Illawarra Flyfishers Club

Fore 'n Aft Variant


Text and Photos by Ron Williams

Hook Dry Fly or similar #16-22
Thread Black 8/0 Uni-Thread
Body Quill of black hackle (stripped)
Front hackle Grizzly
Rear hackle Black

Tying Procedure

1/ Tie in the thread just behind the eye and wind a base of thread to a point above the barb of the hook. Once there tie in the Grizzle hackle and secure it to the hook. Once it's in remove any excess by trimming with your scissors. 

2/ Now take a black hackle feather, preferably one that is no good for tying or the remnants of one that you have used in a previous fly and strip it of all fibres. You want a bare stem/quill. Some people like to treat the quill to make it easier to wrap and avoid splitting. I don't usually bother. 

3/ Wind the grizzle hackle around the hook and build up a small hackled area. Wind forward and tie off with a few tight wraps of thread. Now trim any excess.

4/ Now you are ready to wrap the body. Move the thread to just behind the hook eye making sure that you leave enough room to tie in the second hackle. Then wrap the quill around the hook shank being careful not to split it. Each turn should be just in front of the previous to get a nice even body. Tie off and trim any excess. 

5/ Next select a suitable hackle from your black cape. Tie it in, try and minimise the amount of wraps needed to get the job done. This should always be a priority, trying to minimise the amount of thread wraps as it gets you in the good habit of minimising bulk. "three tight turns are better than six soft ones".

6/ Wind your black hackle. The proportions of the front hackle here is more what the fly calls for and ideally the rear would be similarly sized. Tie the hackle off when you reach the hook eye and trim the excess feather. 

7/ Whip finish and varnish.