Fly Angler's OnLine "Fly of the Week #32"

The Fizzle

by Al Campbell
April 6th, 19 98
Photo Copyright & copy;1998 Al Campbell
Thanks for use permission.
Hook: MUSTAD 94840 or TMC100, Size 6-18.
Thread: 6/0, black.
Body: Fluorescent wool.
Back: Peacock herl.
Hackle: Hair (knotted hair from a mule or mini pony mane)

Tying Instructions:

  1. Tie wool and herl to hook, securing to the bend.

  2. Using Potts weave (wrap herl in front of wool and tuck on far side of hook) begin weaving body, wool on bottom, herl on top.

  3. Continue to weave body forward to behind hook eye.

  4. Tie off wool and herl, trim.

  5. Tie in pre-tied hair hackle and wrap.

  6. Tie off hackle leaving knots on bend side of thread.

  7. Trim some of the hackle that is over the eye close to the hook, fold the rest back to add to the hackle and tie off forming a head.

  8. Whip finish and cement.

  9. Trim hackle about 1/4 hook length behind hook bend.

"Tying Tip"

This is an old time favorite Montana fly. The gentleman who designed this fly kept the tying steps to himself, his family and a rare few. The body weave is one you will find in all of Potts patterns, sometimes on top, sometimes o n the bottom. The knotted hackle is a trade mark of all Potts flies, and time consuming to create.

Many people just fold the hair back to create the hackle, but that isn't how the original flies were tied. The originals used hair that had been tied in small knots to a pair of threads with half hitches to separate the small clumps of hair. The resulting hackle was then wrapped around the fly and tied down to form a hair hackle. The tiny knots are clearly visible on original Potts flies. Some of the rest of the hair was then folded back to thicken the hackle before the head was tied off. Old timers always looked for the knotted hackle, rejecting any fly without it as a phony. ~ AC

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