Filling some corks with soft-hackled flies

A little production tying here at currentseams HQ — as much as I can be said to be a production tyer, which is very little. But stocks need replenishing for personal use, guide trips, and maybe a few to sell here and there. First up was the Squirrel and Ginger, my favorite caddis emerger from April through mid-summer.

You drink the wine. You save the cork. You stick a dozen wet flies into it. You win twice.

Squirrel and Ginger cork


People tend to use far too much fur to hackle the Squirrel and Ginger. Think sparse. Think less is more. Like this. Dust the thread with fur. Your next step is to form a dubbing loop, then wind the hackle, stroking the fibers toward the bend of the hook.

Fur hackle dubbing loop prep


The same fly, ready to whip finish. Note (again) the imperfect head. Guess what? Trout don’t care about neatness. In fact, I think they like messy wet flies. Yeah, I’ll clip away that schmutz under the eye, but this fly is basically good to go.

S&G ready to finish

16 comments on “Filling some corks with soft-hackled flies

  1. john kovach says:

    Love those flies Steve Are you going to the Somerset show? John Kovach

  2. Francis Doherty says:

    Flies stuck in a wine cork? Doesn’t everybody do this? Preferably in a cork from a very nice Cote du Rhone?


  3. Michael Silfen says:


    I am in your wet fly tying class on the 10th. Can we learn to tie this fly?


  4. Jim Smith (The Elder) says:

    Steve: That is a pretty cool concoction. Do you have a history of/with this little gem?

    • Steve Culton says:

      You betcha. I’ve been tying/fishing it for 3-4 years now. It’s a staple on the team. If you use the search function on this site you can find many posts where I reference the Squirrel and Ginger, including a post with photo/recipe/tying notes.

  5. David Bennett says:

    What are the chances to buy some tied by an expert because i can’t tie them
    ? and how? I’ll bet my hit ratio would go up with them.

  6. Dwight says:

    Do you use a dubbing loop for the guard hair collar?

  7. Bill Derhammer says:

    Steve, great pattern, is that squirrel body fur? Can’t locate squirrel fur or Ginger Angora goat, can you help for suppliers of these materials.

    • Steve Culton says:

      Hi Bill,

      Yes, that is body fur. My local fly shop, UpCountry Sportfishing in New Hartford, CT, has both materials. If your local shop doesn’t, a Google search will yield multiple vendors. I also find these materials at shows, although the show season is mostly over. Hope that helps.

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