Friday, December 29, 2017

A 2018 Challenge

My old box, every type of fly...not any more.
2018 is knocking at the door, many of us have out New Years resolutions written down, and most of them will be abandoned by the time St. Patrick's Day is here. I have a few of my own and I too will be in the St. Patrick's Day group, with the exception of one resolution....and that resolution is to fish with nothing but soft-hackled flies.

Part of my inspiration came from Yvon Chouinard who used one style of fly, the pheasant tail soft hackle in many variations for one year. That was quite a challenge and I hope to do the same only I'll use variations of soft hackles to create dries, wets, and streamers.


This is my new fly box...I'll start filling it with soft hackles and begin fishing them New Years Day.


One of the first flies is this "Snake Stonefly" the pattern was found in Allen McGee's book "Fly Fishing Soft Hackles.


The "Minimalist Nymph" also a pattern from McGee's book....pretty simple.


A pattern of my own...scruffy, I love it.


A soft hackle dry fly, also a pattern of mine.

It should be an interesting year for me.








35 comments:

  1. Alan
    Good choice for your New Year's Resolution. All you really need is the pheasant tail soft hackle.!!!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TROUT1
      Thanks
      Pete you can attest to that. It should be interesting.

      Delete
  2. Knowing you, it will be an awesome soft-hackle year. Go get'em.

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    Replies
    1. Mark Kautz
      Thanks
      Mark I'm looking forward to it.

      Delete
  3. Shades of Art Flick, in years gone by, who limited his choice to a deer hair beetle, on the Schoharie for an entire season. He did as well as ever. Hard to believe you're forsaking the celebrated A. bomber. Happy new year. Be safe.

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    Replies
    1. John Dornik
      Thanks
      John I never knew that about Flick.
      I'm trying to configure a soft hackle bomber, it should be interesting for sure.

      Delete
  4. Alan, Can't wait to follow your patterns through 2018!

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    Replies
    1. Ralph Long
      Thanks
      Ralph the journey should be fun.

      Delete
  5. This should be interesting.... I'm looking forward to seeing your fly selection... What no "Wet Fly Pinkie"?

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    Replies
    1. Doug Korn, Fly Tyer
      Thanks
      Doug I have most of the staples, it's the odd stuff that's going to be a challenge.
      How about a soft hackle pinkie?

      Delete
  6. That's an awesome idea. They say the mark of maturity is the appreciation of and quest for nuance over novelty. This is on point for that axiom.

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    Replies
    1. Fred NJ
      Thanks
      Fred it's a quest I had in mind for several years. But I thought it would be dry flies, maybe that will be next years resolution.

      Delete
  7. I'll be watching with great interest Alan. I think you'll prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it's not the fly, but the fisherman.

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    Replies
    1. Howard Levett
      Thanks
      Howard I hope so.
      Should be fun.

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  8. Alan, i am not surprised by your resolution. Your passion for soft hackles is very obvious when you go back thru your posts over the years. I'm glad you've dedicated yourself to such an adventure. I think all of us will benefit from your resolution. Cannot wait to hitch up to this ride. Thankyou.

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    Replies
    1. Brad Basehore
      Thanks
      Brad it will be a learning adventure for me, if anyone else benefits that will be a plus. It has been cold here, I hope the fish will be active at least for a few hours.

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  9. Alan, I really like that resolution. It narrows down what one brings to the stream. Going through my flies recently and tying a few during this cold snap, I realize that when I am fishing, I always seek out the flies I have confidence in. Many that I tied last winter that seemed like a good idea at the time, never got out of the fly box.

    Sam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Parachute Adams
      Thanks
      Sam it's funny how we head to the rivers with our boxes fully stocked with almost every fly....at seasons end we find we have only used maybe half of the patterns in our boxes.
      Another issue to be dealt with, hooks.

      Delete
  10. Alan,
    Can I have your "old box"? Since you won't have much need for it this year.....
    It will be interesting to follow along with you during this journey! Keep us fed my friend!
    Dougsden

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    Replies
    1. Dougsden
      Thanks
      Doug it should be very interesting, I will probably have lots of stories.
      Sorry buddy the fly box is spoken for.

      Delete
  11. Have you done any soft hackles with wire bodies? I've tried and had good luck with a red and blue wire body.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous
      Thanks
      I have not used wire on the bodies of my flies. But perhaps this year I may.
      What size wire do you use?

      Delete
    2. I think the hook was a 16 and I used brassie size wire. Mostly up to how fast you want it to sink.

      Delete
  12. Well done Alan, In the past thats all Ive used before I got into nymphing, for a few years all I fished was spider patterns, never bothered with anything else and my catch rate never suffered either.

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    Replies
    1. George
      Thanks
      George that's good to hear. There are times when we find some highly selective trout, and when that happens I move on to another part of the stream and it's usually solved.

      Delete
  13. I think this idea sounds great. I too carry hundreds of flies to the stream and fish the same 3 or 4 stuck in the bream of my hat.
    Go get'em

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    Replies
    1. ray henley
      Thanks
      Ray it seems we all carry to many flies. Certain ones are favorites and those do most of the work.

      Delete
  14. Hi Alan,

    Because of it's success, I have a bad habit of using one fly 99% of the time; it's Whitlock's Red Fox Squirrel nymph. In fact, I've caught just about everything with it and I believe there is a soft hackle recipe out there on the internet.

    Happy New Year

    Regards

    John V.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John V
      Thanks
      John that's a great fly, and I hope to tie a few in the soft hackle style. I have a couple of fox squirrel tails but I can't seem to find them.

      Delete
  15. I look forward to following your experiment with interest. I like the look of the scruffy patterns you designed. One question, How do you find the hooking success on the up-eyed hooks?

    Best wishes,
    Paul

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    Replies
    1. Paul Gaskell
      Thanks
      Paul I don't find the up-turned eye any better than other styles of hooks. It's some patterns look so much better on the up-turned hook. I like the straight eye hooks very much for spider patterns.

      Delete
  16. Alan,
    I wish you all the best in your goal of fishing the year with soft hackles. I lived very close to Sylvester Nemes and he would be very proud of you in your quest.
    I would really appreciate it if you would let us know about the patterns that you use and their construction if you have the time.
    Happy New Year Good fishing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bryan S.
      Thanks
      Bryan I know I will learn a great deal in these next 12 months, and I'll be happy to pass it along to all of you.
      I have been fumbling around trying to find some patterns that were created by Sylvester. I think it would be great to actually fish these flies.

      Delete
  17. Alan
    The soft hackle is my second go to pattern right after the midge, couldn't do without either in my fly box. Thanks for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Bill Trussell
      Thanks
      Bill for the next year the soft-hackle will be my only go to patterns...it should be interesting.

      Delete