Purple & Starling Soft Hackle
The Purple and Starling Soft Hackle is a classic and timeless pattern that originated in the United Kingdom. It is typically tied in sizes 16 and 18, but we enjoy them in sizes 14 through 20.s This is a classic Spider Soft Hackle style fly from the time. The exact time and origin of its development are still being debated, but it is believed to have been developed in the late 1800s or early 1900s and has brought a great many fish to the net over that time.
Its name comes from the purple silk or floss thread used to tie the body of the fly, along with the starling feathers. The combination of these creates a fly that is very distinctive in its appearance that is attractive to both the angler and fish. It is a very effective searching attractor soft hackle pattern, that has stood the test of time.
Traditional Spiders and Soft Hackles were typically fished on a downstream presentational swing, that allowed the current to pulse the soft fibers of the hackle on the fly. This motion mimics the movement of insects in the water and is extremely effective in enticing fish to strike. We are noticing a resurgence in the use of patterns like this from anglers all over.
Purple & Starling Tying Video Tutorial
- Hook: Moonlit Premium Togatta ML102 sz14-20
- Thread: Semperfli Classic Waxed 12/0 Purple
- Thorax: Semperfli Super Fine Ice Green Peacock Dubbing
- Hackle: Starling
Fly Tying Step-by-Step Instruction
- Start by tying in the thread at the 3/4 mark in the front of the hook.
- Wrap the thread or dubbing back along the hook shank to just past the hook point and back forward to form the body, leaving some space at the front for the hackle (you can taper the body by going back and forth three times to taper the body naturally, but not necessary)
- Make a small thorax using dubbing or peacock herl to help flay out the hackle and aid in the movement.
- Tie in the starling feather by the tip, with the shiny side facing towards you.
- Wrap the feather around the hook shank, making 2-4 turns in front of the thorax.
- Tie off the feather and trim the excess.
- Whip finish the thread and trim and apply head cement.
The resulting fly should have a slim, tapered purple body with a sparse, natural-looking starling hackle that extends slightly past the body.