The Wacissa

The Wacissa is one of the first fly patterns I designed specifically for application of the supple Coq-de-Leon rooster hackle. The pattern is an easy to tie streamer pattern that is intended to imitate a small bait fish for taking of bass species. I originally designed the fly to fish for Suwannee bass in the Wacissa River southeast of Tallahassee, Florida. The Wacissa River is one of the clear rivers that originates from clear springs in the Big Bend area of Florida and flows eventually into the Gulf of Mexico. It is the type habitat for the Suwannee bass, a species that is limited in distribution to this area of the North Florida Bend area. Although, it was originally intended and I have taken many Suwannee bass on this fly, I also have taken largemouth, shoal and smallmouth bass with comparable success. Materials for the pattern are as follows:

  • Hook: Daiichi 2340, size 10
  • Thread: Danville's 6/0 Flymaster, Black
  • Wing: Two Whiting Farms Coq-de-Leon Rooster Hackles, 2X Length of Hook Shank
  • Body: Medium Mylar Tinsel, Silver, Double Wrapped from Front and Return
  • Ribbing: Small Round Mylar Tinsel, Silver, 5 Counter Wraps
  • Hackle: Blue Rump Feather of Ring-necked Pheasant, Wrapped as Soft-hackle
  • Head: Black Thread Finished with Sally Hansen Hard as Nails for Glossy Finish

Tying the Wacissa as follows:

1. Bend the barb down as the hook is placed in the vise and start the thread at the hook bend (above the barb) with a reverse jam knot. Make two thread wraps and tie-in small round tinsel on underside of shank with tag end extending to just behind the eye. Counter spin thread to flatten and wrap forward in side-by-side wraps to hook eye with tinsel on underside of shank. Do not overlap thread wraps to maintain a flat thread base. Wrap thread in side-by-side wraps rearward approximately 4 eye widths and leave thread hanging.

2. Cut approximately a 10 inch strip of small flat silver tinsel from spool and tie-in on underside of hook shank with three thread wraps where thread is hanging from step 1. Wrap tinsel to hook bend and back to forward tie-in point in side-by-side wraps. Hold tinsel, unwrap two turns of thread and tie-in tinsel with two thread wraps. Make five counter wraps of small round tinsel to forward tie-in point. Wrap thread ½ distance to hook eye to trap flat and round tinsel ends on underside of shank, cut off tag ends of tinsel, continue side-by-side thread wraps to hook eye and back to tie-in point of tinsel. Leave thread hanging.

3. Select two matching Whiting Coq-de-Leon hackles for wings and strip barbs from shaft, leaving feathers approximately twice the shank length. Cut bare shafts, leaving ends to extend beyond front of hook eye. Place hackles back to back with tips matching, hold vertical to hook shank between thumb and opposing middle finger to tie-in on top of shank where thread is hanging. Make two soft thread wraps over bare feather shafts and tighten by pulling up, then lay one loose thread wrap over shafts and leave thread hanging. Wings should be horizontal to hook shank with barbs vertical. Hold wings between thumb and opposing finger again and use extended shaft ends to adjust alignment of wings if needed. Continue holding wings and wrap flattened thread side-by-side to eye once wings are properly aligned. Wrap thread back to tie-in point of wing being careful to keep last rearward thread wrap in front of original tie-in thread wrap. This will prevent shifting of wing. Leave thread hanging in front of wings; this will be the tie-in point for the soft hackle.

4. Prepare on ring-necked rooster rump feather as you would a smaller hen feather as a soft hackle. Strip webby barbs from feather shaft, hold tip of feather by tip barbs and gently stroke remaining barbs rearward between thumb and opposing middle finger to separate them from barbs at tip and hold feather between thumb and opposing finger just behind the tip barbs. Cut barbs at tip approximately 1/8 inch long and tie-in tip under hook shank with barbs 90 degrees to shank and top of feather forward. Hold end of feather shaft in right hand, if right-handed, and stroke barbs gently rearward as you wrap the feather one wrap in front of the other as you would a smaller soft hackle. Do not overlap hackle wraps. Feather should wrap approximately half way to hook eye. Make one thread wrap to tie-in soft hackle shaft, wrap thread to hook eye and rearward to finish tie-in point of soft hackle and rear of head. Hold thread firmly with left hand and twist feather shaft to break off behind hook eye and even with thread wraps.

5. Wrap flat thread wraps to form head as desired, cut thread tab with on scissor blade and coat head with Sally Hansen Hard as Nails to form a glossy finish on head.




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