The above fly is the standard wet fly imitation. Sometimes, depending upon what is being imitated (mayfly or caddis) there is a tail. Above, of note, is the peacock herl thorax. Note how it pushes outward the barbs of the wound hen hackle. Theoretically, this allows the feather to pulse away from the sides of the body suggesting life. I can’t swear to this, but is make sense.

Now, below is a similarly purposed fly with tail and a wing. What I like about this fly (suitable for streams or stillwaters) is the filoplume material at the base of the quill. This portion is often discarded after plucking away the top portion to wrap a wing (like the above fly’s wing).


It is fascinating to look at this fly and see what was not evident with the naked eye….the wire ribbing was snipped off flush (so I thought). There it is…protruding from beneath the thread head. It won’t hurt the effectiveness of the fly or its durability…but aesthetically that is quite unsettling to some. Maybe I need to wear those big goggles to better focus on minute details.

So, you see the filoplume feathers tied in for the tail and wing on this size 14 hook. It is like miniature marabou and a wonderful material to utilize in tails and wings on small flies ( a great tail on a truly mini-bugger). Below is a portion of a hen saddle hackle.

Hen Saddle Hackle


This is the individual feather.IMG_1512x

The top is usually used for a wing

and the bottom portion once plucked

away discarded. Use the fluffy barbs at

the base of the feather for tails & wings.

To the right is a pinch of plumes from the

feather on the left.