Tying in hackle that faces rearward can be a bit tricky at times, particularly if you’re using small hackle and small hooks. But, for some patterns—many small soft-hackle recipes come to mind immediately—this is a necessary step in tying the fly.
Above, Tim Flagler shares a great tip for crafting a tool that will do a great job folding your hackle back to so the tips face rearward and don’t stick up. The tool? An old guitar pick. Flagler simply cuts a triangle indentation in the tip of the pick, and then runs the hackle through that indentation.
Viola! A rearward facing hackle that’s ready to be tied in.