Tan Soft Hackle

tying spiders, flymphs & nymphs

softhackles.com – Soft Hackle Wet Fly – 42A Little TannedI tied this soft hackle wet fly with a view to presenting the trout with a fly that may be taken for an emerging insect, and insect pupa ascending to hatch or a drowned terrestrial fly. On a quite a few occasions I have noticed a species of small crane fly on the lochs I fish and I wanted a soft hackle wet fly that I could possibly use in the surface film or just under it during these times.

The key to this pattern, like so many other soft hackle wet flies is proportion. The thorax takes up approximately 2/3 of the body with the thorax taking up the remaining 1/3 and it creates a nice tapering effect from thin to thick. The hackle sits immediately in front of this thorax and the fibres are approximately the same length as the body. The head of the fly is kept small and neat by using the turns of thread securing the other materials as minimal as possible. The head is finished off  with a three turn whip finish and bit of varnish.

To tie the fly, first begin the thread at the eye of the hook and take the 8/0 thread down the shank of the hook in touching turns, to a point just where the barb had been before it was crushed. I then took the thread back up in open turns creating a segmented rib on the abdomen. The grey rabbit fur was touch dubbed onto the thread using a little wax and wound loosely to create the thorax area, ensuring a few guard hairs were also included in the thorax mix. I selected a ginger, slightly mottled hen hackle and tied it in by the tip. The hackle was wound so that it formed just the right amount of material. How many times you need to wind the hackle often depends on the feather! In this case it was twice round the hook shank. The head was formed and lightly varnished.

I envisage fishing this fly either on, in or just under the surface. My initial thoughts about this pattern was it may be a fly for when the crane fly or even the olives are around and that it may prove interesting fishing it during windy conditions. The brown/ginger/olive colouration certainly points towards the crane fly and olive families of flies.

It will be next season now before I get a chance to fish the pattern and so I must bide my time until then. The dressing for the fly is listed below and if it works for you please do let me know by using the Get in Touch page.


softhackles.com – Soft Hackle Wet Fly – 42

Tan Soft Hackle – Body: tan 8/0 thread Rib: 8/0 tan thread Thorax: grey rabbit fur with a few guard hairs Hackle: mottled ginger hen


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