Fly Tying: All About "Genetic Hackle"

March 2, 2010 By: Marshall Cutchin

genetic_hackle_150.jpg“Genetic hackle,” “barb density,” “symmetry” and “rachis” — they’re all terms that you might use to impress the uninitiated at the next fly tiers’ meet-up. But what do they mean, exactly, and why does the world’s supply of feathers depend on a few smart breeders who’ve tweaked evolution on behalf of fly tiers? This week Phil Monahan answers the question What Is “Genetic Hackle?” and touches on other secrets of the well-feathered chicken.