"If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would of ended long ago". Zane Grey
Everyone who reads this blog knows that I love soft hackle flies. I love the way they work through the water and the way this traditional fly looks in the vise. I don't get goofy with beads and rubber legs. I want something that looks like an insect that lives in my stream. My boxes are full of them but this past year four did most of the work for me.
The Yellow and Partridge - This is my summertime fly whether I'm on the Swift, EB or Millers. Yellow thread for the body on size 16 and smaller and yellow floss on larger sizes. Some olive rabbit or Australian possum for the thorax and a SPARSE hackle collar does it. This fly gets things going during the sulphur season on the Swift especially during the late afternoon.
Forget the camera hog partridge and orange that found it's way into the picture with my Olive and Partridge flies. The Olive and Partridge never seemed to work for me on the Swift BUT it's a great pattern on the Millers and the EB. In fact, this pattern works great in larger sizes like a 10 or an 8 on fast EB water. Olive thread or floss depending on fly size, brown rabbit for the thorax and sparse partridge for the hackle. Tying this in a size 8 lets you use up some of those oversized hackles that you have hanging around.
The Pink Partridge - pink floss for the body, dark grey rabbit for the thorax and then sparse partridge. This fly got it's start when I bought some spools of floss at Mike's Deerfield Fly Shop last summer. I bought a spool of pink and began to wonder why I did that when I thought that it may look good on a SH. It did look good and it worked well on the EB and the Millers. I didn't fish it on the Swift but I will this year.
Partridge and Orange - Really dependable with that orange kevlar body in the larger sizes and still effective with orange waxed thread in the smaller sizes. You just can't beat this fly EXCEPT the Yellow and Partridge will nose it out during the summer.