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Dry flies without hackle

Joined:
2012/12/9 15:03
From Lewistown, PA
Posts: 312
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Ok so I've been tying flies for a couple months now, and I've only tied a few dries. My problem is that I don't want to buy any hackle yet. It's really expensive! I thought about just getting a grizzly hackle and doing what I can with it, but I know I'll end up spending too much money, so until I start my new job in late august I'd like to do without.

So I'm looking for dry fly patterns that don't include hackle. I'm aware of comparaduns, foam beetles, and have tied a few basic ones.

I have a tuft of cdc that I'd like to use for dry flies too. Just not sure what patterns to include it in. I may try that cdc trico comparadun pattern that was posted in another thread.

And tips/suggestions would be great. I'd especially like to tie a dry ant pattern that actually floats. I was thinking foam and deer hair for extra float, but couldn't find a pattern like that, and couldn't seem to make it work.

Posted on: 2013/7/12 21:37


Re: Dry flies without hackle

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2007/3/29 7:56
From Bethlehem, PA
Posts: 278
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floating has a lot to do with materials used besides the hackle, and how you use them. Some synthetic dubbings don't absorb water as much as some natural furs. Stiff tailing fibers tend to support the fly in the surface tension better than soft ones, etc....i use a pattern during the sulpher hatch that has no wound hackle, just wing quill fibers tied in sort of a comparadun style. works great, but wont float forever either.

You are on the right track with the foam ant. deer hair is buoyant, but not near the tips, which are solid. on small flies, we usually end up just using the tips, and don't get much buoyancy. And for what its worth...sunken ants can be fantastic.

keep at it, and don't feel like you need 10 different hackles, a grizzly will be fine for whatever you want to tie.

Posted on: 2013/7/12 22:14
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Re: Dry flies without hackle

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2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
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Well first off - you don't need to spend a lot of money to get decent hackle. I've always bought #3 grade necks - and they work fine. Although they're price is up to around $40 now. Perhaps you could split one with a fly tying friend - or even buy a half neck.
Keep your eyes open too for used necks.
I got a great deal on four necks from a paflyfish member last summer - thanks again fox gap!
And if you want to get really cheap - you could probably still buy indian necks. I used a few when I first started tying - and the flies floated OK

As for flies without hackle, you pretty much answered your own question - comparaduns. I'm not crazy about them - but many other forum members swear by them. You can also tie traditional patterns without hackle, and still keep them riding on top if you use a good floatant. I always have a few hackle less sulphers for use on really picky fish.
I also never put hackle on my spinner patterns - just a tail, dubbed body, and poly or antron wings

You can also tie caddis patterns with just a dubbed body and deer hair on top for the wing.

I like deer hair ants and beetles (crowe). And they do float pretty well with a good floatant

Posted on: 2013/7/13 0:00


Re: Dry flies without hackle

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2006/9/11 13:33
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 3242
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Jeremy - Another good option is snowshoe rabbit.

A snowshoe rabbit's foot can be had for around 5 or 6 bucks, and will allow you to tie flies from tricos up to big stuff.

It takes floatant well, and is naturally bouyant. It's a great alternative to hackle.

If you can wait until one of the flyfishing shows in January or March, you can pay a visit to Charlie Collins. His hackle is very reasonably priced, and good quality.

Posted on: 2013/7/13 7:13
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Re: Dry flies without hackle

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2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
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You can spend the money on half necks or selected sizes and get the hackles you need for most dry flies without getting all the large feathers you won't use for dry flies at all. These assortments are still a bit pricey though.

Posted on: 2013/7/13 8:40
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Re: Dry flies without hackle

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2010/8/2 14:13
From Wayne County
Posts: 368
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Another no hackle fly that works nicely is the CDC and deer caddis.

Sooner or later you're probably going to want hackle anyway. Feather-craft (and probably others) sell rooster hackle for bigger(10,12,14) dry flies for about $18.

And there are starter sets available with more than one size and color.

I just picked up a Metz combo pack with 3 colors for small flies(16-24) for $40 at Cabelas. Probably enough to tie a couple hundred flies. There are different options available size and color wise.


Posted on: 2013/7/13 10:20


Re: Dry flies without hackle

Joined:
2010/4/18 14:05
From pennsylvania
Posts: 454
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Quote:

jeremymcon wrote:
...So I'm looking for dry fly patterns that don't include hackle...
...Just not sure what patterns to include it in...
...And tips/suggestions would be great.

Here are a few basic (and very easy to tie) patterns:
Sorry if this is too much stuff, and sorry for some of the picture quality.

Baetis TWE
Click to see original Image in a new window
Baetis CET
Click to see original Image in a new window
Baetis snowshoe dun
Click to see original Image in a new window
Baetis foam loop emerger
Click to see original Image in a new window
BlueQuill CDC tuft dun
Click to see original Image in a new window
Hendrickson CDC feather dun
Click to see original Image in a new window
MarchBrown CDC feather dun
Click to see original Image in a new window
Hendrickson Sparkledun
Click to see original Image in a new window
Adult CDC caddis
Click to see original Image in a new window
Midge foam post emerger
Click to see original Image in a new window
Quote:
I'd especially like to tie a dry ant pattern that actually floats. I was thinking foam and deer hair for extra float, but couldn't find a pattern like that, and couldn't seem to make it work.

Something like this maybe?
Click to see original Image in a new window
Or the flying ant?
Click to see original Image in a new window
Hope this helps

Posted on: 2013/7/13 11:00

Edited by gutcutter on 2013/7/13 11:36:52
Edited by gutcutter on 2013/7/13 11:38:12
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Re: Dry flies without hackle

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2012/12/9 15:03
From Lewistown, PA
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Thanks for those. I actually wish there was a little more info with those pictures. Also some of them didn't show up. Gives me a few ideas anyway. I like the flying ant with the poly wing.

Also thanks dryflyguy - i forgot about poly yarn! Duh. I could make spinners or other drys with poly yarn.

Posted on: 2013/7/13 11:16


Re: Dry flies without hackle
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March Browns and Hendricksons are over.

Posted on: 2013/7/13 13:21
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Re: Dry flies without hackle

Joined:
2009/7/18 13:57
From Armstrong County
Posts: 131
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When I first started tying I picked up a couple of these imported necks in badger and brown. The most expensive one runs $7 and some change.

http://www.jannsnetcraft.com/wet-dry-necks-hackle/620444.aspx


They're not the quality of the more expensive necks but they'll get you cutting your teeth on dry flies, the flies will float, and they will catch fish. I still use them from time to time on certain patterns and for the money I don't think they're a bad investment.

All of that being said, you will appreciate better quality hackle when you get it.


Posted on: 2013/7/14 8:38


Re: Dry flies without hackle

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2008/1/21 13:28
From South Central PA
Posts: 812
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CDC, graded deer and elk hair, polypro. Add dubbing and you can float all kinds of patterns reasonably well with any one or combination of these. They are in fact often superior catchers given the need to tie them fairly sparse in order for them to perform properly.

Search videos by Mcphail for CDC, Craig Mathews Sparkle Dun for hair, and reverse engineer guttcutter's patterns for poly pro. Another polypro pattern is the Rackelhannen which is easily searched--In black a simple terrestrial.

Posted on: 2013/7/14 9:28


Re: Dry flies without hackle

Joined:
2012/12/9 15:03
From Lewistown, PA
Posts: 312
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I like the Rackelhannen! Thanks for posting. I'm definitely going to go get a couple more colors of poly yarn. Also thanks for the link to the cheap hackles. I may try those too.

Posted on: 2013/7/14 12:17


Re: Dry flies without hackle

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2006/9/11 13:33
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 3242
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Here's a link to Loren Williams' website - there's several good no-hackle patterns, along with tutorials.

http://www.lorenwflyfishes.com/tutorials/dry-flies

My favorite dry fly is the cdc/elk. It's just deer hair, a cdc feather, thread, and a hook.


Posted on: 2013/7/14 14:22
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Re: Dry flies without hackle

Joined:
2012/12/9 15:03
From Lewistown, PA
Posts: 312
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I tied up a few cdc and elk (deer, actually - don't have any elk yet) and I think they look pretty good. I'll have to fish them sometime soon. Also tied a couple more comparaduns including some sparkle comparaduns. My poly yarn is on its way to me!

Posted on: 2013/7/15 7:26


Re: Dry flies without hackle

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2006/9/13 8:36
From SEPA
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x-caddis

Posted on: 2013/7/15 12:45
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