Eating my own words!

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by bitterroot, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. bitterroot

    bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

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    I said I'd never venture back into tying flies, but here I go again. My interest is primarily soft hackles, so my investment in materials is pretty small...and that's the way I want to keep it.
    I just picked up some materials & tools from my local fly shop, I'm waiting for a vise I bought off ebay and I'm gonna order some specific hooks that the local shop didn't have. I already have a few spools of Pearsall's gossamer silk to get me going. So, this winter I'll head down to the basement, fire up the kerosene stove, tie flies and sip a bit o' whiskey. :D
     
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  2. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    I tied a ton of soft hackles this winter Lonnie. They are fun to tie, easy and cheap so why not? Sounds like it's a good excuse for whiskey too! I found that I liked the ones that I tied with tiny Cyclops beadheads the best, proabably because they hide my lousy heads. I used the smallest ones that would fit on the hook and I found they have just enough weight to break the film. There you go - something else to spend money on, LOL! Have fun! Did you get a Regal? I've been looking for one too.
     
  3. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    Freestone, How deep do you figure your bead head softhackles go and are you fishing lakes or streams?
     
  4. bitterroot

    bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

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    Freestone, I ended up buying a Griffin Superior 3ARP. Made in Kalispell, MT. so it's gotta be good!!!
     
  5. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Zen, on lakes I am stripping or trolling them; they seem to stay right below the film to a few inches below. They seem to sink through the film right away but they sink very slowly. I haven't tried just letting them sink all the way but I imagine if I waited long enough, they'd eventually sink to the length of my leader. Maybe I am tying them too full, but the ones w/o the tiny beadhead pretty much sit on top and I have to force them to sink. On streams, I've used them as a dropper so I'd say they achieve the same type of depth as on lakes depending on the current.
     
  6. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    I was curious about what depth you were achieving. Sylvester Nemes' books talked about fishing them in the surface film on running water. I have done good on two soft hackles, the orange soft hackle at Rocky Ford and a lime green one up at Peterhope Lake in BC. I feel they were taking the orange one #14 as a shrimp or a caddis as I would "rise" it to the surface when I saw fish nearing. The lime green one #18 was to match small caddis pupa during July evening hatches.

    i've fished them for 20+ years in lakes but not much in streams.
     
  7. bitterroot

    bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

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    I had the best time of my life swinging soft hackles on Kelly Creek last fall. Casting up and out, letting them sink and the line tighten downstream, then letting them rise through the current. The fish were going nuts for them!
     
  8. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    Bitterroot, which soft hackle pattern and size??
     
  9. bitterroot

    bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

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    I'm a big fan of the purple & starling. Partridge & orange was great too. We were pulling caddis pupa off the rocks, breaking them open and finding lime green caddis pupa about 3/16 " long so a chartreuse green worked great too. All I used were 14 & 16.
     
  10. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

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    Yes, I seem to recall sitting in your truck 3 years ago and you swearing you'd NEVER tie another fly!:D
     
  11. bitterroot

    bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

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    I believe I said, "If I ever say that I'm gonna start tying flies again, shoot me in the head with a .357 magnum."

    Forget I ever said that....:D
     
  12. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Guess I'd better start tying for this year!
     
  13. Nick Clayton

    Nick Clayton Active Member

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    I think if I had to choose a single trout fly to fish for the rest of my life I would give much thought to selecting a partridge and orange. Amazingly versatile and effective fly. Have fun!
     
  14. Chad Lewis

    Chad Lewis NEVER wonder what to do with your free time

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    I've gotten a lot of mileage out of a gray hare's ear soft hackle. One of my favorite flies.
     
  15. TD

    TD Active Member

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    Interesting timing for this thread. I sat down at the vise yesterday and tied up a bunch of soft hackles and other similar flies. My motivation was sparked from skating flies. I started fishing skated flies for steelhead the past couple of years and noticed I picked up quite a few cutthroat, resident rainbows, and bull trout. It took a few outings in small creeks but I soon started letting my dry flies swing across current after casting upstream and letting them dead drift for trout. I was tickled to learn that I took quite a few fish while the fly skated across the current. This seemed odd to me after spending my entire life trying to achieve a drag free drift only to watch fish chase down and explode on a fly skirting across the current with a v-wake. It is always difficult for me to keep trude style flies from going under when the line tightens and they start to swing. I tried all kinds of tactics to try to keep them on top the entire time. Then one day I realized that I've hooked a number of fish "by accident" when the fly had dunked under and I pulling them back to cast again. This got me thinking that maybe a subsurface fly wasn't such a bad thing. I mean steelhead take them for me. So, lately I've been swinging spider style flies and pulling them back upstream after the swing with very good results. This isn't quite as exciting as watching fish rise up from 3 ft of water to sip a dry fly from the surface but it is a lot of fun to have a 12" trout crash through your fly and feel like a 2 pounder for the first 15 seconds! I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure that this method has been much more productive on my local North End Westside rivers than the standard dead drifted dry fly. With the October Caddis coming on, I focused on orange colored soft hackles.
     
  16. Thomas Mitchell

    Thomas Mitchell Active Member

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    TD - I think I've read that the Trude style was actually designed to go under on the swing. So you cast up and across, let it dead drift all the way down then swing it across just under the surface on a traditional wet fly swing.

    I tie and fish softhackles more than anything else because I like catching trout on the swing just like steelhead. Here are a few steelhead softhackle that seemed to work well on low rivers where the fish key on buggy flies.

    [​IMG]

    Not that anyone would need an S-B-S to a softhackle but here's one I did for my blog on the Primrose & Partridge which is my 'confidence fly' for trout fishing. If they won't take one of these, then I can accept that they just won't take...

    Modernized Primrose & Partridge

    [​IMG]

    Have fun! Tying keeps me sane...
     
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  17. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Great bugs Thomas!

    TD, I fish my attractor patterns wet, just submerged, a lot of the time especially on small streams. Sometimes I do the dead drift into the swing but I also sometimes just get them wet right away. Try fishing a green humpy wet sometime and see what happens! I love soft hackles too but they really hammer bushy dries just below the surface.

    Last weekend, I was fishing big foam Chornobyl-type bugs (sz 6) in heavy whitewater. My biggest fish of the day, a 21.5" cutt, came submerged on the swing in 1' waves so don't limit the technique to traditional soft hackles.
     
  18. TD

    TD Active Member

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    I would have never guessed that the trude styles were originally tied as wet flies. I can easily see the white calf tail just being a wing with a soft hackle in front though now that you bring it to my attention.

    Freestone - don't think I would have ever considered going under with a humpy. I could see a lime green humpy fished wet working well where caddis are prevalent. I fish a bright orange humpy in late september early october quite often.

    Thanks for the input!
     
  19. bitterroot

    bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

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    Great lookin' flies, Thomas! Soft hackles are a simple fly to tie but there is still room for a lot of creativity, as you have shown.
     
  20. dfl

    dfl Active Member

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    Bitterroot, dollar to a doughnut you don't keep it at just soft hackles.