Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Some Soft Hackles To Kill The Time

What's going on? A week ago we had only remnants of snow piles to deal with. Then a new storm comes through and dumps six inches on us with a cold blast that had preserved that snow. In the meantime we tie flies and I have soft hackles on the brain. Here are a few: A brown soft hackle is what I call it and it's a good early season soft hackle especially when Hendericksons start moving around. The color of this fly is perfect for that insect.

Hook - size 12 standard wet or dry hook
Body - brown floss(hard to find)or brown ultra fine dubbing.
Rib - copper or gold wire
Hackle - natural turkey flat tips. Place a SMALL bunch on top of the hook, points extending beyond the eye about 3/4 of the hook Shank. Secure to the hook and fold and tie back towards the tail. Trim butt ends and dub in a thorax if you want.

I included a photo of a worked over turkey flat.

The next is a generic Sulphur/Cahiill/any light color soft hackle.

Hook - size 12/14 standard wet or dry hook
Body - yellow floss
Hackle - light brown hen hackle (thorax is optional.

So, that's what I've been doing this week. Word has it that the Swift was stocked last week. I'll try it late tomorrow afternoon if it's not snowing!!!!!



flyfisher1000 said...


is that "kevlar-thread" you mentioned in an earlier post expensive?,,,,also, where would one obtain i have yet to find any from "craft-hobbie" stores
thank for any help ..

Millers River Flyfisher said...


It may be a few cents more than regular tying thread. One can find it at any fly shop or from an online fly shop.


PCG said...

Love the soft hackles, such a versatile, and productive, fly style.

Spent most of both Saturday and Sunday below Rt.9 this past weekend. Saturday I got skunked, not even a take. Sunday, was better, but only slightly. 9 takes, but only 2 brought to the net. I threw everything at them, including a Moby Dick, heavily weighted swung into the Tree Pool. They seemed to be holding deep so I thought it'd be worth a shot. Wouldn't you know it, it generated a strike on the third swing, but it spit it just as quick. Brought the two to the net via a small tan deer hair emerger at the Pipe. At about 1pm they started looking up and feeding actively on top, and this fly did the trick. Maybe not coincidentally, it was the only fly that I forgot to knock the barb down on, that allowed a solid hook up.

A fellow fly-fisher mentioned the stocking too, but the only place where I even saw fish this weekend below Rt.9 from the Gauge Pool down, was the Pipe/Tree Pool section.

Best of luck Ken if you head out this afternoon.


Dave said...

Pete, not to downplay the deer hair emerger but ive noticed this winter that 1pm seems to be the magical hour below the pipe. Most notably, a 19 degree day where I just had to get outside for awhile. Not surprisingly the fish were quiet. When 1pm hit all hell broke loose. I swear the fish would've taken any fly in my entire box if I threw it out there. A gentleman walking his dog once suggested that 1pm is the hour that the hatchery flushes down abunch of water...or something along those lines...which turns the fish on. Ive been down there at 1pm since with less drastic results but none the less. Has anyone else noticed this?
Hope to catch you on the Ware in afew weeks Pete!


Falsecast said...

Hi Ken,

I took the winter off, but see from the Salmon discussion this blog is still hot and I love the discussion! :)

I too hit the Swift for the first time Since Xmas and was skunked and got some good frozen toes. I only fished above rte 9 and like the others saw only a few fish outside of the Y pool including downstream to the duck pond. Those I saw were pinned and sluggish. I bounced a size 22 black midge off it's nose and nothing. Had a bit of top water at the Y pool, but couldn't get a take on an emerger. Wont be long now.

Hope you all had a great winter!

Mike Hagan said...


I LOVE soft hackles, small orange and purple ones are a few of my go-tos on the Swift. I had the pipe mostly to myself on Friday, from about noon until 3:30. Got 5 to the net, lost another 3 or 4 (broke off on 7x), and missed at least a half-dozen takes in that time - took fish on red and black pinheads, an olive scud, and aformentioned soft hackles. The fish were biting gingerly - in most instances a slight quiver of the indicator was the only sign of a take - and it took me a little while to catch on to this and start hooking up. A couple of the fish were obviously recently stocked fish, with a few nier holdovers as well.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

1pm is mid day and mid day has always the best time to fish the Swift at this time of year especially at the Y pool. The temperature will be at its highest, insects will start moving and trout will start working on them. I've had great surface action in late winter and early spring between 11am and 3pm.

Fished the PIPE from 5 to 7pm yesterday. Caught nothing and saw nothing. They are there but not for me!!


PCG said...


I can't wait to be able to walk to a day of fishing from my humble abode in a few weeks...hopefully! I'll keep an eye out for 'ya.

5-7pm, Ken?!? I hope that you've thawed out by now.


flyfisher1000 said...

it seems as though Mass just posted the new "trout-stocking schedual and it seems millers and swift and even the westfield have all been stocked with new fish...lets just hope that they also put a few "big-boys" in there!!

tight lines :)

Millers River Flyfisher said...


No evidence of your claim of stocking the rivers that you mentioned on the official Ma. DFW site as of 7am this morning. Maybe it will be updated today.


Mike said...

The site says that rivers that were scheduled to be stocked last week (i.e. the Swift) were NOT stocked due to weather conditions, and are planned to be stocked this week. Makes me feel good about the fish I got last Friday - must not have been recent stockers. Don't see anything there about stocking the Millers and Westfield - no stocking at all yet in the Western district.

flyfisher1000 said...

I made a mistake.......I was looking at the stocked waters, not the schedule....sorry for the misunderstanding

Anonymous said...

I fished the Swift today,I caught 4 fish at the y pool, then I heard the rumbling of the stocking truck.
Sure enough they were stocking. I spoke with the driver and he said they put 500 fish above rt. 9 and 500 below. I caught 10 fish at the pipe.All in all a good day.


Scott M said...

The Millers will be stocked the first and second week of May. Its always around that time. Get out in April should be good for holdovers I would think

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Thank you Mike!

The Millers C&R gets stocked with browns on the 1st and 2nd Fridays of May. They do throw in rainbows over the whole river in April.


Kozman said...

Swift was definitely stocked this week. Was there yesterday. Fish were still swimming around in pods so they haven't really dispersed yet. Its a lot of stream walking to find them (and to keep up with them). They were hitting anything that sinks.

flyfisher1000 said...

threw-in a line in center of erving....(old mill) was hoping for even a smallie!!...but... notta...