Jan's Flies

When learning to tie flies one of the methods that gave me great trouble was posts for dry flies. Most experienced tyers find the method quite easy, but if a learner tyer has not been shown how, like many other techniques, it can create big problems. I am often asked how to tie "posts" and what materials should be used.

The materials that can be used for "posts" are numerous - including; a bunch of hackle fibres, calf tail, deer hair, synthetics and more.
Texas whitetail deer hair and hi-vis are two materials that I frequently use. A lot of flies are tied with white posts, but sometimes a different wing colour is required.
Posts serve two main functions; firstly they make a solid foundation to wind the hackle around for parachute flies and secondly it makes the fly a lot easier to see - especially white posts.

Light gauge hooks are normally used for dry flies with "posts'.
  • A; wind thread half way along shank as the thread will make a much firmer foundation to place the material on to.
  • B; take thread half way back over the first layer towards the eye
  • C; cut the post material and place on top of the hook shank and tie in. Cut the material at a forward sloping angle to the shank as this gives the fly a nicely tapered shape. This section of the fly must be tied down tightly.

  • Bind all the base of the post to the hook.
  • Now bring the thread back to the post base. The post will be laying forwards over the eye of the hook. With your fingers hold the post upright and bring the thread in front of the post. Build a small ball of thread immediately in front of the post. This will hold the material upright and keep the body nicely shaped. It is very important to maintain a good body shape - especially in this thorax area as this will also help the hackle sit nicely.

  • Take the thread around the base of the post.
  • Make three turn around the post, starting at the bottom and progressing towards the tip.
  • Keeping the wraps quite firm return the thread back over the previous wraps to the base. A drop of varnish here also helps to keep everything in place.

From this point continue to tie whatever fly takes your fancy taking the thread back to the bend and tie in the tail etc.

Parachute Black Spinner
  • Tie in post as explained above.
  • Tie in three micro-fibetts for tail - ensuring they are spread nicely.
  • Place in a very light copper wire for the rib.
  • With some black seals fur dub in a fine tapered body finishing at the post.
  • Bring rib forward to the post, tie in and cut off excess.
  • Tie in one black hackle, behind the post and take thread to the front of the post.
  • Tie in a fine peacock herl and form a neat head section in between the post and the eye. This helps to keep the body in perspective.
  • With the hackle already tied in take four turns. Each turn of the hackle should be wound UNDER the previous turn. This stops crushing the hackle and also make sure each wrap is done firmly. Bring hackle tip over the eye of the hook where the thread should be hanging.
  • Gently hold the hackle barbs back to avoid crushing them with the thread. Tie down tip and clip away excess.
  • Whip finish and varnish head. Now put a drop of varnish on the base of the post just on top of the hackle.

Single Post Red Tag
A great fly made even better. This is a great fly for streams where a white post improves the visibility enormously - especially when your fly is drifting in and out of the shadows. Follow the instructions above for the post - otherwise it is just a normal red tag.

Merry Christmas and good fishing over the break.
Jan Spencer     
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