What You’ll Need

Hook

Mustad Signature R50, size 6-8

Thread

Uni-thread 6/0 (black)

Body

Foam with adhesive sticky side (2mm)

Hackle

Whiting hackle (only) Grizzly

Step 1

Cut a piece of the foam to measure just shy of the straight part of the hook shank on both ends. This way you can build a taper on both ends for the hackle to be tied in and the eye not to be crowded.

Step 2

Start the thread at the front and tie down the foam winding to the bend. Make close wraps to keep a smooth foundation. If you don’t have a smooth base your hackle will find its own grooves to slide into instead of even segmentations as you wind the hackle up.

Step 3

You should have a nice tapered slope at the back before you tie in the hackle.

Step 4

Grab two of the same hackles and splay them out. The reason for this is one will wrap one direction and the other one the opposite direction. Make sure you select the right size hackle for the hook you’re tying it on. The rule of thumb on this patterns is for the hackle to be longer, twice as long as the hook gap.

Step 5

Separate the hackle at the tips. These hackles get larger fairly quick so make sure you think about that as you’re gagging the right size hackle

Step 6

Tie the hackle in right where you separated them. Tie them together and make sure the hackles are splayed out (think about legs kicking out). Tie down the tips instead of cutting them off. That way they won’t slip out when you wind them forward. This is also when you’ll want to tie the foam down as you advance the thread back up to the eye.

Step 7

The first feather should be wrapped up opposite of counter clock wise. This will help the barbs stick out instead of getting smashed down. I have found that if you tie the first feather going counter clock wise you’ll tie down more of the barbs when you tie the second feather and it won’t look right.

Step 8

Wrap the next feather going counter clock wise. If you find yourself smashing down the barbs down then tweak it as you wind it forward (trying to keep as many barbs sticking up). Go slow and it will work better.

Step 9

Trim off the excess and whip finish the fly. Now grab some type of bodkin (I use the end of the whip finisher, the pointed side you grab the thread with) and pull out any barbs you see that you can get to stick back out. The matarelli whips have a nice point that can be used as a bodkin to pick out dubbing etc. Glue the eye and it’s a finish fly.