Quick Tip for Tying Hackle
I 'discovered' this while tying some purple rubberleg stims last week. I'm sure someone else already discovered this, but I thought I'd share.
A problem I've always had with tying hackle near the hookeye was that some of the hackle would always end up across the hookeye, which could make threading on the water difficult. I tried a number of methods to keep wayward hackle from crossing the hookeye and would spend some time on each fly to trim away whatever obscured the eye, making for tedious, time-consuming work on each fly. Also, trying to hold everything back with my fingers often resulted in crushed hackle.
The last week while tying up some purple stims, I was watching a little tv while waiting for some cement to dry and my attention was caught by my drink. I was having a protein/fiber shake and using a straw, as the stuff tends to congeal on the bottom of the cup; the straw allows me to stir that up.
Anyway,a light bulb went off in my braincase. Taking my scissors, I snipped off the top two inches of the straw. Then I cut a slit down one side and slipped this 'hackle/leg holder' over the front of my fly, allowing my standing thread and hackle end to slip along the slit. It held all the hackle and the rubber legs back in one fell swoop. Trim away the hackle end and whipfinish, dab of cement and voila. Slip the straw off the back, set fly aside to dry.
Like I said, someone else probably already thought of this, so I don't want to take credit for invention, but I thought it was a great little trick and wanted to share in case there were others like myself who were having the same problems with tying hackle close to the eye.
"Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark