Red & White Hackle Fly
AKA: Homer Rhodes Tarpon Fly
Lefty Kreh says the Red & White Hackle Fly is his favorite for smallmouth bass under most conditions. This fly goes back to the 1880’s and bridges the gap between deep-running and surface offerings. It can be fished just below the film.
Hook: Size 1/0 to 4 Mustad S71S SS
Thread: 6/0 white Uni-Thread
Tail: 6 to 8 white saddle hackle
Flash: Gold or pearl Flashabou
Body: One red, one white, and one red palmered hackle
This fly is of the same taxonomy as the famous Seaducer pattern developed by Lefty and used worldwide in different colors to take fish everywhere. It’s been said the attraction to this is the same as the old Daredevil spoon: Red means blood.
Predators like blood. Smallmouth are predators.
Please note: The photos show standard metal hook, use stainless steel as suggested above to cover yourself when you head to the tropics.
To Start: Flashabou
Wrap the thread on and start from the rear, as usual. Place a wad of standard flashabou extending twice the length of the shaft.
Saddle Hackle Tail
Pick out 6 or more white saddle hackles and lay the left and right bunch on independently. Try to get the hackle to flare out and away from the hook on either side. This gives a cool swimming motion to the fly upon retrieve as the feathers are forced together upon stripping and flare back out in between strips.
Cut the saddle hackle just behind the soft webbing and use only the stiffer aspect of the saddle hackle.
This is true in nearly all tying situation.
Palmering the Hackle
Alternate tying in a red, white and finish with a final red hackle. Start in the rear and wrap them toward the eye – this is called palmering. The fibers can extend well beyond the point of the hook. Leave an 1/8 inch or so behind the eye for a small head region. Whip finish to end.