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Unveiling the Olive Quill Starling Soft Hackle: A Modern Twist on a Timeless Classic

Unveiling the Olive Quill Starling Soft Hackle: A Modern Twist on a Timeless Classic

Fly fishing enthusiasts are no strangers to the allure of classic patterns, but every once in a while, a modern twist emerges that revitalizes the art of fly tying. One such innovation is the Olive Quill Starling Soft Hackle, a pattern that beautifully marries tradition with a fresh perspective. In this blog post, we'll explore the intricacies of this pattern, what it imitates, and why its effectiveness lies in the enchanting qualities of starling hackle.

The Roots of Tradition:

The Olive Quill Starling Soft Hackle is a descendant of the classic Soft Hackle Spider fly-tying pattern. Soft Hackles have been a staple in fly fishing for centuries, appreciated for their simplicity and lifelike movement in the water. The Olive Quill variation takes the timeless olive coloration and elevates it with the addition of a synthetic olive quill, creating a fly that is as aesthetically pleasing as it is effective on the water.

Olive Quill Starling Soft Hackle Tying Tutorial


Olive Quill Starling Soft Hackle Materials List:

  1. Hook: Moonlit Premium TOGATTA ML102 sz14-20
  2. Thread: Semperfli Classic Waxed 12/0 Watery Olive
  3. Body: Semperfli 3mm Light Olive Perfect Quill
  4. UV Resin: Semperfli No Tack UV Resin
  5. Thorax: Semperfli Super Fine Dubbing Insect Green Olive
  6. Hackle: Hareline Starling Skin

Imitating Nature:

The Olive Quill Starling Soft Hackle excels at imitating various aquatic insects, making it a versatile pattern that can be used throughout the year. The olive hues of the quill body mimic the natural colors of Mayflies, and smaller Callibaetis Mayflies provide a convincing representation that trout find hard to resist. The subtle segmentation created by the quill body adds an extra layer of realism, making the fly appear as a delectable and vulnerable morsel.

The Magic of Starling Hackle:

Starling feathers possess a unique iridescence that mimics the natural sheen found on many aquatic insects. When wet, these feathers come alive with a subtle shimmer, creating an enticing display that triggers the predatory instincts of trout. The soft, supple nature of starling hackle allows the fly to pulsate in the water, imparting a lifelike movement that is irresistible to feeding fish.

Effectiveness Throughout the Seasons:

One of the key advantages of the Olive Quill Starling Soft Hackle is its effectiveness across different seasons. Whether it's swung in the surface film during a mayfly hatch or dead-drifted near the riverbed to imitate a BWO, this pattern consistently produces results. Anglers can confidently tie on the Olive Quill Starling Soft Hackle throughout the year, making it a valuable addition to any fly box.


In the ever-evolving world of fly fishing, the Olive Quill Starling Soft Hackle stands out as a testament to the timeless appeal of classic patterns and the innovation that can breathe new life into them. With its expertly blended colors, realistic segmentation, and the enchanting qualities of a starling hackle, this fly is a must-have for anglers seeking a versatile and effective pattern that pays homage to tradition while embracing the future of fly tying. Tie on an Olive Quill Starling Soft Hackle, and discover the magic it brings to the water.
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