Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Monday, January 20, 2014

Soft Hackle Variation

As many of you already know I like the idea and look of a trout fly that has a bit of color contrast in it's construction. My Hot Spot has that light band of contrasting color in the middle of the fly. This fly catches the attention of the trout and has been very successful for Swift River trout over the years. So has the Turkey Top with it's white wing case. Now I've tried that principle on a soft hackle except I'm doing it with mylar instead of dubbing or feathers. It's simply a soft hackle with a wing case of a single strip of mylar. It's maiden voyage was Sunday morning and it worked!!

Hook - size 14/16
Body - could be anything but I used stripped peacock (I have stripped peacock on the brain for some reason)
Wing Case - thin strip of mylar
Thorax - buggy dubbing
Hackle - standard soft hackle

Tie as usual but tie in the mylar before the thorax. Fold the mylar over the thorax and then wind the hackles. The fly will have that TINY bit of "on and off" flash that will get the attention of Swift bows without spooking them like the Grouse and Flash seems to have been doing over the last few years.

January - Yup, it sucks!! So we fish one day a week if the weather holds out and dream of the month of May. I'm also dreaming of a trip to Florida from Friday through the middle of next week.



Damien said...

Nice, looking forward to starting to tie my own flies so I can do a few of these and other you have on the page. I had two to the net and lost a few more to day on the Swift between 8am and noon. Used a size 18 olive scud. Did the trick. I was mostly trying out some new gear from Cabela's. Thanksfully the waders kept me dry.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


Scuds work well on the Swift. I usually start with them, as many do, on the Swift around the Pipe. Lately I've been working some new stuff which have done well. I live close enough to experiment with different types of flies without having to make a day out of it. As this Winter begins to wind down I'll have more new flies/variations that have proven themselves. Still looking for the minimalist, all purpose fly for this river. Some day....


zerosleep said...

ken, for some reason i've stripping peacock herl too. i'm likig the looks of it for emergers

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Striped peacock looks good because of the segmented look that it gives. It's a more laid back look than the man made material that is out there. The color and shine of peacock just look so natural.


Millers River Flyfisher said...

Ron C.

The soft hackle fly was designed hundreds of years ago to represent aquatic insects - nymphs. That is why we tie and fish them today. I suggest Sylvester Nemes book(s) on soft hackle flies for a better understanding of this pattern. It's one of the best books written on soft hackle flies.


Anonymous said...

Which type of McPhail Buzzer do you use? I saw many variations on google images, even though they were mostly similar. They are all pretty easy to tie, but just wondering what colors and head type work on the Swift. Also, finally achieved success at the Swift with a mouse pattern early last week. One of the most exciting ways to fish!

Thanks, Tom

millerbrown said...


I would guess that most types of buzzers would work on the Swift. Mine are stripped peacock, mylar for the top of the head and red gills on the sides.

A mouse pattern in January??? Good for you.


Anonymous said...

I've also had success with green gills, and I often don't lacquer the body. Nice job catching one on the mouse. It does seem like an exciting way to fish.

Have fun in Florida Ken!


Falsecast said...

Not a fly tier myself so have nothing to add.

I do like my fish porn, however, and congrats on the ink you received in Eastern Fly Fishing Mag piece on the Swift Ken!

Overall the article is balanced and accurate. I wonder if it means even more people will check it out or if the only people that read the mag are already there anyway? Happy Tying