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Iowa's natural resources plates include the state bird and flower, pheasant, eagle, buck and a Brook trout. Support conservation in Iowa by buying a natural resource plate for your vehicle.
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There are few better feelings for an angler than hooking a fish with a homemade lure. The soft hackle fly is one of the oldest and most varied patterns; tie your own orange and pheasant breast fly in minutes with these simple steps. Tools: Fly tying vise Bobbin Hackle Pliers Half Hitch Tool Scissors Head Cement Materials: Size 12 dry fly hook Orange thread Pheasant breast feather Step 1: Attach the thread to the hook right behind the eye. Build up a thread body by wrapping the thread to the bend of the hook and back to the front, ending just before the eye. Step 2: Prep the selected feather by removing the lower fibers and pulling the back the remaining feather barbs (also known as "Christmas Treeing"). Step 3: Wrap thread around feather with the stripped end pointing towards the tail end of the hook, carefully snip off excess fibers at the hook eye. Step 4: Grasp the end of the feather with a pair of hackle pliers and carefully wrap the feather around the front of the hook 2 to 3 times. Step 5: Carefully wrap the thread around the front end of the feather to secure and snip off the stripped feather end. Step 6: Wrap the thread around the head of the fly and finish with 2 to 3 half-hitch knots and 1 to 2 drops of head cement.
With nearly limitless thread and feather combinations, the simplicity of this fly has proven its success for generations. The soft hackle can be fished as a dry fly, riding on the surface of the water, or as a wet fly, swimming just below the surface. It imitates a number of water-born insects that comprise most fish diets.
For more ideas, check out our Iowa Fishing or DIY Outdoors boards on Pinterest.