Tri-Color Flatwing

Last year I picked up some nice hackles at one of the shows and ended up tying a little pattern while working the show booth. It is a sparse pattern using all natural materials except the head & eyes. It borrows from the Rhody Flatwing and some other things I picked up from Iforgetwhere.


Size 2 - 1/0 with a short shank. I use Verivas 990S hooks but any 2X shank hook is fine.


Danville’s White Flat waxed or 3/0, mono will also work.


Like Ken Abrames’ RLS flies, I wrap the hook with thread and tie in some white bucktail at the hook bend. This supports the single, white feather that is tied in deceiver style next - keep it sparse, like 10 to 15 hairs tops.


I used some white Artic fox fur to wrap the whole shank. The key is to use white fibers that vary in length with the shortest the length of the hook shank and the largest twice that long.


There’s 3 layers here, all tied in flatwing style at the head. I started with yellow, then purple grizzly and topped it off with olive. I think pink or light purple would be a good color in there instead of the dark purple I used.


Form a small, round head to secure the thread and have a solid surface for the eyes. The eyes are molded yellow & black prismatic stick-on, size 1/8” or so. Finish with a final coat of hard head to round off the bumps and seal in the eyes. Epoxy or Loon Hard Head, Goop, etc. can be used – whatever you are comfortable working with to make heads.

Tying Notes

The whole fly is roughly 3” on a #2 hook to 5” on a size 1/0 hook. I fished this using mostly a dead drift & twitchy, erratic retrieve. I enjoy tying it because the all natural materials reminding me of trout & salmon flies and also because it imitates several types of bait found in our waters.