Last week we discussed splaying tail hackles for Bass and Tarpon Flies. It is usual on bass
flies to place a wound hackle collar between the tailing materials and the hair head of the fly.
It helps with flotation and also adds esthetically to a smooth transition between tail and head.
If you have been frustrated over the years by removing part of a nicely wound hackle in the process
of trimming your deer hair head, the following will help you avoid this disheartening mistake.
These flies are time consuming to tie and to trim and the last thing you want is to cut something
After you have your collar tied, do not cut your thread. Place a drop of cement carefully to the
wraps to add durability to the fly.
Now take your tying thread and loosely wrap down your hackles toward the rear of the fly. Take
a couple of half hitches at this point. (Shown in yellow here for clarity, you actually use the same
thread you tied in the hackle with.)
Finish the head of the fly to suit your tastes.
Now, after all of your trimming is complete and you are happy with the head of your fly, take a razor
blade, or your tying scissors and carefully cut the thread which is binding the wound hackle down.
The hackle will return to its original position if you did not bind it so tightly as to 'kink' any of the
individual barbules. If you want to speed this return, which may take overnight, a bit of steaming
will right them very quickly.
Follow this simple tip and you hair flies will come out of the vice with all of the parts that you
so carefully tied into them.
If you have any tips or techniques, send them along, most of this
material has been stolen from somebody, might as well steal your ideas
too! ~ George E. Emanuel
(Chat Room Host Muddler)