One Feather Fly (or) Jig.
We fly fishers sometimes change the names of our gear in an attempt to separate ourselves from those who fish with spinning or bait-casting gear. We don’t fish with bobber, for instance, we prefer to use ‘strike-indicators’. And we don’t fish with jigs but rather ‘beadheads’. The One Feather Fly or Jig… is just that. Either a fly or a jig! You put a big honking tungsten bomber bead on the front of a TMC 300 and what do you have??? About the weight of a 1/32 ounce jighead!!! It fishes with a “jigging action” even on a flyrod, doesn’t it? Your jig fishing instead of flyfishing.
Get over it. Semantics, in my world.
Call it what you like, it’s still fishing and it still works! Even though I primarily do not use spinning or bait-casting gear, I still blur the lines with flyfishing and fly tying. I use Colorado blades, lure skirts, Plain shank baithooks, pyrex worm rattles in a majority of my flies that I use for both trout and bass. These same flies are the ones I sell on my business website. Yeah, I actually use what I tie commerically. Kind of a rarity in today’s world.
The One Feather Fly (or) Jig is a great pattern for a myriad of reasons. First, it’s a cinch to tie. You can bang out a dozen in 20 minutes. Plus, this is a pattern that is the “money” to initially teach someone how to tie flies, jigs… Second, ones doesn’t need to spend hard-earned clams on buying a crapload of gizmos, materials, and tools to tie it. You need a hook, whether it’s a plastic worm hook, a plain shank bait hook, a TMC 300 streamer hook, or a hand-poured 1/8oz. worm nosed jig on a 2/0 jighook – it all works! And you need a single marabou feather in whatever color suits your fancy. Some thread (any color), and the ’BIG-3′ – a bobbin, scissors, and vise. Ready to start learning the One Feather Fly (or) Jig? Right! Let’s go!
1. Start the thread on the hook (I’m using a large #1 oversized hook so you can see this better… it wouldn’t be my first choice of hook size if I was going to fish it on my flyrod) and stop the thread base just at the point of the hook.
3. Gently expose the stem about halfway to 3/4 of the way down the plume (You want the nice fluffy plumage, not the hard thin fibers found near the butt of the feather) and clip the stem. Disgard the butt section of the feather.
4. Stroke the fibers towards the tip of the feather.
5. With a pinch wrap or two secure the feather to the hook before you really tighten down the thread wraps. Keep the thread wrap on top of one another.
6. Lift the stem up and run the thread forward to the eye of the hook.
7. Now with a hemostat, pliers, or even just your fingers – twist the feather around (in one direction) until all the fibers “corkscrew” and the feather now becomes taut into a Marabou rope
8. Palmer forward and tie off at the eye of the hook (or jig head).
9. Have a sip of bourbon! Your done! – Notice how the marabou flares out all spikey - akin to a mini-saddle hackle. It makes a neat looking, albeit quick and easy pattern to tie! Also, Please note the head of this fly is huge because I’m using an oversized hook for this tutorial. Normally it’s a smaller neater head.
This pattern is year-round lethal!
On a jig hook aka “Miss Marabou”: In the winter for ice fishing, springtime stocked trout, summer panfish & crappie, and in the fall for Steelhead when using this jig with a float.
As a fly: It’s just downright awesome for anytype of fly fishing. In larger sizes of #4 and #8 it makes a great leech pattern or streamer. Smaller sizes, like #12 or #14 gives it a nice general nymph-buggy look. Try it on a dead drift or fast on the retrieve. I’ve caught gills, perch, largemouth bass, chubs, stocked and wild trout, smallies, and steelhead. They all love this pattern!