Over the past few weeks we have been working on ways to tame and tie in hackles so that they
lay the way we want them to lay on the fly.
One of the trickiest parts of tying in your hackle is to get three or four feathers aligned on the
same plane, stem to stem, from tip to butt.
This week we will show you a really neat trick to get your hackles all lined up and ready to tie onto
the hook with little fuss.
First prepare your hackle by removing the fluff from the stem. This you may do by cutting, or stripping,
I prefer to strip so that I have a handle by which to hold the hackle during the next steps.
Align the tips of the hackle so that they are even when straight. Grasp the hackles by the butt, stems
together. Do not concern yourself with the tips other than that they are even.
Now with a shallow container with a bit of water in the bottom, dip the hackles into the water. As you
remove the hackle after a second or two you will see that the tips are now accurately aligned along the
entire length of the feather. All of the quills are in line.
Take your other hand and gently squeegee the feathers of excess water.
Tie in your feathers, set the angles as you like, and viola! You know have a very neat fly with everything
If your feathers dry somewhat askew, take heart. These flies are fished wet and they will automatically return
to the condition in which you first removed them from the bath.
Besides aligning the hackles, this method makes the entire mass of feathers much more compact, and
thus, easier to work with and tie around.
Try this next time you do a deceiver or a tarpon fly, it really is slick!
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)