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The Herl Thing Fly Pattern

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:19 pm
by Karl Klavon
Here is an easy to tie and short materials list nymph fly pattern that I did well with last season in stillwater T-angling. For running water fishing, you might want to go to using a tungsten bead head instead of the nickle/brass variety.

Materials List
Hook...................Orvis AB. Tactical Jig Hook or UFMC 400BL, #14 hook
Bead...................7/64" or 2.8 mm DIA Black nickle or brass bead
Thread................WUT 70 denier FL-chartreuse Thread
Rib.......................Brassie sized natural colored copper wire
Tail.......................1.5 hook shank length section of Olive/Black Barred Ostrich Herl
Palmer Hackle.... A continuation of the Tail Herl
Collar Hackle...... A continuation of the Palmer Hackle Herl

Tying Instructions

1. Thread the bead on to the hook with the smaller hole facing the eye of the hook, and put the hook in your vise.
2. Tie in the thread right behind the bead.
3. Tie the rib wire in right behind the bead and bind the rib wire down on top of the hook shank back to the hook bend.
4. Tie the barred Ostrich herl in so it forms a 1.5 times the hook shank length tail, and then wind the thread tightly back up to the bead without tying the excess ostrich herl down.
5. Now, wrap the remaining ostrich herl once around the tail and then in evenly spaced wraps (palmer style) up to the thread waiting at the bead and tie it off.
6. Next, wrap an evenly spaced copper wire rib in between the palmer herl wraps, and tie it off at the back of the bead, helicopter winding the wire until it breaks out from under the securing thread wraps.
7. Now wrap the remaining ostrich herl back and forth to form a fatter thorax / collar / hackle and tie it off right behind the bead, while pulling and holding the waste back and out of the way while doing a 5-turn whip finish.
8. Now trim the excess herl away at the same height as the collar hackle, and then apply head cement to the back of the bead so it will run down and coat the thread Hot Spot in between the bead and the collar hackle with out being absorbed by the herl too much. Once the head cement drys, your fly is complete.

Re: The Herl Thing Fly Pattern

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:04 am
by Karl Klavon
Here is a picture and some additional information on another almost exclusive ostrich herl fly pattern, the most interesting characteristic of these flies is the tail wiggle and the body and hackle fiber motion in the water that drives the fish crazy. Here is the link:

Now, try and emagine that fly with only a single tail, the whole fly tied with only a single Barred Ostrich Herl, on the hook with a black bead head to look like an eye to the fish, and the fly riding in the water as the hook is pictured point up, for far fewer bottom snags while fishing:

And here is a link to a picture of and a source for the Barred Ostrich Herl that I use to tie the Herl Thing fly pattern with:

Re: The Herl Thing Fly Pattern

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:19 am
by Karl Klavon
Here is a tying tutorial video on tying a Micro-Leach pattern tied with Ostrich Herl that is very similar to the way The Herl Thing is tied:

Re:Finely-Barred Ostrich Herl Availability

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:05 am
by Karl Klavon
Unfortunately Hareline & Co. has decided to discontinue offering the Mini-Barred dyed Ostrich Herl Pieces, so when present stocks are all used up it will no longer be available. Lure Parts Online, Inc (Item Number OBP271) has limited supplies and colors marked down to $2.99 EA, if anyone is interested.

Of course, regular ostrich herl in any color you and the fish like will give exactly the same great wiggle action in the water, but it will not be quite as visually stimulating as the Grizzly finished ostrich herl is or was....Karl.