Tag Archives: Soft Hackle

Black Gnat Soft Hackle

From my own vise. Another use for starling. Look for an iridescent feather to suit the size of the hook. Black Gnats in all their incarnations have been decent flies for me on many small creeks. Soft hackles are great to fish as emerging bugs, floating just under the surface, hackle swept back trapping tiny pockets of air around the body of the fly. The trapped air can represent trapped gases on the natural insect. I’ve also tied this on a curved scud / wet fly hook.

Black Gnat Soft Hackle Fly

Hook: Standard curved scud hook 12-18
Thread: Red 8/0
Hackle: Irredescent Starling
Body: black dubbing dubbed onto the thread finely
Ribbing: Pearl Crystal Flash


Tying with Starling

I received a brand new starling skin in the mail a couple weeks back (Thanks Kerry, I owe you), but I’ve yet to find a quiet moment to start experimenting. I did find a nice blog with a good selection of starling hackled flies. So it looks like I’ll be breaking into that skin and the Golden Plover I managed to grab off my buddy AL. The boxes from last year are all still looking quite empty, ad these would fit the bill for a few spaces at least. We have about 20 of these introduced European Starling calling my backyard home at the moment, and I’ve seen some impressive flocks of at least 1,000 birds occupying the fields around here. If the flies start working well, they ad better be on guard.

Check out the offerings tied up at The Fly Fisherman’s Cafe

Starling and Red