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  1. First order of business, I'm new to the forum as evidenced by my "Bait Fisherman" member title. I hope that no one is "gut hooked" and harmed by this post. Second order; I'm obsessing over hackle sizing today and need some perspective. I've started to tie more small flies on wide gape hooks (with the belief that bite on the hook set is improved). I've always adhered to the rule of thumb that hackle for a dry should be 1.5X the hook gape. My understanding of the logic behind this is that a properly proportioned Catskill style dry will float at three points of contact; tip of hackle, bottom on hook bend and tip of tail. So it follows that if I'm tying on a wide gape dry fly hook I should throw away the sizing gauge and eyeball the hackle if I want it to float properly? (This seems to create some implications for matching the hatch as I've essentially tied a larger fly on a smaller hook). Here's the real question. I fish a lot of parachute style dries and spent wing patterns, but don't bother much with the Catskills. I don't think I should really care much about the hackle size. The fly is floating flush to the plane of the water so the hackle dimensions relative to hook gape don't seem to have any (as much) relevance to flotation. Real issue is that the fly simply appear to be properly proportioned to the real insect. Thoughts and comments on the matter? Thanks.
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