Fishing Halfbacks

IveofIone

WFF Supporter
I recently counted all of my fly fishing boxes and realized that I have over 25 that hold a dizzying array of flies-most of which I have never and will never use. All of the guys I fish with know that I catch the majority of my fish on size 12 or 14 Halfbacks. It is my go-to fly from the spring opener until the last day of the season. Last week I took my biggest fish of the season on one. The success of the HB has allowed me to shrink down the number of boxes I take to the lake with me now and often just 2 boxes and a chironomid pack are all I take. I have really simplified things.

Although I will readily give these away no one else I fish with seems to have any luck with them. However, I recently had a PM from a fellow board member that uses them extensively and ties them almost identical to mine. It really encouraged me to find someone else that is dialed into HB goodness.

So what makes them so good? For starters they are about the same size, color and shape of many organisms that you will find in a fishes stomach. they seem to fish well in waters that see a lot of gaudy bead head buggers and particularly well toward the end of the season after fish have seen every possible iteration of a wooly bugger or leech. Fishing them seems to be particularly suited to us elderly guys as they are pretty much a do-nothing presentation but more involved than chironomid staring. I fish them on fast sinking lines, usually Type 5 or 7, deep and slow. I'm always amazed at how big fish find these things in deep water. Because of my success with them I have learned to use nothing lighter than 3X flouro and tie them with a loop knot. Hooks are always S82 3906B Mustads that come sticky sharp, they hook and hold being 2X long and 3X heavy.

When you need a break from slinging tungsten and stripping like crazy give these a try, it is a relaxing way to catch big fish and lots of them. Yeah, there are days that I get out fished by guys using leeches or recently-Boobies-but on average I can hold my own. I am not too proud to beg if a certain pattern is just kicking my ass and I have none.
 

_WW_

Geriatric Skagit Swinger
WFF Supporter
I recently counted all of my fly fishing boxes and realized that I have over 25 that hold a dizzying array of flies-most of which I have never and will never use. All of the guys I fish with know that I catch the majority of my fish on size 12 or 14 Halfbacks. It is my go-to fly from the spring opener until the last day of the season. Last week I took my biggest fish of the season on one. The success of the HB has allowed me to shrink down the number of boxes I take to the lake with me now and often just 2 boxes and a chironomid pack are all I take. I have really simplified things.

Although I will readily give these away no one else I fish with seems to have any luck with them. However, I recently had a PM from a fellow board member that uses them extensively and ties them almost identical to mine. It really encouraged me to find someone else that is dialed into HB goodness.

So what makes them so good? For starters they are about the same size, color and shape of many organisms that you will find in a fishes stomach. they seem to fish well in waters that see a lot of gaudy bead head buggers and particularly well toward the end of the season after fish have seen every possible iteration of a wooly bugger or leech. Fishing them seems to be particularly suited to us elderly guys as they are pretty much a do-nothing presentation but more involved than chironomid staring. I fish them on fast sinking lines, usually Type 5 or 7, deep and slow. I'm always amazed at how big fish find these things in deep water. Because of my success with them I have learned to use nothing lighter than 3X flouro and tie them with a loop knot. Hooks are always S82 3906B Mustads that come sticky sharp, they hook and hold being 2X long and 3X heavy.

When you need a break from slinging tungsten and stripping like crazy give these a try, it is a relaxing way to catch big fish and lots of them. Yeah, there are days that I get out fished by guys using leeches or recently-Boobies-but on average I can hold my own. I am not too proud to beg if a certain pattern is just kicking my ass and I have none.
I'm thinking you ought to give us a picture!
 

Kfish

WFF Supporter
I recently counted all of my fly fishing boxes and realized that I have over 25 that hold a dizzying array of flies-most of which I have never and will never use. All of the guys I fish with know that I catch the majority of my fish on size 12 or 14 Halfbacks. It is my go-to fly from the spring opener until the last day of the season. Last week I took my biggest fish of the season on one. The success of the HB has allowed me to shrink down the number of boxes I take to the lake with me now and often just 2 boxes and a chironomid pack are all I take. I have really simplified things.

Although I will readily give these away no one else I fish with seems to have any luck with them. However, I recently had a PM from a fellow board member that uses them extensively and ties them almost identical to mine. It really encouraged me to find someone else that is dialed into HB goodness.

So what makes them so good? For starters they are about the same size, color and shape of many organisms that you will find in a fishes stomach. they seem to fish well in waters that see a lot of gaudy bead head buggers and particularly well toward the end of the season after fish have seen every possible iteration of a wooly bugger or leech. Fishing them seems to be particularly suited to us elderly guys as they are pretty much a do-nothing presentation but more involved than chironomid staring. I fish them on fast sinking lines, usually Type 5 or 7, deep and slow. I'm always amazed at how big fish find these things in deep water. Because of my success with them I have learned to use nothing lighter than 3X flouro and tie them with a loop knot. Hooks are always S82 3906B Mustads that come sticky sharp, they hook and hold being 2X long and 3X heavy.

When you need a break from slinging tungsten and stripping like crazy give these a try, it is a relaxing way to catch big fish and lots of them. Yeah, there are days that I get out fished by guys using leeches or recently-Boobies-but on average I can hold my own. I am not too proud to beg if a certain pattern is just kicking my ass and I have none.
Pictures of the fly please?
 

jwg

Active Member
pretty much a do-nothing presentation but more involved than chironomid staring. I fish them on fast sinking lines, usually Type 5 or 7, deep and slow. I'm always amazed at how big fish find these things in deep water
Slow meaning? Cast out , count down, slow retrieve by hand, or rowing or kicking ?

Jay
 

Vladimir Steblina

Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working
Years ago......I looked at the Inland Empire Fly Tying book and almost HALF of the flies were a variation of the Halfback!!! I call mine....the "green thing". PM me.

Are you going south??
 

Bowbonehead

Active Member
I can not remember when I last fished either a half-back or a full-back but I sure did when I was younger.... great fly... its funny how you get onto new flies and forget about the ones that got you started...... like Rat-faced Mcdougals, Spruce flies, Black gnats and Mosquito patterns....... I think I have a box of half-backs somewhere that I need to find.......
 

Buzzy

Active Member
[QUOTE="Bowbonehead, post:].. its funny how you get onto new flies and forget about the ones that got you started......
[/QUOTE]So true!
 

Krusty

Outta Here
I recently counted all of my fly fishing boxes and realized that I have over 25 that hold a dizzying array of flies-most of which I have never and will never use. All of the guys I fish with know that I catch the majority of my fish on size 12 or 14 Halfbacks. It is my go-to fly from the spring opener until the last day of the season. Last week I took my biggest fish of the season on one. The success of the HB has allowed me to shrink down the number of boxes I take to the lake with me now and often just 2 boxes and a chironomid pack are all I take. I have really simplified things.

Although I will readily give these away no one else I fish with seems to have any luck with them. However, I recently had a PM from a fellow board member that uses them extensively and ties them almost identical to mine. It really encouraged me to find someone else that is dialed into HB goodness.

So what makes them so good? For starters they are about the same size, color and shape of many organisms that you will find in a fishes stomach. they seem to fish well in waters that see a lot of gaudy bead head buggers and particularly well toward the end of the season after fish have seen every possible iteration of a wooly bugger or leech. Fishing them seems to be particularly suited to us elderly guys as they are pretty much a do-nothing presentation but more involved than chironomid staring. I fish them on fast sinking lines, usually Type 5 or 7, deep and slow. I'm always amazed at how big fish find these things in deep water. Because of my success with them I have learned to use nothing lighter than 3X flouro and tie them with a loop knot. Hooks are always S82 3906B Mustads that come sticky sharp, they hook and hold being 2X long and 3X heavy.

When you need a break from slinging tungsten and stripping like crazy give these a try, it is a relaxing way to catch big fish and lots of them. Yeah, there are days that I get out fished by guys using leeches or recently-Boobies-but on average I can hold my own. I am not too proud to beg if a certain pattern is just kicking my ass and I have none.
I think your luck with HB's illustrates the importance of presentation, as well as why we find specific pattern favorites that have little to do with any sort of discernible hatch. You're completely dialed in with what works with a HB....no doubt subtle differences in your retrieve cannot easily be replicated.
 

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