Fly Tying · On the Vise

On My Vise: There’s just something about a soft hackle..

What is it about soft hackle patterns that makes them such great fish catchers?

“the close enough”

The other night I was sitting at my vise trying to figure out what to tie, and it always tends to go back to a soft hackle.

I love them. Love the tie them and I love the fish them.

For me, when tying this fly It doesn’t matter what kind or what type of materials; or that it’s exact to what it’s supposed to looke like. Just that it has movement and The characteristics of a general food source for trout.

Because they were tied to imitate; as I call a “close enough “rendition of something that’s swimming for its life, or is at the end of it’s life.

soft hackles; they catch fish.

This pattern here is nothing specific but it works.

Some may say “well what is it?”

“In the water what it represents is what?”

use The dubbing of your choice based on where you fish

One of the many insects caught in the current that have drown?

An emerging insect that is swimming for us life up to the surface?

The truth is we don’t know, and we may never know but it’s all about trial and error, seeing what works. And on those days that you don’t catch any fish you find out what didn’t work.

But for me sometimes when I’m on the river ill grab a mayfly out of the air.. smash it in my hand and inspect it. Not so much that is destroyed but enough that it’s flattened.

Then I flip through that soft hackle fly box and find what I consider to be “close enough ”

And this here is what I call one of those “close enough “soft hackles.

gold tinsel adds flash

I could give you a recipe here to tie this which I will but in reality it’s whatever you think looks like something where you fish.

What I like to tell people beginning tying and also the participants in our project healing waters group is to just Have fun tying  them because; you will have fun fishing them, and when that fish grabs onto that fly at the end of your swing.. you’ll know..because they don’t take soft hackles with an easy bite.

oversize partridge feathers are always a great choice

Hook: Wet/Nymph hook

Or:Light Nymph Hook (if you will be fishing it higher in the water column or with dry fly floatant to fish in the film)

Dubbing: a mixture o squirrel from the body and rabbit mix from the mask in your colors of choice

Ribbing: wide gold tinsel

Hackle: an oversize partridge feather on the lighter side usually found closer to the neck.


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