View Full Version : Smoky Mountain Blackbird

12-28-2009, 10:44 AM
Hugh, I'm trying to get a cousin interested in fly fishing and I am tying up some various soft hackles for her. I'd like to tie her some Smoky Mountain Black Birds. I have seen two versions on your site. Are you willing to share the recipe, and which version do you prefer? Thanks, Silvercreek

Hugh Hartsell
12-28-2009, 12:41 PM
Both patterns are very effective, but the better of the two is the Smoky Mountain Blackbird Softhackle. Since it is an emerger pattern it is not as effective in the wintertime. Once we get to the 1st of March it starts to become very effective and remains so until late November. If I have an opportunity to tie at LRO's this winter, I'll show all of you how to tie it.

12-28-2009, 02:14 PM
Hugh or Byron, any chance that we are going to see Hugh at LRO for one of the fly-tying Demo's any time soon. Now that I have started tying I would love to catch Hugh in action and maybe even learn to tye the SMBBSH. I bought a dozen from Hugh and am down to my final 2. If you get a date be sure and let us know.

12-28-2009, 03:10 PM
Dont forget about the search function of this website. It is very effective in pulling up past info that you are looking for.
The link above is one of many that came up when searching for SMBBSH.

I too would love to have Hugh behind the vise this winter. It is always a treat to sit and listen and watch. He is a master teacher.

12-28-2009, 03:51 PM
Hugh thanks for the reply. I'd love to see you tie, but it's a fair haul from Nashville. Flyfishjeep, I tried the search function, but got such a load of responses I gave up with out seeing the ones you provided. Somewhere around here I think I have a starling skin. I've probably got a life time supply roosting in the backard if I slip out back with the air rifle. Regards to all. Silvercreek

Hugh Hartsell
12-28-2009, 04:15 PM
Let me say a few things about the Blackbird so that you don't get misled by different thoughts and come up with something that will be inferior. Several years ago I posted the ingredients of the Blackbird in the Articles section on my website so that interested people could make an attempt to tie their own if they chose to do so. You can tie a fly that might look exactly like the picture of the one shown on my website, but that will only get you part of the way to the true effectivness of the fly. This is one of the reasons that I said that I would show all of you how to tie the fly at LRO's if they have any space left for a demonstration this winter. It is not only how that I tie the fly, but the materials used and how they all compliment what you want the fly to do when used in tandem with another weighted nymph. It takes a lot of explaining and showing how a lot of experimenting went into getting the fly to do just what I felt a real insect looked like when it gave up it's hold on the bottom and began to be washed in the current. The combination of weight, materials, and moving water all play a part in getting this fly to look and act just like a real insect that has left the bottom and is emerging to become an adult. Those that have used it can testify to what the fly will actually produce. It can make fly fishing be a whole new experience for new fishermen or people who have been at it for years. Even on the worst days it will catch some fish for you. I hope that I get to see lots of you this year.

12-29-2009, 11:38 AM
I'd really like to see you tie that fly sometime. I have a variant I tie that I've adopted for warm water. I've never attempted to tie it for fishing in the Smokey Mountains for just the reason you mentioned above. I'm not sure how all the components go together to make the fly. Mine is basically a Peacock and Starling soft hackle.