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Current Tags for This Pattern
/ Black / Peacock Sword / Soft Hackle / starling / step-by-step instructions / sword / terrestrial /

Swords and Starling (Soft Hackle)

 
tied by letumgo
Fly Type: Terrestrials & Midges, Wet, General Freshwater,
Target Species: Panfish, Trout,
Recommended Region: Northeast US, Northwest US, Central US, Alaska, Western Canada, Eastern Canada, Central Canada, New Zealand, Russia, General Europe,
Imitation: Hoppers/Crickets,
Material List:
Hook - Daiichi Model 1710/Size 14
Thread - Pearsall's Gossamer Silk (Black)
Hackle - Starling Coverlet Feather
Body - Peacock Sword Fibers (at least 3/4" long to allow wrapping as herl)
Under Body/Tag - Pearsall's Gossamer Silk (Black)
Rib - Pearsall's Gossamer Silk (Black) - Counter-wrapped forward over the wrapped sword fibers.

The body of these flies looks metalic blue-green in the right light. I tried to capture it in the photographs, but it doesn't show up a vividly as the appear in hand. It was difficult to capture in a photograph.
Tying Instructions: Detailed Tying Sequence:
1) Mount your hook in the vice.
2) Attach the tying silk, just behind the eye of the hook, with five snug wraps. Clip off the tag end.
3) Prepare a starling coverlet (wing/shoulder) feather by stripping off the small fluffy fibers at the base of the feather.

[optional step - Strip off the fibers on one side of the feather, if you want the hackle to be very sparse. I prefer a bit more hackle, so I don't bother stripping one side]

4) Tye in the prepared starling feather by it's stem. Leave roughly 1/8" of bare stem to make wrapping easy later. The tip of the feather should be facing out over the eye of the hook, with it's good side facing towards you. Use only three or four wraps to secure the feather in place. Clip off the excess stem.
5) Select five or six peacock sword fibers and tye them by the base, just behind the eye of the hook. Again only use four of five wraps to secure the sword fibers.

[Caution - The peacock sword fibers should be at least 3/4" long to allow wrapping. When clipping the sword fibers from the stem, be careful to grasp the fibers securely to keep the tips even.]

6) Wrap the tying thread back to the bend of the hook and forward to the tip of the hook point.
7) Grasp the tips of the sword fibers in a pair of hackle pliers and wrap them back towards the tying thread. I like to wrap the fibers up-and-over the hook, in the same direction the tying thread is wrapped.
8) Wrap the tying thread forward toward the the eye of the hook. The thread will counter-wrap the sword fibers, reinforcing the body. Leave enough room at the front of the body to wrap the hackle and form the head. Clip off the tips of any remaning sword fibers.
9) Wrap the starling hackle back towards the tying silk. Use only one or two wraps of hackle.
10) Wind the silk forward though the hackle fibers, being careful to wiggle it back and forth. This prevents the silk from matting down the hackle fibers.
11) Whip finish with only three or four wraps.
12) Clip off the tying silk and add a small drop of head cement.

It's amazing how I can make such a simple fly sound so complicated. It is really quite simple to tye.
Presentation Tips: Dead Drift, Down-and-Across, Leisenring-Lift, as a dropper...

Just about any style presentation will work well.


Additional Photos


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