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No Hackle Dries

The Usual-Designed by Fran Betters

Hook:    Daiichi 1170 or 1190 #12-#16
Thread: MFC 8/0 or UTC 70 Color to Compliment Body
Tail:      Snow Rabbit Feet Fur, Color to Match Naturals
Body:    Snow Rabbit Feet Fur, Color to Match Naturals
Wing:    Snow Rabbit Feet Fur, Color to Match Naturals

Most dry fly patterns feature a stiff sturdy hackle to help support the fly on the water’s surface.  Patterns such as the Adams and the Humpy are common residents in most fly boxes.  Traditional dry flies such as the Adams require expensive, sometimes hard to find, high quality hackle and are proportionally demanding.  If the hackle is not the right size or quality the fly will not float properly resulting in refusals from selective trout.  There are also situations where a fly such as an Adams may not be the wisest choice due to how it sits on the water.  Slow moving creeks, pools, glides and lakes are locations where trout often ruthlessly critique your fly.  A parachute and thorax style pattern use their hackle in such a way that it still maintains buoyancy but also provides the low riding footprint trout inspecting below want to see.  But like the Adams, parachute and thorax patterns still demand quality hackle and proportional discipline.  Simple no hackle flies offer arguably the most realistic profile. Breaking away from traditional hackled flies offers picky trout an alternative look that they often take without hesitation. When prospecting for trout in calm, slow moving or still water no hackle dries are tough to beat. 

The late Fran Betters knew the value of no hackle patterns, as they proved deadly on his local waters in the Adirondack region of New York.  Fran’s no hackle approach with his Haystack was unique in a region dominated by traditional Catskill dries. Like the Haystack, the Usual was another time tested Fran Betters design, a pattern that has become popular across North America and has even been seen on European shores.  Using only one material, Snowshoe Rabbit fur the Usual is simple to tie and buoyant.

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