Sunday, July 19, 2015
What Is A Soft Hackle Fly
I tied up a zillion of them through the Winter and fished, lost and destroyed many over the last four months.
From size 8, which just seem to work well on the EB, down to size 18 or so on the Swift. I'm tying more now for the Fall (I hate to say that) season only two months away. I don't mind because of all the sunken fly patterns that I tie this is the one that makes me feel good when I take it from the vise. It's a beautiful trout fly.
First things first - the soft hackle fly is a STYLE of tying that goes back over 400 years to the British Isles. It was saved from oblivion by Sylvester Nemes and his great book "The Soft Hackle Fly". It is the style of tying that counts. Just because you tie in grouse, partridge, hen, starling, whatever into a fly doesn't make it a SOFT HACKLE FLY. It's a fly with soft hackles which doesn't do what the original patterns were meant to do: imitate an emerging nymph on it's way to emergence. I guess that you could tie a wooley bugger with grouse hackles but it's still a wooley bugger and not a soft hackle fly.
This is a slim fly just as many emerging nymphs are slim. Originally tied with silk for the SLIM body you can now get away with floss or nylon or 70 denier tying thread. A simple, sparse thorax and then two turns of hackle of your choice does it. DON'T OVER BUILD THIS FLY!! Fat, bushy soft hackles don't really work on trout that have been in the stream for awhile.
The Partridge and Orange that's pictured has produced more Fall/Winter trout than any other pattern for me. Replace the orange with olive thread and you will do well through the Spring and Summer.
Get a copy of Nemes's book. Look at the fly photos and start dreaming!!
P.S. Forget Striper fishing until next year.
Posted by Millers River Flyfisher at 7:59 PM
Labels: Fly Fishing Instruction, guided fly fishing trips on the Swift River, guided fly fishing trips on th East Branch of the Westfield River, Guided fly fishing trips on the Miller River