Small Flies, Good Ties

The Soft-Hackle Brassie by The W.F.F.

 This is tied on a size 20 curved nymph hook. The body is made of Chartreuse Ultra Wire but my twist here is that it isn’t attached to the hook shank by the conventional means of tying it in with thread and then working the wire forward over the thread. Using this method would create a situation where the bulk of tying the wire in results in a bump or imperfection in the wrapping of the wire.

To avoid this try this on for size: Take the bare hook and a section of wire (start with 6in. at first to get the hang of it) and start wrapping it on the hook as tightly and evenly as possible making a perfect sectioned body. Use your fingernails to push forward the wire to compress the wraps together against the hook eye. Once the wraps are formed you should see two ends of wire sticking out with the body between, place this body on the shank where you want it, making sure to leave enough shank before the eye for the rest of the fly. Now, take a small, very small drop of Zap-A-Gap and cover the wire gluing the wire section to the hook, use a bodkin for this delicate application (remember this is a size 20) and try to ensure that the entire body section gets alittle glue. Let this dry for a few moments, just long enough to sip your coffee in the morning. To remove the tag ends, lightly bend back and forth pulling on the wire at the same time to cause it to break right at the hook, this is neater than having to cut the wire with scissors. After this the body should be formed and attached to the hook, start thread and in this case I used one Partridge soft-hackle feather and fly tying thread to form the rest of the fly. I’m going to use this technique to form slim bodies for midge larva as well. I’m confident that this will work for sizes 20-24.

I left the hi-res photo in so you can really zoom in and see how neatly the bodies are formed. I’m proud of these simple but excellent looking flies. I’m tooting my own horn on this one! Note: If I’m taking credit for this when I should be giving credit let me know so that I can do so, but I did develop this entirely on my own at my bench.


  1. Nice tie, if you want to play with some other color combos try these
    Tying Video here.
    I need to redo the video to take into account some tweaks from the commercial tier who produces these for me. The two strands of wire are tied in at the tail (UTC 70 thread) underneath the hook shank. Gives a neater profile

    Mine are more traditional construction
    I was left wondering what you do with the wire ends at the hook bend, just glueing them down? Nice approach for smaller sizes.

  2. What I did with the wire at the hook bend was to use my bodkin very carefully to spread just a touch of glue to the last gap in the wire. After that I let it dry, pulled against the hook a few times and popped the tag off. It leaves almost no butt to the tag end and as long as the glue holds its not going anywhere.

    I think that your right, its probably more practical for smaller sizes, I used SM wire in black on a size 20,22 and got some excellent results with very slim bodies that are very uniform, and the smaller wire with the glue technique gives a unique look, very….larvalish.

    avatar winonaflyfactory

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