On My Vise: Isonychia Soft Hackle

The Isonychia soft hackle is an excellent pattern to fish during an Iso hatch, and for me it’s a pattern that I will swing, even through rising fish.For those of you in our New City group, This was one of the patterns that we discussed and tied during our meeting on July 26, 2016.

Isonychia Soft Hackle
Isonychia Soft Hackle

Isonychia soft hackle

Hook: standard wet fly hook

Thread: black

Tailing and hackle: Whiting’s Hebert Miner Wet Fly Hackle in Wild type Brown.

Dubbing: A mix of red and brown SLF squirrel dubbing as well as guard hairs taken off of a squirrel skin.

Stripe: doubled over white thread or one strand of thicker thread or embroidery floss

Ribbing: Gold Wire


If you are looking for a substitute for the wild type brown, please see the post here.

Tie in Tailing

Load your bobbin, Secure your hook in the vise and start your thread. Run the thread down the hook shank to the base and Tie in your tailing

(If you are following along from our PHWFF group in New City, or just Need a little extra help; click the highlighted links to certain techniques and it will open in a new window)

Tying in thread stripeie in your white thread at the base of the tail

With the tailing in place, tie in your white thread at the base of the shank.

Tie in wire and stripe material

Tie in your gold wire at the base of the shank as well, to the side of the white thread.

Mixing the dubbing:

Next up is dubbing and SLF squirrel has got to be my favorite. What I do for this pattern is I take a mixture of red and dark brown SLF and I mix them together. I then snip a patch of guard hairs off of a full squirrel skin and mix them in.

This will give you a good reddish-brown mix but be sure to adjust this based on the Isonychias in your area because colors always vary.

Dubbing the body:

The dubbing noodle

Using your dubbing, create a dubbing noodle.

Dub forward

Start dubbing your hook shank, stopping about 1/4 of the way behind the eye, ensuring that you leave enough room to tie in and wrap the hackle.

Once you have dubbed the body it’s now time to create the visible stripe that goes along an Isonychias natural nymph body and rib it with wire . You will do this by Bringing the white thread forward, then using your finger nail it to hold it down as you tie it in with a wrap.

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Creating the hackle collar

Now its time to select, prepare and tie in your hackle.

Once your hackle is wrapped, you can whip finish and your fly is complete!

A few turns and your done!

That’s it! I hope this pattern brings you luck! I like to fish this one on an upstream cast and then a lift at the end of your swing.

If they are taking them on top as well, feel free to add some dry fly floatant to these and fish them right in the film. It has caught many trout for me that way.

Idle Hands: RV throw pillows

Throw Pillows

Sometimes you just can’t pass up a good fabric stash to quilt some throw pillows for the RV!

A small collection of quilted pillows for my RV

“Fly Tying 101” Starting the thread

We all have to being somewhere, and all of your flies will more than likely begin, with thread.

Secure the hook in the vise before beginning.

The first thing you want to do is make sure your hook is secured in your vise before tying on your thread. Once your hook is secured in the vise and your bobbin is loaded with thread, you can begin.

Positioning your hands

First you will hold your bobbin in your tying hand, and hold the end of the thread in your other
First, hold your bobbin in your tying hand, and hold the end of the thread in the other.

T0 position your hands, hold the bobbin in your tying hand, then grasp the end of the thread in your ‘non tying’ hand.

Move your ‘non tying’ hand holding the thread, in front of you , slightly angled towards the hook point.

Begin the thread a little ways behind the eye

Hold onto that thread and bring your bobbin over the hook shank and then back under. That’s your first wrap! Do it again, and after two or three wraps your hook should look like above. You can now snip off that piece of thread you were holding, and take a wrap or two to cover the waste ends.

Keep in mind this is practice, and different patterns will have you start and stop your thread at different points.

This step is complete! Continue with your pattern from here.

“Fly tying 101” – Measuring and securing soft tailing material

Measuring and securing soft tailing

When it comes to tailing material, its all dependent on what you will be tying as your tailing material will be totally different. Some patterns call for a soft hackle like seen here, others use stiff barbules from a dry fly feather and others may call for microfibetts.

In this post we will

Here I will demonstrate how to measure and tie in tailing material from a hen neck or a soft hackle skin. This tailing material is used in my Isonychia Soft Hackle pattern found here.

If you are following from our PHWFF New City Group, this was one of the patterns we tied on July 27th, 2016 and a step by step can be found there.

A Hebert Miner Wet Fly Saddle in While Type Brown

When I am tying in soft hackle material for tailing I like to choose a feather that looks a little beat up. (In other words I may not use it for wrapping as a collar since its all beat up, but it will be perfect for a tail) Sometimes I will even select one from the back side of the cape since the fibers are longer.

A longer feather from the backside(underside) makes for nice tailing

Tying in your tailing

Stop the thread across from the barb.

Once you haveloaded your bobbin you can start your thread behind the eye and run it all the way back towards the bend before stopping across from the hook barb.

A closeup of a feather before I remove a pinch for tailing
A closeup of a feather before I remove a pinch for tailing

Take the feather in which you will be using for tailing and hold it by the tip and brush those fibers down with your fingers towards the stem. It should look something like the photo above.

Now grab a pinch from one side and pull it free from the stem.

“How long should my tailing be?”

Different patterns call for different length tailing, but rule of thumb when you aren’t sure; is to hold your tailing over the hook shank and measure it somewhere around 3/4 to one hook shank in length.


Measuring the tail

You can do this by holding your tailing over the hook shank. Position your fingers so that they are over the hook eye to get a grip on it so that you can eye ball the measurement. Once you have it measured, switch hands so that you are grasping it with your “non tying” hand and move the tailing over the bank of the shank. You will want to tie it in where your bobbin is hanging so position the tie in point there.

One or two wraps are all you need to hold it in place so you can make sure it’s positioned correctly. (Don’t worry if the material accidentally wraps around the hook, that just means your pinch wrap wasn’t secure enough. Either re-position it or remove the tailing and try again) Its not a big deal as it happens to all of us!

Once its positioned correctly, wrap forward towards the hook eye to cover the waste ends.

Ready for the next step

Depending on where you are next in your pattern stop the thread at the designated area and continue with your next step.

I Hope this has helped answer your questions, and as always; please contact me with anythings else you’d like me to elaborate on.

In the Kitchen: Jalapeño Cornbread

Jalapeno Cornbread

Jalapeño Cornbread:

I don’t know where this recipe originally came from it was given to me by a friend but it is a really great cornbread recipe. Especially if you’re making tacos,quesadillas or even just some pork ribs. It doesn’t dry out like some cornbread recipes do and The green chiles give it a smokier flavor than the original jalapeños. 


-3 eggs

– 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

-1 can of creamed corn

-1small can of mild diced green chiles

-1/2 cup of sour cream

-1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese

-1/2 cup of frozen corn (this will add more texture to the cornbread)

-2 boxes jiffy cornbread mix

1. Combine all ingredients (except for the cornbread Jiffy mix) in a large bowl

2.Once those ingredients are mixed add two packages of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. Remember this is in a cake it’s cornbread so don’t over-mix the batter or it won’t taste right. Just combine it enough that its mixed together and looks like the photo below.

Transfer the batter to a 13″ x 9″ baking dish, and coat the dish with cooking spray first.
Transfer the batter to a 13″ x 9″ baking dish, and coat the dish with cooking spray first.

Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes (some ovens need longer) and bake it until a knife comes out clean in the center.  The knife doesn’t need to be bone dry but should be pretty clean. Let cool and cut into squares.


A great side dish to go with many meals.
A great side dish to go with many meals.



I am by no means a master chef, and by using this recipe you agree that I will not be held responsible for your lack of cooking skills, cooking with expired food, broken cooking thermometers, pets running around and unplugging slow cookers, electrical fires due to shoddy wiring in your home, power outages from the wrath of mother nature or any other issues that arise on your end from an attempt at recreating any recipes from this blog.

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