We've known for quite some time that soft-hackle
wet flies are very effective almost anytime we
go fishing. Most of the soft-hackle wet flies
I've seen in fly shops and in some of my friends'
fly boxes are no smaller than #14 because in nearly
every case the fly recipe calls for one or two turns
of partridge hackle. Size 16 and smaller partridge
hackle is very difficult to come by, so tyers limit
themselves to the size of fly they can tie by the size
of the hackle that is available.
No law states that you must use partridge hackle to
tie soft-hackle flies. Look around in your local
fly shop or browse the Web, and you'll be able to
find some barred hen necks and backs with feathers
down to #16 and 18 that are nicely webbed right out
to the hackle tips. These feathers make wonderful
soft-hackle collars and are available in the right
colors. Another alternative would be to purchase a
light grizzly hen neck and dye it to a light shade
of brown or tan... ~ A. K. Best
Please check out the Fly Tying Section, on the Bulletin Board, here at FAOL too.
If you have any questions, tips, or techniques; send them to