Partridge and Orange Flat Braid by Nicole March
Body: Lagartun Micro Flatbraid - Fluorescent Orange
Ribbing: Lagartun Fine Gold Wire (x-fine on smaller hooks)
Dubbing: Hare's Ear Plus Natural
Secure your hook in the vise, and start the thread one eye length behind the eye. Take thread wraps back towards the bend of the hook, stopping right above the hook barb.
Starting the body
Tie in a length of fine gold wire and orange flat braid, leaving the waste ends long. You will want to have a uniform underbody on this fly, so when tying in your material, don’t cut them short. Instead, leave the ends long and wrap over them with the thread. Wrap over them, up the shank until you reach the initial tie in point, and then stop. Doing this will ensure that you don’t have bumps that will show when the flat braid is wrapped over. Stop your thread one eye length behind the eye. This is where we will tie in the hackle.le.
Selecting your hackle
Select a lightly colored partridge feather from the skin, these will be found around the neck area on your bird. Measure the hackle so its fibers are 1 ½ times the width of the hook gap. Grasp your feather by the tip and stroke the rest of the fibers back. Don’t snip the tip off just yet, you will want it intact to secure it to the hook.
Securing your hackle
Hold your feather over the hook shank to get an idea on placement and then tie it in by the tip. The placement should leave enough room to dub, wrap the hackle and create a head. One eye length should do the trick here.
When you tie it in, be sure that the concave side of the feather is facing up. This will create the umbrella effect once the hackle is wrapped around the shank. Once you have the placement down, take a few wraps to secure the material and cut off the waste ends. Due to the larger size of the fly and the thickness of the diamond braid, I opt to cut the waste ends instead of running them under the braid. This creates less bulk in the finished product.
Creating the body
Next, we are going to counter wrap the flat braid and wire. Depending on your tying style, it may seem as if I am doing this backwards. I began tying in this manner when I would teach, as it would help beginners get a handle on keeping slippery material such as braid and floss from unwrapping as they began the second part of the pattern.
Once you have stopped your thread behind the eye and wrapped over the waste ends of the hackle; grab the length of flat braid between your fingers and bring it over the hook shank towards you, then under the shank away you; repeat. Continue in this manner all the way up the shank, to where your thread has stopped, carefully smoothing it out as you go; and tie then it off.
Tying your flat braid off
If you have trouble tying it off, remember that Since the first material is reversed; it means that the ‘normal’ way of taking a few turns of thread over the ends to secure it, won’t work. It will cause the material to unwind. What you want to do is to hold the material vertical and take your first wrap behind it. Next, pull the material back and take a wrap or two in front of it. You can now cut the material and wrap over the waste ends.
Wrapping your wire
Once you have the flat braid tied off, you can simply bring your wire forward as you normally do and tie it off. You will want 5 or 6 evenly spaced wraps, but now you don’t have to fuss with it; since the counter wrapped material was secured first.
Dubbing and Hackle
With all the other materials in place, you can now create a thin dubbing noodle, and dub your thorax.
Wrapping the Hackle Collar
With the thorax dubbed, bring your thread to the front of your hackle. Grasp your hackle stem with hackle pliers, and begin taking wraps around the front of the dubbing. Be sure to use your fingers to brush back the fibers with each turn so that you don’t create bulk behind the eye. Take 2 or 3 sparse wraps and tie your material off. Snip the excess waste, create your head and whip finish. You can now add a little head cement to your finished fly.
These are a great addition to your soft hackle box. I like to fish these in low light conditions on the swing and as an top dropper to a heavy nymph.
And be sure to pick up the same size braid in a peacock green!