Those who checked out the October Flame caddis pattern of my last post probably noted that it is constructed as a traditional hairwing wetfly, a type most often reserved for salmon & seatrout, yet in my own experience, also effective in sizes suitable for trouting. Here’s one of the attractor-style hairwings I like for fishing the water on freestone streams. This type works well swung & can be effective on water where larger streamers won’t produce. Depending on color choices, the basic pattern lends itself to two distinct modes: creating fanciful lures; & simulating winged emergers or drowned adults of specific insects. I like this style & give it a lot of play. Hairwings are built on the solid principles of the soft-hackle approach: natural materials, movement, enticing ambiguity (obfuscation) as prescribed by James Leisenring, who, incidentally, in addition to the flymphs, packed a few hairwing wets himself. Though synthetic material might be used or incorporated as a topping, I still prefer natural fur for its taper, spine & action when wet, as well as the nuanced coloration it affords. Nature still does it better. Bucktail, squirrel tail & calf tail are indispensable basics, natural & dyed. Rabbit, skunk, raccoon, fox, mink, bear, angora & long, coarse underfur are also useful. A clipping from the kitty’s tail?… Well. Be gentle.
Over the next few posts I’ll run a series, of sorts, of hairwing wetflies tied for trout.
Hook: #8-#12 TMC 200R
Thread: Yellow UNI 8/0
Tail: Golden pheasant crest feather
Butt: Yellow floss
Body: Green tinsel - wind a short thorax or ball of yellow dubbing before tying in the wing
Wing: Yellow calf tail topped with olive bucktail
Hackle: Olive grizzly hen
Flyfish NE Washington with Steven Bird: http://ucflyfishing.blogspot.com