The Gray Hackle Yellow is another soft hackle fly and a very old one. Some people say as old as 300 years. However, it might not have been in the exact form as the one tied in the video. In doing some research about this fly in preparation for the video as well as this post I discovered many different flies called “Gray Hackle Yellow”. There were three common elements to most of them. There was some sort of yellow body, a rib and a palmered hackle collar. However, from there they change from soft hackle flies to wet flies, to streamers and even dry flies. I encourage you to do a search on the internet and just look at images and you will be surprised at the number of variations of this fly. Often, patterns are taught from one generation to the next and many in the next generation simply learn “how it was taught” to the older generation. As well as, a tier makes a modification that works for them and teaches it and now it is known to be tied “just that way”. Nothing wrong with that. It is actually refreshing to see so many variations people have come up with in order to meet their needs. In the video I mention two books that I have that list the Gray Hackle Yellow. Patent Patterns by Jim Schollmeyer has the fly as being tied with a wool and floss body, ribbed with oval tinsel and tied with a grizzly hackle. The Fly Patterns of Umpqua Feather Merchants by Randall Kaufmann have it tied with a floss body, mylar rib, grizzly hackle collar and a red hackle fiber tail. I bring it up mostly to point out that even though a pattern has been around for many years or even a few months there are always ways to tie it to suit different fishing conditions (or available materials). By the way, those two books can be acquired on Amazon for about 40 – 50% below what they were listed for when published. Great books to have in your library. The links above are affiliate links just so you know.
It is not a difficult fly to tie. I found the most problematic step was wrapping in the tag and getting it wrapped so no thread was showing through. This was a task for me for two reasons. One, it is awfully thin tinsel on a smallish hook. Two, my old(er) eyes are just having a difficult time seeing when the mylar doesn’t quite cover all the thread. This usually means it is time for a check up with my eye doctor. Otherwise, the fly is straight forward. There is one little addition that is often used in wet flies. It is called the “keeper” and I will let you watch the video to find out what it is and what it does. This is also another fly I plan on tying at the Tie-A-Thon I will be attending in Elkhart Indiana in May. I have added information in that last two videos (Partridge & Yellow and Black Midge) and here is a link to a PDF that has all the information in case you want to attend or donate flies. Look for a more in depth article in the coming days about this event and why they are a lot of fun to attend. That’s all for now, Enjoy.
|Mustad 3906, 3906b or 3399, #10 – #16
|Uni-Thread 8/0, White & Uni-Thread 8/0, Black
|Tag & Rib:
|Danville Gold Mylar Tinsel, #16/18
|Danville 4-Strand Rayon Floss, Yellow
|Hen Hackle, Gray
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If you would like to purchase some Gray Hackle Yellow soft hackle flies there are a number for sale (while supplies last).
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As always, if you have any questions about this fly (or any other) you can leave a comment on Dressed Irons or any of the videos I have produced and I will help in anyway I can. Enjoy!
Remember….. It’s Fly tying….. If you’re not having fun, You’re Doin’ It Wrong.