Very nice! That's a beauty! It reminds me that I need to tie some up very similar to that for my local lakes, which get hatches of black gnats. I think I only have a couple similar ones left in my box.
I've found that a BH soft hackle like that will sink slowly, and stay in the zone with a slow hand-twist retrieve on regular mono tippet/leader and a floating line.
i have an almost identical pattern (minus the bead, different hook)
that i swing for summer steelhead. basically my lazy mans bastardized steelhead coachman. probably someone out there using it for smallies
Thanks guys! Yes, after fishing many years with the fantastic soft hackles in Patagonia (specially the Partridge Series) y finally added BH's to the flies. As McNasty said, to add a BH when you love to cast floating lines, is the best. See that the bead head is small, because (as we know) a soft hackle needs to work almost below the surface or at least on the first 2-3ft below. This black feather (hen) and the peacock-cooper wire combination is deadly in my area, specially when I cast in still waters close to the rushes and rocks. In that cases I wait 10-20seconds (depending on the depth) before the retrieve, and sometimes trout catch it during the sinking. I prefer to use fluorocarbon as tippet; a long section. Good fishing!
I have become a fan of the BH soft-hackle, too. I use them in lakes, but also for coastal cutthroat when I'm fishing with a floating line, and sometimes with a clear sinktip to get down deeper into the pools.
I have some small silver beads that I am going to use in my attempt to copy your fly in the pic you posted.