Gartside’s Soft hackle Streamer

Jack Gartside’s soft hackle streamers must be one of the most simple but effective fly fishing streamers ever devised!

Jacks original recipe:

Soft hackle streamer pattern

How to tie Gartside’s Soft hackle Streamer

Jack was a brilliant innovative and creative tyer that recognized materials in the most unusual places and was the king of minimalism when it came to many of his patterns.

The soft hackle streamer had no body, all the materials where tied just behind the hook eye a bare hook. He would firstly attach the tying thread a heads length behind the hook eye and make approximately eight wraps of tying thread behind that. Then tie in a couple of strands of pearl Flashabou, on top of the hook shaft and trim to intended wing length. Select a marabou blood feather with fibres long enough for the wing. Tie in the marabou feather at the point where the lower stem of the feather starts to get narrower, at the same position as the Flashabou. Grasp the centre stem at the tip of the marabou and wrap around the hook shank, folding the fibres back with each turn. The mallard flank collar is again tied in by the stem where it begins to narrow. Then fold and wrap as a conventional wet fly hackle.

If you are lucky you can still pick up Jack’s self published booklet on tying the soft hackle.
I was lucky enough to meet and fish with Jack when he visited me in Norway in 1995. He has been an huge inspiration for my tying ever since.

Gartside’s original soft hackle streamers

Here are a few from my collection :

Original style soft hackle: Marabou
New wave style soft hackle: Marabou and marabou
Original style soft hackle: Marabou and mallard flank
New wave style soft hackle: Marabou and Grizzle soft hackle
New wave style soft hackle: Marabou and Grizzle marabou

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