head or side. I'm not sure the hackle on the standard pattern is really trying to replicate wings. I think the wings do that and the hackle is primarily a device to keep the fly afloat while giving the impression that the wings might be moving, and secondarily an imitator of legs...
cb27

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#27 SilverCreek

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 01:31 PM

Aren't the "standard" dry fly hackle proportions designed primarily so the fly floats upright with the wings and tail at body length? I've always found if I tie them out of proportion that I get a fly that doesn't float or that floats on its head or side. I'm not sure the hackle on the standard pattern is really trying to replicate wings. I think the wings do that and the hackle is primarily a device to keep the fly afloat while giving the impression that the wings might be moving, and secondarily an imitator of legs...

 

agree that the hackle keeps the fly afloat but I also believe that they form the wing silhouette. If the trout do not consider the upright hackle to also be wings, then one must explain why variant patterns which are tied without the wings are so effective.

 

In other words, it does not matter what the creator of the fly thinks the hackle represents. What matters is what the trout thinks the hackle represents. Therefore, if a variant pattern tied WITHOUT the wings is effective, AND a dry mayfly pattern must have wings; then the most likely explanation is that the upright hackle represent the wings to to the trout. Look at the Catskill dry fly below and then compare it to the variant without the separate wing. Does not the palmered hackle then form a wing profile on the variant?

Attached Thumbnails

  • grizzly-variant.jpg
  • th.jpg

Regards,

Silver

"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

http://tinyurl.com/lgkbu7v

#28 Poopdeck

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 02:00 PM

Wings hackle hackle wings all mean zip to a fish and only has meaning to the tier. If you like tying traditional flies or presentation box flies then wing and hackle Have different interpretations. In practice, the hackle keeps it floating right and also looks like a wing hence the effectiveness of "wingless" hackled flies or even winged and hackled flies. From a purely fishing standpoint, I think the "wing" is next to pointless on a fly with lots of hackle. I don't think anybody would say comparaduns are not any more or less effective then a fly with hackle and a "wing". Comparaduns have wings made of hair yet they have no hackle or "wings."

#29 flytire

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 03:32 PM

oops wrong forum


We do it all the time! Get over it!


#30 redietz

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 04:46 PM

 From a purely fishing standpoint, I think the "wing" is next to pointless on a fly with lots of hackle. 

 

From a purely fishing standpoint, a "wing" makes the fly easier to see, which is far from pointless. 

 

I agree, however, that it does nothing to increase the appeal of the fly to the fish.


Bob