Simple Dry Fly Hackles

  • The photograph shows three damaged cock hackles. The damage is often inflicted by the birds themselves, and causes weak spots in the feathers. Both cock and hen capes may be damaged in this way. Of the hackles shown here, only the center one could be used; the two outer hackles would break if wound on.
  • Form the body and tie off with the tying thread at the hackle position. (S) Then trim off all surplus materials.
  • Select a cock hackle of the right proportions for the hook (see "Proportions of a Fly" at the end of Chapter 2).
  • Prepare the hackle by cutting a "waist" above the fluffy fibers at the butt end of the hackle (the fluffy part of the feather will not be used).
  • Cut off the unwanted lower part of the hackle, leaving a small triangle of fibers just below the waist. (The triangle helps to hold the hackle securely in place when tied in.)

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