Fly Angler's OnLine "Fly of the Week #18"

The Red Setter

(December 29nd - January 4th)

Red SetterRed Setter


Partridge D3ST #2, Mustad 3666, #6 or #8, or TMC 2302.


Black Monocord.


Pinch of Black or Red Squirrel Tail Hairs.


Hot Orange Chenille.


Soft Ginger Hen or Cock Hackle.

"The Red Setter qualifies as New Zealand's best known and most popular trout fly. Few Kiwi fly boxes would not contain at least some specimens of the great pattern. Its simple construction coupled with inex pensive, easy-to-find ingredients make the Red Setter the first choice of most beginners"- Hugh McDowell

Hugh McDowell is one of the leading world fly tyers. Comments used are from an article (The Red Setter) published in Fish & Game New Zealand with permission.

Tying Instructions:

  1. Bind shank with thread and tie in pinch of black hair for tail. Expose core of chenille by pinching end and pulling material free. Binding this core to shank gives a much neater, less bulky connection.
    Step 1

  2. There are two ways to attach hackle, this being the simpler. Tie in ginger feather by stem, with glossy side facing the eye of the hook.
    Step 2

  3. Wind hackle in close turns until reaching the end and tie in tip.
    Step 3

  4. Hold hackle fibres back with finger and thumb and wind thread back towards bend to hold hackle fibres back at 45 degree angle.
    Step 4

    Hackle fibres should look like this:


  5. Repeating stages 1 through 4 will complete the fly.

  6. Whip finish and varnish head to finish the fly. Aesthetically, it's best to use a slightly wider second feather.

"Tying Tip"

Here's another way to fix hackle. Tie in feather by the tip with glossy side down. Fold the fibres on each side of the stem, back to back, and keep stroking them back into position as you wind.- Hugh McDowell

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