Friday, September 30, 2016

The "Starling and Peacock" Soft-Hackle

The peacock and starling, the starling and herl, the starling and yellow, and there must be a few more names for this fly. In Nemes book The Soft-Hackled Fly he mentions this fly with his ingredient list. The items listed a quite sparse..peacock body and starling feather. The fly I tie is about as sparse as far as materials needed, but I choose a body of thread, a peacock herl thorax and a starling feather.

What I would like to show here is the color variations of the yellow thread body. As you see from the first photo the thread used is bright yellow. Through the next few photos I'll show how simple thread can change the body color of the fly.


This is the fly with 2 winds of the yellow thread for the body. It appears to have a greenish tone.


Here is that same fly against a different back ground and the body takes on an olive tone.


Here is that same fly when wet...yet another color variation. Now one would think that the difference would not mean a whole lot...but it did.


So with a few turns of thread, a turn or two of peacock and a tiny starling feather you can tie this simple pattern.








16 comments:

  1. That is a beauty for sure! The simple color variation makes all the soft hackles so deadly, as they represent many different insects floating in the rivers and streams.

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    1. TROUTI
      Thanks
      Pete those fish will pick up on those subtle variations.

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  2. What a beautiful, simple fly. I'll have to try that one out.

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    Replies
    1. Jay Guarneri
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      Jay they work very well.

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  3. simple spiders catch lots of fish, timeless flies. well done on a nice tie and lovely fish :)
    George

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    1. George
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      George who can argue with that much history.

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  4. What I wouldn't give for small fingers so I could tie flies like those.

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    Replies
    1. Mark Kautz-Shoreman
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      Mark I know you could do it. It may be a bit awkward at first but a little practice and you'll be there.

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  5. Alan, I enjoy seeing the variations in the thread depending on light or if it's wet. To be honest I wonder how many fly fisherman think about what fly looks like, " wet"? I've always soaked my flies when I'm experimenting with different thread so I can see what the fish will see. Sometimes it's quite startling the difference. That fly looks great and I can see that the Brookie thought so,also. Thankyou, nice post.

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    Replies
    1. Brad Basehore
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      Brad a fly that's wet takes on a whole different look. Most time it's subtle but to the fish it makes all the difference.

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  6. Replies
    1. Howard Levett
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      Howard another one for the box.

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  7. If given the choice of only one fly to fish, the simple soft hackle would be the one, Alan. That yellow one is a beauty. Regards, Sam

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    1. Parachute Adams
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      Sam I and a few others would agree with you. Another fly for me would have to be the Ausable Bomber, it would be a tough call though.
      Sam that would be a fun challenge...the soft-hackle vs. the Bomber.

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  8. Alan,
    Another beauty from your arsenal of deadly wet flies! It is great to see the very subtle differences that background (when dry) and water can have on what we perceive as a certain color or shade! Of course, our friends down under the water know this all too well! Your sample is top notch with the short, slender body, hackle length just right, and just a splash of peacock herl at the thorax! Very classic and very classy as well!
    Dougsden

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    Replies
    1. Dougsden
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      Doug it's so true the fish pick out those subtle changes. I like using starling. Most all of the feathers are the same size and that length is perfect for a size 14 fly. Starling also possess a iridescent sheen which helps in attracting trout. And peacock, well everyone knows what a great material that is. Put them all together and "fish on".

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