Soft hackles and copper john-athon

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Thomas Williams, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

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    Now I feel bad. My soft hackles are a lot more sparse. Maybe I should but a bit more dressing on them.

    Nice work on the flies Doc.
     
  2. Thomas Williams

    Thomas Williams Habitual Line Stepper

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    You know ive thought it was maybe a bit thick but I like the way they turned out. I do have some with less hackle like the green ones with orange ribbing and rusty brown dubbed around the wings.
     
  3. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

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    Well, according to Sylvester Nemens, in his tome, THE SOFT-HACKLED FLY, a color plate on page 96, shows several different dressings. All of them seem to be dressed with hackle that is fuller than I dress my flies. The Partridge and Orange at the bottom of the page has a more sparse hackle and is closer to my dressings. I have had fair to good success with them, depending on how the fish feels about them. I derive my pleasure from tying them and fishing them. I leave the critical choice up to the fish.

    If I was not so dense and had a way to show them I would. I guess you will just have to take my word on it. However, I am a fisherman and fishermen have sometimes been known to stretch the truth.

    Heck, I nearly tear it apart sometimes.
     
  4. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    Some of my soft hackles have sparse hackling, some are on the heavy-set side. I thought I tied the olive and black soft hackle I was using on Saturday with too thick of a hackle but the trout loved it so I was wrong. :cool:
     
  5. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

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    I have been wrong on so many occasions. I just never admit it to myself. I find it is easier to blame the fish. :)
     
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  6. zen leecher aka bill w

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

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    Charlie, you could always send me some of your flies and I'd take pics for you to post. I am curious how sparse your hackle is/are (verb depends on quantity of hackle).
     
  7. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    If I remember correctly, it seems to me the traditional wet fly patterns had fairly thick hackling. About the same as a dry fly pattern of the same time... but tied so the hackles swept back instead of a right angle to the shank.

    I'm not even so sure they were trying to imitate an emerger as perhaps an adult bug that sunk before it could fly off the surface. A quill wing dry fly looks very similar to a quill wing wet fly... the only difference is the angle of the hackle fibers and wings to the hook shank.
     
  8. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

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    Give me a day or two to crank out a few and I will post them over to you, Bill. I will PM you when I am done with them. OK?
     
  9. psycho

    psycho Active Member

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    I tie my soft hackles with one and at the most two wraps of hackle and I usually strip one side of the feather.
     
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  10. zen leecher aka bill w

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

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    Ron Eagle Elk said 13 hackle fibers was the magic number on soft hackles. Not too thick and not too sparse. I also read this in some soft hackle books. I am a subscriber to the above practice of two turns and stripping the hackle off one side of the feather as psycho does.
     
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  11. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    Normally, that's what I do too but the trout liked the chubby hackling so now I'm wondering if I've been tying mine too anorexic. I mean really, who decided the trout want skinny hackles?
     
  12. zen leecher aka bill w

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

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    I hedge my bets by having both styles of soft hackles.:rolleyes:
     
  13. Thomas Williams

    Thomas Williams Habitual Line Stepper

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    I just gauge it by looks. If I want to eat it then surely the fish want it! :cool:
     
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  14. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    Personally, I'd rather eat a thick hamburger than a skinny one. :D

    Maybe the sparse soft hackles only appeal to the trout on a diet.
     
  15. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

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    Come on guys, weight watcher flies?

    I am gullible, but not that gullible.
    It sounds like something my wife would like to sell me.