Don's Fly Tying - the Six Pack

[the Six Pack]

One of the simplest flies to tie is the self bodied carey, often tied with a single pheasant feather. If the tail and body feather is a blue or green pheasant rump feather, the fly is called a "Six Pack". I first heard of this fly when I spent my second work assignment in Prince George during the mid 1980s. The story goes when the fishing is slow, tie on a six pack, open a six pack of beer, and let the wind slowly drift you across the lake! If you get a strike, great, if you don't, who gives a darn and hence the Prince George name of the fly!

In practice, the greenish six pack represents a damselfly nymph. During the first two weeks of June, in many Interior lakes, damselfly nymphs rise up from the bottom and migrate towards shore where they climb up on reeds, logs etc. Here the nymph case splits and the adult damsel fly emerges to dry out in the sun. At this time, if a six pack or other damsel fly nymph imitation is retrieved shoreward with an action that represents the undulating motion of the nymph, great action can occur! Let's have a look at the six pack for our March fly tying article.



Take a long green pheasant rump feather and shape the fibres at the tip to make a tail by pushing the remaining fibres along the feather center back towards the skin or thick end. Tie in this tail and then wrap the rest of the feather through to the hook eye to form the body. Some fibre ends will stick out along the body and these can be trimmed but leave the ends out a bit. Now take the green saddle feather, and wind it just back of the hook eye to make a full circle hackle. As you tighten down with your tying thread, push the hackles so that they flow back along the fly body. It is important to find a soft feather for the hackle so that it will have as much movement as possible during your retrieve. If the top hackles were trimmed flat, the fly would look more like a nymph but leaving the hackle full allows for more movement during the retrieve. Cement, tie off and you have finished the Prince George six pack!

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