The February Red soft-hackle fly that I found in the pages of Dave Hughes book "Wet Flies". This pattern has been in my box for quite a few years and that is because it produces. It's a simple pattern requiring few materials which are red silk, hares mask, and a grouse feather. The grouse feathers come from the wing. As seen in the photo the feathers seem to be quit nice and to be honest they usually are. There are times when these feathers are deformed, broken and lacking that nice mottled look. Some examples of these feathers are below.
Here are two wonderful feathers. As you can see they are uniform in their shape and while one possess a more mottled effect the other is perfectly acceptable. These feathers will wind on almost perfectly to create a lovely hackle presentation.
These are also feathers from the wing that are not the best. You see imperfect shape and broken tips. These feathers will not work well as they are. Do I throw them away, no I save them and I have found use for them...
The February Red soft-hackle fly. As you can see the best feather makes for a nicely shaped fly.
...now for those broken misshaped feathers. I take and select the better side. Then I'll strip the broken fibers from the stem and create a usable feather for tying.
I trim the tip so as to be able to tie it in. I'll take one and a half to two turns of the feather to create a very nice spider.
The February Red spider.
And yes the February Red fly works well in November, as it does in every month. This fellow took the fly as it was swinging through a pool.