Whiskey Creek Fly Fishing

Thoughts on fly fishing and fly tying

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Pain in the butt avoided

April 20th, 2009 · 3 Comments

I tied a bunch of para-hoppers a while back. This is a good, low floating hopper pattern, which is essentially adding turkey for the wing and knotted pheasant tail for the legs to a standard parachute dry fly pattern.

Biggest pain the butt is knotting the legs.  I tried all the documented methods, but my finger dexterity just couldn’t get-er-done, until I settled on the following method. First, cut the fibers off the pheasant tail stem, then align the tips of the fibers. Use the larger butt-end of the fibers to make an overhand knot.

I just couldn’t get the hang of using hackle pliers, crochet tool, or hemostats to knot the legs on the stem.  Tying tip for today, don’t hack at it. just buy the legs pre-knotted.  For not much more money than the pheasant tail itself, you can buy pheasant tails, where someone with more dexterity pre-knotted the legs for you:

One such source is Riverwood Flies online.

Tags: Fly Tying

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Anthony Naples // Apr 20, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    I hear you about the dexterity thing. For the number of times I’ve tried making those legs, I’ve never gotten very good at it either.

    I’ll have to give those pre-knotted a try.

  • 2 Ray Found // Apr 20, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    I’ve been thinking about trying some of these before summer hits.

    What do you think about Rubber silly-legs instead of the knotted PT?

  • 3 WhiskeyCreek // Apr 20, 2009 at 10:05 pm


    Rubber legs would work great and be a lot easier. You can knot the rubber, then set the knot with a drop of head cement/zap-a-gap.

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