10-Minute Ties

10-Minute Ties

Soft Hackle Little Yellow Stone

  • By: A. K. Best

I suspect this is the same fly that is often referred to as the Yellow Sally that are prominent on some Western rivers. It's a pretty small fly, often tied on a size 18 or even size 20 hook, and most of the imitations we see are dryfly versions that look a lot like a yellow Elkhair Caddis.

I discovered how effective this soft-hackle pattern can be while fishing a parachute-hackle, delta-wing pattern of this fly with good success on the Frying Pan River when a gust of wind hung my last one in a tree. I snapped off the fly and headed across the stream to take a break. As I was crossing, I noticed quite a few crumpled yellow stoneflies drifting downstream and trout rising to them. The long white legs of the bugs were tangled around their bodies, making their nearly clear white wings just about invisible. I went back to my truck, opened my fly-tying kit and created a fly that is easier to tie and just as effective as the original parachute pattern. To fish this pattern, carefully apply a good-quality flotant and fish it as a dry fly.

Hook: Mustad 94840 (or equivalent) size 18 or 20
Thread: Danville #8 Yellow 6/0
Tail: None
Body: Fine pale yellow dryfly dubbing
Hackle: Two turns of large white hen hackle
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  1. Put the hook in the vise, attach the thread about two hook-eye spaces behind the eye, wind to the rear of the hook shank and clip off the tag.
  2. Dub a thin but firm body up to the thread starting point.
  3. Select a feather from the butt of a white hen neck whose fibers are about 3/4-inch-long. Trim the fuzzy fibers away and tie the butt of the feather onto the hook with the shiny side forward immediately in front of the shoulder of the fly.
  4. Wind the feather forward only two turns, tie off the tip on top of the hook, trim away the tip, whip finish and apply a tiny drop of head lacquer to the thread wraps only.