Four Spent Hackle Point Wings

Some of the larger insects living near water have four wings. In some species, one pair is a little larger than the other.

  • Prepare the hook shank as for ordinary hackle-point wings, finishing with the tying thread at the wing position. (S)
  • Select four large cock hackles (those shown are undyed black hackles).
  • Check the size and proportions. The short pair should be just longer than the shank; the long pair will be about one-fifth longer.
  • Prepare and tie on the long pair. (S)
  • Prepare and tie on the short pair just behind the long pair. (S)
  • Split the short pair as shown, in the way described earlier in the chapter.
  • Bring the tying thread in front of the long pair of wings and split them in the same way, as shown. (See also Step 3.)
  • While splitting the long pair, work between the two pairs of wings, as shown.

Large hackle-point wings are often reluctant to be deployed at right angles to the shank, especially if there are four to deal with. Proceed as follows.

  • With the tying thread in front of the wings, pull all four wings back.
  • Wind on several turns of tying thread around the shank, hard up against the front of the forewings.
  • Wind the thread to the hook eye. (S) Finish off the fly.
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