Mahogany but not WoodenThere is something beautiful in the simplicity of the soft hackle wet fly. Constructed of just a few materials, soft hackle wet flies and flymphs make a fantastic fly for the beginner to tie. Being a very effective type of fly the soft hackle wet fly or flymph pattern of wet fly, may also be the first fly tied by a beginner that leads to their first fish caught on a self-made fly. Less is so often more. Although a simplistic fly pattern to tie, this style of fly brings an important lesson for all fly dressers: that of proportion. I started the body of my fly just at the base of the point. Depending on the pattern, the body should taper from thorax area down towards the the starting point of the body nearest the hook bend. The hackle fibres should be around the length of the hook shank and the head small. Using appropriately sized tying thread will help when creating a small head. Here I have used 8/0 thread on a Kamasan B410 size 12. I really like this hook for tying my spiders and soft hackles and the style of hook with its straight eye, is reminiscent of the ancient North Country wet flies tied in Yorkshire, England during the 18th and 19th centuries.
To tie this soft hackle wet fly I first applied a layer of brown 8/0 thread from the eye of the hook down to just before the starting point of the body, back up to just before the eye of the hook and then back down again to where I wanted the body to begin. I waxed the thread with some sticky dubbing wax and touch-dubbed some super fine mahogany dubbing. This very thin and sparse dubbing was then brought as a rib, to where the thorax was to start. This was about half-way between the point and the eye of the hook. Another sparse amount of dubbing was touch-dubbed and used to create the thorax which is just slightly thicker than the abdomen of the fly. The hackle was then carefully measured and tied in using just one turn. The hackle used is red game hen hackle, with the fibres around the length of the hook shank. Lastly a small head was formed and a whip finish applied before a light coating of varnish was applied the head. And that was the fly finished.