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Dry Fly


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5 replies to this topic

#1 flytyerinpa


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Posted 19 April 2016 - 11:28 AM

After fishing last evening I think its time to get serious about dry fly fishing, I think I read or somebody told me once that you should put 6 wraps of hackle on a dry fly, I'm sure that's average taking into consideration the barbs per inch can anybody make any comments on that ? 

#2 flytire


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Posted 19 April 2016 - 11:29 AM

tyers preference


i like a full hackle so its whatever it takes

Most fishermen use the double haul to throw their casting mistakes further - Lefty Kreh

#3 m_grieb


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Posted 19 April 2016 - 12:53 PM

to me it sometimes depends on how much room I have left on the shank... there is no golden rule

Matt Grieb

#4 whatfly


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Posted 19 April 2016 - 01:11 PM

Not only does it depend on your preference, varies by the pattern as well.  Six turns is not going to cover a Stimulator, might be a bit light for a Griffith's Gnat, is probably about right for thorax tie, and might be a bit much for a parachute if using two hackles.  Never hurts to start using someone else's guidelines, but you'll probably diverge pretty quickly as you tie more.

#5 Cold


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Posted 19 April 2016 - 01:30 PM

For me, it's tricky, because the amount of hackle I prefer changes...but it changes depending on the water I'm fishing, not the pattern in the vise jaws, obviously far too late to do anything about it.


That being said, the best compromise for me, currently, is achieved by limiting my dries to a handful of patterns.


For caddis and stones, I use EHC and Stimulators, and I hackle (and wing!) the daylights out of them.  On calm water, a generically buggy, caddis shaped form works about as well as anything more exacting, and on rough water, I want that hackle to keep the flies up.  Either way, heavy hackle is usually a help, and almost never a hindrance.


For mayflies, there's a few variables: rough & calm water, the specific species of mayfly (which by extension means behavior, size, and color), and the time of year the hatch typically occurs (which generally affects the water level, calmness, and clarity).  Conveniently, the standard variety parachute dun works incredibly well in almost every situation.  Floats well even in choppy water, has a great silhouette in calmer water, can be tied easily in sizes up to #8 and (almost) as easily in sizes as small as a #24, imitates emergers, duns, and cripples adequately with one pattern, and covers just about every single species of mayfly (in the right size and color of course) passably well, no matter the emergence behavior.


This incredible versatility means that the parachute dun in a variety of sizes and colors forms the backbone of my dry fly arsenal when it comes to mayflies (with the aforementioned hairwings covering the big non-mayfly bugs of concern).  Of course, I'll have a few specialized patterns here and there...a klinkhamer version of a sulphur emerger is a must have, as well as the venerable rusty spinner...and I can't help but include a few traditional style upright divided wing standard dry patterns...but when mayflies are on and over the water, and the fish are reacting to them, a parachute dun is on the end of my line 95%+ of the time.


Round out the dry selection with a few contingency options...small griffith's gnats, maybe a mosquito, and some comparaduns and CDC patterns, and you should be well-prepared for the vast majority of dry fly situations that the average trout stream will throw at you.

#6 utyer


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Posted 19 April 2016 - 09:42 PM

Ninety percent of my "dry" flies have NO hackle at all.  I tie caddis patterns like the "Elk Hair Caddis" and "X Caddis" with deer hair and they float just fine.  Almost all of my mayfly imitations are simple comparadun patterns, for the duns.  I have two other patterns that I use as "cripples" and "emergers" that also do not use hackle.  All float just the way I want them to.  


With that said, I do own more hackle than any one really needs to, and I only use it for patterns that I tie for others.  In some cases, 6 wraps (3 behind and 2 in front of the wing,) will suffice, but on a pattern that calls for two colors of hackle that forces you to leave one side of the other short a wrap.  Better to use 8 turns (2 behind, and 2 in front, with each color.)  Different sizes of Stimulators will need more turns than 6 for the body hackle and then another 4 to 8 for the thorax hackle ..


Water conditions may often require more wraps.  

"We have met the ememy, and he is us." Pogo by Walt Kelly

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