The Big Bird
Hook: #22 Tiemco 2487
8/0 Black thread underbody
Rib: Stripped Gray Ostrich herl
Collar: Gray Ostrich herl tied in soft hackle style.
Tan Ostrich over rust 8/0, Olive over Brown works good too
When you prep the Ostrich, just strip about 1" of the barbs from the butt of the quill. When you tie it in, pull the stripped end to position the barbs you have not stripped at about the collar tie in point and wind back towards the bend. This eliminates having to tie in another piece of herl and reduces bulk. It doesn't always work out, sometimes you have to tie in 2. Before winding the quill forward, coat the under body with head cement to insure it lasts longer than one Brown Trout. Hen, Starling and Grouse will always be go to materials for soft hackling, but it can be a pain finding small enough feathers to pull off the tiny stuff. Ostrich herl is a great material to use when soft hackling tiny flies #22-#26 or god forbid.....smaller.
The back yard beat is still looking good here in Min-urn.