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Post Info TOPIC: Soft Hackle Fly Set-up and Fishing Technique
SCM


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Soft Hackle Fly Set-up and Fishing Technique
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Lately I have been really interested in fishing soft hackle flies. However, I am not exactly sure how to rig or fish soft hackle flies. I tried fishing a few soft hackle flies this past Sunday.  I used a standard 9-foot tapered leader with one fly and small piece of shot about 15-inches above. I fished this rig tight-line style with a slight downstream cast and swing-out.  I didn't catch anything, but I got the impression I might not have rigged or fished this fly properly.  Does any one have tips or techniques on fishing soft hackle flies?

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Check out Sylvester Nemes, The Soft-Hackled Fly or Tiny Soft Hackles: A Trout Fisherman's Guide.

http://flyfisherman.com/softhackles/index1.html

http://www.westfly.com/feature-article/0011/feature_370.htm


Some guys I've talked with like the two or three fly rig to hit different depths and variety. One soft hackle floating in the film or just underneath works for me.

Are you tying any?





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SCM


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Thanks for the links. I did tie up a few soft-hackle patterns, which I don't recall the names. All were tied on a #14 dry fly hook with a tapered/dubbed body and a very sparse turn of grouse hackle. I used a few body colors: olive, rust, and gold ribbed hares ear style.

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No problem...I've enjoyed fishing with soft hackles the past couple of seasons. Soft hackle light bulb went on after watching a very experienced FF hammer a section of water that I had previously worked over nymphing with little success. Yellow floss or pearl mylar/crystal flash body with pea**** thorax have worked well, too. Best thing about them is not worrying about losing or snagging--very quick and easy tie.  wink

If you plan on purchasing the inexpensive partridge packet instead of the full skin, spend a few minutes separating small, medium, and large into three different ziplock bags. Saved me tons of time at the vise.

-- Edited by Flying Dutchman at 10:39, 2008-03-12

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JT


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I recommend buying the whole partridge skin.  It's a whole lot easier, and you get way more feathers.  I found those bags to be full of useless feathers.

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SCM


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I too became interested in soft-hackle flies after seeing some forum postings here and elsewhere regarding their effectiveness and simplicity. What size hooks are you tying on? I tied mine on a #14 since it seemed like a soft-hackle should be sized somewhere between a small streamer and even smaller nymph patterns.

I tried to cut a corner with the grouse hackle since I was really turned off by the partridge packets that were available locally. The packages I saw looked like down stuffing in a pillow; all of which were in the 50% off bin. It was hard to make the grouse hackle work since the feathers seemed to be a little to fine and didn't separate all that easily. I will have to order a partridge skin on-line.

Another question...I fished my soft-hackle rig tight-lined without an indicator. Should I be using an indicator to control depth?

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I think soft hackles are way under used. I use em alot if fish are rising. I tend to dead drift em then let em swing out on a tight line and hang in the current below you for at least 10 to 20 seconds. Or just swing em without an indicator. My favorite one for putah is a simlpe green thread body with I think its partidge for the hackle and just a little bit of hares mask for just a little bit of dubbing behind the hackle. I dont tye fly so thats the best description I can give.

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SCM, I wasn't trying to steer you in the wrong direction. Yes, as JT mentioned, skins are a better buy. A friend still purchases the packets...not sure why for as much time he spends at the vise!? Shop owner warned me about wife's reaction to the mess. Captain is right, especially hanging in the current below for what can seem to be an eternity--try a short strip/pause or a slight rod tip raise/lower right before recast to impart action.

-- Edited by Flying Dutchman at 09:50, 2008-03-13

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