If you want a fly that will catch fishermen, create a pretty fly. The
Royal Wulff is a pretty fly. If that pretty fly catches a lot of fish,
it will be a big hit. The Royal Wulff catches a lot of fish, so it's a
big hit. However, the Royal Wulff doesn't catch more fish than the other
Wulff patterns, but because it is pretty, it catches a lot more
fishermen. That makes this one very popular fly.
As we learn how to tie the Royal Wulff, we will venture into the world
of hair wings. Hair wings are the most durable wings you can put on a
fly. They are a little more difficult to tie than the post wings you use
in a thorax fly, but not too difficult to master. If you are tying for
yourself, you can use a post wing rather than splitting the wings, but
it's always nice to learn how to do it right.
One of the secrets to a nice looking hair wing is using fairly straight
hair. Many hair wings are tied from calf tails. If you are selecting a
calf tail for wing material, look carefully to choose the one with the
straightest hair. Many calf tails have curly hair that doesn't work too
well as wing material. A better source for white hair that's easier to
use than calf tail is calf body hair. This hair is fairly straight, but
has the same qualities as calf tail hair when you use it for wings.
If you can find a source for white goat body hair, you will have the
straightest hair of all for wings. So far I haven't found many steady
sources for white goat hair, although.
Hunter's Angling Supplies does offer kid goat in white and assorted
colors. They are also a source for Anglers Choice products (a sponsor
for this series). If you contact them, mention that you learned about
The traditional Royal Wulff pattern includes red floss as part of the
body. I've found Anglers Choice Super Floss
to be far superior to regular four strand floss. This super floss
stretches and won't fray like regular floss will. It's also color fast
and won't bleed or fade in your fly box. I always substitute super
floss whenever I can because of its superior qualities.
This is another "western" pattern that uses a fairly heavy hackle. It's
important to use high quality hackle if you want a fly that floats right.
When possible, saddle hackle is preferred to neck hackle for western
flies, but sometimes size dictates that you use a neck hackle. Any
hackle you use should be of the best quality you can afford.
List of materials: Royal Wulff
Hook: Standard dry fly; Mustad 94840, Tiemco 100, Eagle Claw L059,
Daiichi 1180. Size 10 - 22.
Thread: 6/0 to 10/0 Gudebrod or equivalent, color to match body or
Body: Angler's Choice red super floss and peacock herl.
Tail: Moose body hair.
Wing: White calf tail, calf body hair, goat hair or synthetic hair.
Hackle: Quality brown neck or saddle hackle, webby parts removed and
1/16" of the remaining stem stripped of barbules.
1. Create a moose body hair tail like you did last week when tying the
2. Select a fairly large bunch of white hair and comb out the short hairs
and fuzz. When you only have long hairs left, drop them tip first in a
hair stacker and even the tips of the hair. Then measure the wing for
length (a little more than 1 1/2 times the hook gap) and tie down with a
few loose wraps of thread.
3. Gently pull the wing back and wrap the thread tightly in front of the
base of the wing.