Albert R. Mann Library

Long, slender glossy feathers, usually from the capes (necks) and saddles (backs) of domestic chickens. These feathers are wound around the shaft of the hook on an artificial fly to simulate insect parts, such as legs. Hackle from roosters is stiff and glossy, and repels water; it is often used in dry flies. Hackle from hens is softer and absorbs water; it is primarily used for legs on nymphs and wet flies.