Fork Tails

It is surprising that this style of tail is not more widely used. Fork tails are easy to prepare and can be used to imitate realistically the tails of natural flies. If, for example, the tail of the fly to be imitated has only three setae, prepare a fork tail with one fiber on one side, two fibers on the other. After tying on the tail horizontally, separate the two fibers by winding as many turns of thread as required between them, taking each turn undef the hook.

The only disadvantage of fork tails is that the oval-shaped hackle stalk does not sit easily on the hook shank when the hackle is placed there horizontally. This makes it especially important to select the right part of the hackle. Choose a large hackle, and cut the fork from the top of the feather where the hackle stalk is thinnest.

  • Prepare the hook shank by winding on turns of foundation thread to the tail position. (S)
  • Pull out a very large hackle, by its base, from a cock cape.
  • Holding the top of the hackle in your right hand, use your left thumb and index finger to pull down, evenly, a few of the fibers below. Then cut off the surplus (that is, the hackle tip) as shown.
  • Stroke the remaining fibers back to their normal position.
  • Using straight scissors, cut the hackle on both sides to form a waist (as for the hackle-point tail) directly below the two top fibers on each side.
  • Lay the prepared fork tail along the nearside of the shank, with its waist at the tail position, as shown.
  • Tie on the fork tail using the "hackle-point method."

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  • Dieter
    How to tie forked tail on fly?
    6 years ago

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