The No Hackle Mayfly started a new era in fly fishing and fly tying. The duns without hackle are simplicity and complexity in one. And guess what – the fly catches wary trout.


Doug Swisher and Carl Richards are true pioneers in fly fishing and fly tying. Their work trough the monumental volume “Selective Trout” changed fly tying and the fly fishing approach. Their teachings continue to influence fly tiers and this fly, the No Hackle, is the forefather to the much used Comparadun style.

The idea behind the no hackle technique is that the primary triggers are the body and wing profile. The No hackle has a convincing wing and body profile. Although the pattern is nearly 50 years  old, it catches fish.

When you tie it it is important to taper the body well to support the wing posture. The wing is tied in as one of the last components – after you’ve dubbed the body. Be careful and use dubbing wax when tying in the duck quill.

Its not a durable fly, but a fly that you use for the Selective Trout and in honor of two of the masters of our trade – Dough Swisher and Carl Richards. Also read the series on the BWOs, starting with this article


Hook: TMC 100 or Mustad 94840 sizes 12-16
Thread: Uni 8/0 Olive Dun
Tail: Fibettes, Coq de Leon or hackle
Abdomen: FlyRite No10 is a good starting point for the BWO
Wing: Mallard Duck Quill
Thorax: Same as Abdomen
Hackle: No Hackle!

Materials are listed in order of tying. Use dubbing wax when tying in the wing

Fishing Tips

Apply floatant to the hackle only and let it float freely without any movement – dead drift. Use a long well tapered leader.