I tie flies on jigs a lot, so much so that it’s become almost automatic when reaching for a hook. They are great for nymphing, will sink deep with a tungsten bead and extra weight under the body and ride with the hook point up on a tight line; meaning less hangups as you are high sticking through the riffles.
Not to say that I dont still use standard nymph hooks with brass beads when I am going to be fishing skinnier water, and need to opt for something lighter that wont barrel straight down through the water column; It’s just that I cant seem to keep myself away from them.
While I may never really know what it is that makes them so attractive to look at, what I do know, is that one question I am asked the most when demonstrating or tying At a show, is:
“How do I get those slotted beads to sit right?!? It doesn’t work. What am I doing wrong?”
Last week we discussed two ways you can utilize an oversized feather when it comes to tying with soft hackles, and today we are going to look at two more. These two methods listed below are my favorites and while one is rather quick, the other allows you to mix it up a bit. Lets take a look!
“The Flying V”
While I have no idea what this technique is normally called, or where it came from originally; what I do know, is that I have seen it used many times by many different people, and I am always amazed at how quick and effective it is. I have also added a YouTube link at the end to a video by Craig Matthews on this technique, in case you need a moving visual.
The Split thread dubbing technique is mainly used when you don’t want to add extra bulk to your fly. It works well when you are applying material to the head of a fly such as a hackle collar. Keep in mind that all threads are not good for splitting. Here I am using Danville thread which works just fine. This technique can be used for many different patterns, large or small, and the way you put the dubbing on will also have a different effect.
Our January 11th meeting was a pretty busy one! Some of you who have been in our program over the last few years, might remember that this is the time of year where we split the class in two for a few sessions. Some of you will build fly rods with Harry and the rest of you will be tying with me. The fly tying will also be split up in two groups as well for anyone who is new. New participants will begin with me for your 101 sessions and the other half of the class will continue with me on our 201.
Anyone who has spoken to me during a presentation, while tying at a show or on the water, knows that I love tying, fishing and talking; soft hackles. If they didn’t know it at first, they learn rather quickly, seeing as though my caffeine fueled ramblings have a tendency to veer in that direction mid conversation without warning.
It’s an addiction! So much so, that in the middle of tying something else, I seem to glance over to where I had previously left a partridge or starling skin, look left and right like I am doing something wrong, abandon my current pattern and move over to my husbands vise! Tie one or two, and then hop back over to my side and continue what I was doing.
Oh what a great addiction to have!
The other side to this, is that no matter how much I love tying and admiring a handful soft hackles where everything is seemingly perfect, doing everything I can to recreate the fly to my liking and bettering myself at the techniques; the bottom line is that soft hackles fish just as good on a first cast as they do after 5 fish. The more chewed up the better they become! The fibers are all over the place, floss is frayed and you’re still hooking fish with the lifelike appearance that they give, even with those materials all askew!
There are certain flies that have a tendency to become overlooked for various reasons:
– they are considered “elementary”: ” a San Juan worm?!! Those are too simple to tie. No good for someone as advanced as me. ” 🙄
-they look ridiculous: “Really?? An egg pattern?! eww. I would never fish with that. Not happening”
– A Size 20?! Never! The fish will never see that little thing, why waste my time!”
But you see, that’s just the thing , they do work and trout do see them.
These “ridiculous” flies not only work, but they work very well in these current winter months in which we are in.
..And the sad little zebra midge.. half hidden in the slot of your fly box.. is no stranger to being passed on by..
How does that old saying go?
“New Year, New me”?
Well I’ll tell you what.. Seeing as though I won’t be whipping up any resolutions for consuming less bacon or coffee, and will more than likely just spend the rest of the new year, as usual, crossing out 2016 on everything I write because it’s now 2017.. 😂
What I do know, is that there’s never a bad time to try a new technique in regards to fly tying.
A few weeks back I posted a fly pattern for the LaFontaine Deep Sparkle Pupae, and after going through some tips to palmer hackle on a fly such as the wooly bugger, I decided that there’s no better way to start the new year than with a technique that may have been forgotten in these new times.