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Neil Norman

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Breaking Off
It was good run. If I had had the wherewithal to continue posting through January 2018,  Soft Hackles, Tight Lines  would have been in operation for four-and-a-half years. My first posting was 3 June 2013. On the whole, the blog has included 110 posts with ...

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Black Spider
The variation of the Black Spider substitutes embroidery floss for the body Hook: 12-20 Thread: Black Rib: Abdomen floss Abdomen: Embroidery thread - DMC 938 dark coffee brown or,
better still, silk buttonhole twist – Coats & Clark’s 56-B dark chocolate

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Doctor Lyte Palmer
Rather than using “dingy-orange worsted wool” for the body, this dressing uses orange hare’s mask to give the body a slightly scragglier look. It also substitutes a ginger hackles for honey dun and a braided tinsel that seats more deeply and securely in the...

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Small Ant; and, Black Ant; etc.
This dressing for T. E. Pritt's Small Ant Fly, No. 58, substitutes a reddish-brown hen for the tomtit's tail Pritt recommends. Hook: 12-18 Thread: Orange Body: Peacock herl, tied large fore and aft Hackle: Reddish-brown (furnace) hen with a black list Ant p...

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The Breadcrust
The Breadcrust is not properly a soft-hackled fly: anglers have always considered it a nymph and have tied it to represent a cased caddis larva. The fly does not adhere strictly to definition of a soft hackle I have assumed for the blog, since the quill bod...

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Thornfly Dun; Landrail Dun; Dark and Light Sedge; or, Silverhorns
This dressing substitutes American woodcock undercovert for landrail undercovert. It is dressed more heavily to align it with William Blacker's Red Palmer Fly, which T. E. Pritt lists as a precedent. It finishes the fly in front of the head rather than behi...

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Stone Fly; Stone Flye or Flie; and, the Montana Stonefly
This dressing of the Stone Fly that Richard Bowlker describes in  The Art of Angling  (1757) departs from the general rule of the blog and uses a size 10 hook instead of a size 14. It also substitutes a blend of beaver fur and golden stonefly antron dubbed ...

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Pheasant Tail; or, Endrick Spider
Hook: 14-20 Thread: Olive Tail: 2-3 coppery pheasant tail points Rib: Fine copper wire Body: Coppery pheasant tail Hackle: Brown or grey partridge In  The Soft-Hackled Fly  (1975),
Sylvester Nemes notes that the Pheasant Tail “is very common in England

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March Brown - Spider, Nymph (or Flymph), and Moorish Brown
Sylvester Nemes's March Brown Spider. Hook: 10-14 Body: Mixed hair from hare’s face Rib: Narrow gold Hackle: Brown partridge Tying Silk: Orange In the Soft-Hackled
Fly (1975), Sylvester Nemes provides a dressing for a simple March Brown
Spider that Dave...

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Yaller Hammer; Yallerhammer; or Yellow Hammer
The origins of the Yallerhammer are so obscure
they will likely never be known, yet few flies exemplify the heritage of Southern angling more. The Southern angler will insist that
the Yallerhammer sprang from the rustic fly boxes of Appalachia  sui
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