A long-time fan of fishing soft hackles, with both partridge and hen hackle, Tracy, ever tinkering at the vise, began looking for a new style. The material he discovered was the “aftershafts” of hen neck feathers that littered his tying table. This Baetis was the first-born of several colors, designed for the waters of the mid-west (he resided in Minneapolis) and further tested on the spring creeks of Montana. It was originally called the Junk Feather Emerger.
• The aftershaft is tied on concave-upward. When looked at head-on, it resembles the
action logo of Batman.
• A glass bead is added to the thorax for just enough weight to break the surface film
and to add a subtle sparkle for purposes of attraction.
The resulting fly is a new style of “soft hackle” quite unlike anything we have seen. It has, however, been thoroughly tested and fishes great. It can be fished damp just under the surface or with weight to go deep. Either way, it does a great job of imitating an emerging nymph, a stillborn/cripple or even an egg-laying spinner. For heavily pressured waters, this is one that the fish have not seen before.