Ribbing Soft Hackle Flies

As I mentioned earlier, the basic soft hackle – silk thread and a partridge feather – is just the start when it comes to soft hackled flies. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Let me share three of my favorite ribbing options.

I use Pearsall’s silk for most of my bodies. To increase the appearance of segmentation of the abdomen, a ribbing can be added. Here are three choices: tightly twisted tying silk, contrasting silk, fine gold wire.

These are just three of many choices to rib these flies. You can also rib with krystal flash, colored wire, tinsel, holographic tinsel, or any other material that strikes your fancy. The effect may be subtle, like when using the silk of the body material. Or dramatic if you choose to use a peacock herl to rib with. I suspect that many of our choices are based on our preferences, not the fish. But that is ok too.

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