Quigley's Hackle Stacker - PMD
Dry Flies | Mayfly Dries - Basics


Quigley's Hackle Stacker - PMD





Bob Quigley the "Father" of modern spring creek fly tying brings us more of his magic. Bob is best known for developing the concept, that in heavy Hatches, trout are targeting flies that are caught trying to emerge from their nymphal shuck making them the easiest meal. Bob went on to develop the first ever patterns that imitate these "crippled" mayflies. Most crippled patterns you see today are derived from Bob's original Quigley Cripple. See article at here. Bob continues his genius in observation and fly tying ability in the design of his "Stacker" style flies. Hackle Stackers Design The stacker style of hackle tying was developed by Bob Quigley in 1988 on the Fall River of California. Bob was faced with the problems of all spring creek fisherman, picky fish and crystal clear water. Bob wanted a fly that would land lightly on the water, have a true mayfly silhouette and remain visible to the angler. Hence, the Hackle Stacker and Sparkle Stacker were born. The key to this fly is the revolutionary way that Bob applied the hackle to the fly. Up to this point hackle was either palmered around the shank of the hook or around a parachute to create floatability. Bob observed that Chauncey Lively used a "Pullover" design to tie his spinners. Chauncey's technique compacts and positions the barbules by parachuting them around a monofilament loop to imitate spinner wings that protrude from the sides of the thorax. Bob's technique parachutes the entire hackle up the monofilament stacker loop and then pulls the entire loop over the thorax. This encases the top half of the thorax, and creates a stacked dome of hackle barbules on top of the fly. The stacked hackle imitates a mayfly wing silhouette of an upright or spent spinner or and upright or fluttering dun. Advantages of Design 1. Hackle is on top of the fly letting the body sit in the film closely mimicking the natural mayfly. 2. Not having to tie in parachute materials allows the abdomen to remain slim closely imitating natural mayflies. 3. The hackle fibers "stacked" in the shape of a fan allows the fly to be taken by fish as a cripple, an adult and a spinner. 4. The hackle fibers spread over the top catch and reflect light which makes it surprisingly easy for the angler to see. 5. Using a minimal amount of material in the fly and the spread out "stacked" hackle allows the fly to be land lightly which in turn lets anglers effectively fish this family of flies to pickiest trout without spooking them when the fly lands. 6. The Hackle Stacker design is a very durable fly in a category where many of the flies are quite delicate in construction. This is important during short hatch periods or fading light, when fly changes cost you lost opportunities. 7. The stiff dry fly hackles are easy to dry out with a couple of false cast to keep you fishing rather than changing flies or using descants to dry out your fly. When & Where This is a versatile fly that can be fished anywhere mayflies hatch (including lakes). The fly was originally designed for the spring creek conditions of The Fall River. Since Bob Quigley introduced the Hackle Stacker, it has proved to be just as effective on freestone rivers through out the United States and South America. The Hackle Stacker fly design has grown to take the place of the Comparadun in most modern fly shops due to its all around fishing versatility. No one can go wrong having an assortment of sizes and colors of both the Hackle Stacker and Sparkle Stacker. I'm sure you will find that the Hackle Stackers becoming your number 1 "go to" fly for any Mayfly fishing.