I’ve learned a lot about fly tying over the last few years, thanks to Tim Flagler’s tying videos, and his “One-minute Fly Tying Tips and Techniques” videos he does through Orvis. The latter series is particularly helpful for beginning fly tiers who might need some help understanding certain aspects of the craft, like stacking hair, for instance.
His latest video gives new tiers (and old ones, too) a very basic primer on dry-fly hackle, where it comes from on the rooster or the hen, and how to make the best use of it for different flies.
The differences between capes and saddles is perfectly explained, as is the use of hen capes for soft-hackle wet flies and the like. Knowing where on the bird each feather originates might seem like a dive into the fly-tying weeds, but, in truth, it’s good to know what you’re dealing with when you’re standing at the fly shop mulling a significant purchase, and it’s even better to know what you’ll need for the flies you’re hoping to tie.
The more you know, the better.
— Chris Hunt