A somewhat different look at soft-hackles, spiders and flymphs. When these are wet and viewed as the fish see them you'll see better why the can be so very effective. As you look down through this post you will also see that most all freshwater fish will take these flies, and in a variety of waters, from still water lakes and ponds to small streams and large rivers. Using a couple of retrieves as well as just letting them roll with the flow you'll be very surprised how effective these simple flies can be.
Tie up a few, or pick some up at your local fly shop and give them a try.
Awesome images and flies Alan. Question for you... What knot are you using. It's a real nice small knot!ReplyDelete
Will, it's a clinch knot. Simplicity to go along with the flies.
Interesting. The knot looked so small I wondered if it was a Davey knot (which I always forget how to tie, so I go back to tried and true - a clinch or improved clinch for most flies, and loop knot's for streamers or other big flies)... Looking back Alan, it's a great looking bunch of fish and flies - and goes to show just how universally appealing spiders/softhackles/flymphs are. Did you see the recent edition of the brittish magazine "fly fishing and fly tying"? Nice little article on spiders/soft hackles.Delete
Will I did not see that article, is it online or do you have to purchase the magazine?Delete
The effectiveness of these flies is impressive. Most anglers don't give them enough work.
Not sure about online... I just checked the site and it looks like you would have to buy it. I get my copy at Barnes and Noble each month - spendy being from across the pond, but always a good read.Delete
Good point looking at them wet instead of dry.ReplyDelete
Mark it's the way a fish views them. More appetizing, sort of like looking raw beef liver, and then looking fried liver, bacon and onions.
Because I keep track of such things, I can list the species I have caught on soft hackles, but I won't because there are 18 of them!ReplyDelete
Rowan those little flies get every ones attention.
You can't go wrong with soft hackles. A nice perspective to see them wet the way the trout see them.ReplyDelete
Sam they do work. They sure take on a different look.
Alan, I know their effective on trout,but I have never thought about other species. It sure opens up a whole new world. The photo of the rock bass and smallie are cool. I have a creek near my home that I think I will experiment with soft hackles and flymphs. Very nice images of wet flys,not use to seeing images of the way fish see them. Thankyou.ReplyDelete
Brad I was surprised on how much those smallies love them. And the rock bass which I enjoy catching where all over them. I feel you'll do well with them in your part of PA.
Alan, Beautiful flies - you are tempting me to give soft hackles more use when the season starts over here!!!!ReplyDelete
Alistair, give them a workout, you'll love the results.
Simple, elegant, effective flies!!! Well Done!!!ReplyDelete
Pete you are with out a doubt a soft hackle addict.
I sure do appreciate the beauty and simplicity of a soft-hackle. Best of all, they work. Nice ties!ReplyDelete
I agree with the beauty and simplicity, and I think many of us do to. Yes fish do love them.
Hi Alan, as always great stuff, but if these were fished upstream coming back down on a drift at the speed of the current the the hackles would not cling to the body, but tend to spring out and pulse as the angler, or currents acting upon the fly line, or leader ( i always preferred the term cast) causing the fly to move with or against the water, giving the appearence of life to the fly. I think to truly see the flies as trout might the photos would need to be taken from below the surface of the water. Not a criticism, just an observation.ReplyDelete
Your totally correct. And I will fish them upstream when I can do so effectively on a small stream. Most times the fish will take at the end of the drift while the fly hangs in the current. As far as a photo of the action in the water I'd need a underwater camera.
First off, for Brad who commented above, I can attest to the fact that Bluegill, Crappie, and Perch have all taken the Soft Hackle patterns on the end of my line. Alan, it's simplicity in tying, (even though yours are beautifully tied) is another reason that I love fishing them for Bluegill. They are Soft Hackle friendly...ReplyDelete
Mel perch is a fish that's eluded me using a soft-hackle, I hope to change that this year. Many of the spiders are used in the lakes by our friends in the UK and with great success.
Can't wait to try my remaining soft hackles you tied for me a while back----will also have to try them out on Mel's bluegill---thanks for sharing
Bill they work very well on bluegills. Smallmouth take them also.
This post is fantastic! I agree wholeheartedly that most patterns are more insect like when well soaked! Your photography of these is superb! I also agree with Grandpa Mel in his comments about our warm water friends being "Soft-hackle friendly"!
This post is my fly fishing and tying world in a nutshell! Thanks Alan for bringing it to us! Great stuff indeed!
With kindest regards and eternal gratitude,
Doug the warm water guys really love soft-hackles. I know you can really relate to this coming from Ohio.
I fished a fly the other day called a "Doug's Bug"...one that you tied for me. Also no reply from Ohio Dept. Fish and Game on brook trout.