Campeche Tarpon

April 2019

Patagonia Rainbow

January 2020

Florida Largemouth Bass

April 2020

Partridge and Orange

The Partridge and Orange is “Spider” or soft-hackle pattern that originated more than 400 years ago in the North Country of England. It may be fished alone or as a dropper below a dry pattern across to drift downstream. It often is during the rise upward at the end of a drift when it is most attractive to fish. The pattern is intended to imitate immature life forms of mayflies and caddisflies that are emerging to the surface to molt as adults. Although the pattern was originally fished for brown trout and grayling in waters of the United Kingdom, the Partridge and Orange is a very good pattern for taking bluegill and other southern species of bream in the lakes and streams of the Big Bend. The pattern may be tied in other colors (i.e. green, yellow, purple, etc.) and Whiting Farms hen Coq-de- Leon saddle or cape may be substituted for Hungarian partridge.

  • Hook: Daiichi 1550, Size 10-14
  • Thread: Black Danville 6/0 or Gudebrod 8/0, or Color to Match Floss
  • Abdomen: Orange Danville’s 4 Strand Rayon Floss, or Other Color of Choice
  • Thorax: Absent, Peacock Herl, Fiery Brown SLF, or Other Similar Material
  • Hackle: Hungarian Partridge or Whiting Farms Hen Coq-de-Leon Saddle or Cape
  • Head: Black Thread or Color to Match Floss

Tying the Partridge and Orange:

1. Bend the barb down as the hook is placed in the vise and start the thread 1/3 of shank from hook eye with reverse jam knot. Counter spin thread to flatten, wrap thread in side-by-side, touching, wraps to hook eye then back three wraps and leave thread hanging at rear tie-in point of back of head.

2. Select a Hungarian partridge or hen Coq-de-Leon saddle feather with barbs of length approximately twice the hook gap width. Remove webby barbs from feather shaft and hold very tip of feather in fingers of right hand (if right-handed) with top/shiny side downward and remove barbs from far side of shaft. Hold feather shaft between thumb and opposing finger of left hand and place on top of hook shank with top of feather down, barbs facing towards you and tip of feather forward. The first barb from where barbs were removed should lay directly behind the thread wrap where the thread is hanging in step 1. All barbs and feather tip will be forward of this point and extending over hook eye. Make one thread wrap over shaft and around hook shank and pull upward to force feather shaft down on top of the hook shank and thread base. Make five more side-by-side thread wraps towards hook bend and cut off remaining stub of feather shaft. Leave thread hanging.

3. Tie-in small gold wire under shank with one thread wrap and continue side-by-side flattened thread wraps to point above hook point holding wire down to guide each thread wrap into place. Wrap forward to tie-in point of wire. Tie-in one strand of orange floss under shank with two forward loose thread wraps, leaving 1 inch tag of floss. Pull floss to shorten tag to 1/8 inch. Tighten thread wrap by pulling upward and make two more forward thread wraps. Wrap floss to rear tie-in point above hook point and then wrap forward to forward tie-in point of floss. Hold floss firmly downward in left fingers, unwrap two thread wraps and tie-in floss under shank with two forward thread wraps. Counter wrap wire rib with five forward wraps and tie-in under shank where thread is hanging. Continue forward thread wraps to hook eye, reverse and make three thread wraps to tie-in point of soft hackle (rear of head) forcing hackle to 90 degree angle from shaft. Make five thread wraps rearward from soft hackle and let thread hang.

4. Select sparse amount of SLF or other dubbing material sufficient for two thread wraps. Dub SLF loosely on thread and make two dubbed thread wraps forward, forming the thorax and leave thread hanging.

5. Grasp tip of soft hackle in teardrop hackle pliers and wrap hackle rearward in three wraps to tie-in point of thorax. Tie-in hackle on underside of hook shank with two thread wraps, then palmer two thread wraps forward through soft hackle to rear of head. Whip finish three wraps forward to hook eye, cut thread tag with one scissor blade and finish head with water-base cement or Sally Hansen “Hard as Nails” to secure.

Flies & Tying Instructions

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