Fly Tying · On the Vise · PHWFF Fly Tying

On My Vise: Isonychia Soft Hackle Fly Pattern

The Isonychia soft hackle is an excellent pattern to fish during an iso hatch, and for me personally it’s something I fish even through rising fish.

For those of you in our New City group, This was one of the patterns that we discussed and tied during our project healing waters meeting on July 26, 2016.

During an iso hatch the emerging insects swim as fast as they can towards the surface.. And that’s where this fly comes in.

Isonychia soft hackle

Hook: standard wet fly hook

Thread: black

Tailing and hackle: Whiting’s Hebert Miner Wet Fly Hackle in Wild type Brown.

Dubbing: A mix of red and brown SLF squirrel dubbing as well as guard hairs taken off of a squirrel skin.

Stripe: doubled over white thread or one strand of thicker thread or embroidery floss

Ribbing: Gold Wire

Tie in Tailing

Step one Tie in your tailing

(If you are following along from our project healing waters group in new city or just Need a little extra help; click on the hyperlinks and it will take you to an instructional on certain techniques)

Tying in thread stripe

Now you want to Tie in your white thread at the base of the tail (Those of you in our class keep in mind this technique is the same as tying in tailing)

Tie in wire and stripe material

Now tie in your gold wire also at the base of the tail on the side of the white thread.

Mixing the dubbing:

SLF red

Next up is dubbing and SLF squirrel has got to be my favorite. What I do for this is I take a mixture of red and dark brown and I mix them together. Then I snip a patch of guard hairs off of a full squirrel skin and mix them in.

SLF Brown
The Mixture

This will give you a good reddish-brown mix but be sure to adjust this based on the isonychias in your area because colors always vary.

The dubbing noodle

Make a dubbing noodle

Dub forward

And dub your hook almost up to the eye but make sure you leave enough room to tie in the hackle.

dubbed body

Once you have dubbed the body it’s now time to create the visible stripe that goes along an isonychias natural nymph body .

Stripe forward

Do this by Bringing the white thread forward and use your finger nail it to hold it down as you tie it down with a wrap.

tie the stripe off

Next up is wrapping the wire ribbing.

Wrap the wire
Wrap forward in even spaced turns
Tie off the wire and snip off excess


Once you have reached the area right before the eye, tie it off and remove the excess wire.

Prepped Hackle

Now its time to select, prepare and tie in your hackle.

Tie it in
Hold it up
Brush it back
A few turns and your done!

Thats it! I hope this pattern brings you luck! I like to fish this one on an upstream cast and then a lift at the end of your swing.

If they are taking them on top as well, feel free to add some dry fly floatant to these and fish them right in the film. It has caught many trout for me that way.


9 thoughts on “On My Vise: Isonychia Soft Hackle Fly Pattern

    1. Hey Vicky! I hope all is well I haven’t seen you in a while !

      if you need to purchase them immediately online they have them here
      Scroll down to “Brown’s natural and dyed” and select wild type Brown. It Comes up as $12.50 on the menu.

      If you don’t want to order online, you can try Tom’s over at Anglers Den again, and I have also purchased them from Joe over at Dette trout flies

      The Beaverkill angler has them also as well as Joe but they’re not on their site for some reason I did a search

      It seems to be difficult to find that wild type Brown from what I hear. So when I go around looking for more, I do find it I buy an extra one. You can use other substitutes such as just a mottled brown hen saddle, and adjust those colors to where you are fishing.

      But take a look and try those places and if worse comes to worse and you can’t find any, please send me an email and I will send you some in the snail mail!


      1. Yes they are (if not already) This is a great iso pattern. Honestly don’t go to crazy if you can’t find it right away. Just use a mottled dark brown hen saddle (and if you don’t have any, I have plenty of those if you need! I’ll drop one in the mail tomorrow) just send me and email


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