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Thread: Soft Hackles

  1. #1
    Senior Member ricinus's Avatar
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    Soft Hackles

    Apply floatant?? Yea or Nay..

    Mike

  2. #2
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    I've fished wet flies on top, so why not?


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  3. #3
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    Never.

    If anything add a small dab of sink putty about a foot or so above the fly.

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  4. #4
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    No ... let it do its own thing. Thant's how it was designed.
    Lord ... give me patience, and give it to me RIGHT NOW!!!!!

  5. #5
    Steven
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    Fishing up stream or down?

    Down? No.

    Upstream? Grease your tippet to about 6" from the fly.

  6. #6
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    Always down and across.

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  7. #7
    Senior Member ricinus's Avatar
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    Thanks all, pretty much what I thought..

    Mike

  8. #8
    Steven
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    Quote Originally Posted by joekrz View Post
    Always down and across.

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    There's an argument to be made (I think Datus Proper made it) that "stiff" hackles should be fished down and across. Fished upstream, like Stewart's Spiders, soft hackles move and look alive. Fished down and across, the drag compresses the soft hackle, making it look like nothing.

    On the other hand, stiff rooster hackle would still look alive even with drag at the end of the swing.

    Just a theory.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ricinus's Avatar
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    I was fishing a Cutthroat stream last year and the only thing that caught their interest was a soft hackle in the film. If it sunk they weren't interested.. I just ginked up the fly and it worked well, though seems to defeat the purpose of a soft hackle..

    Mike

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven View Post
    There's an argument to be made (I think Datus Proper made it) that "stiff" hackles should be fished down and across. Fished upstream, like Stewart's Spiders, soft hackles move and look alive. Fished down and across, the drag compresses the soft hackle, making it look like nothing.

    On the other hand, stiff rooster hackle would still look alive even with drag at the end of the swing.

    Just a theory.
    Down and across. Or more correctly...across and down.

    Soft hackles imitate nymphs rising up from the bottom. Throwing them across from where you are standing and then throwing a mend in the line allows the soft hackle to sink. As it's swinging down, it keeps rising higher in the water column until eventually its dragging on the top. The fish will hit it at all points from beginning to end of drift, but 95% or more of the takes will be at the last end of the drift just before it hits the surface or right at the end of the drift when its dragging on top while your rod is pointed downstream.

    If there is not enough room to drift across and down, because of narrow stream conditions, you can get the same effect while standing at the head of a riffle and throwing a parachute mend in the line and slowly dropping the rod tip (too fast will leave too much slack for trying to set the hook) until its pointed at the water.

    Another spin on this is to trail a soft hackle behind your dry fly during a hatch. At the end of your drift (fishing downstream of course) when you have no more control over your dry fly, let it drag...you'll be amazed at the results of the trailing fly.

    These methods will work well on the streams ricinus fishes. In SW WI these methods can be used on certain streams. but require more stealth and a longer cast so you don't spook the fish. I've employed downstream soft hackle fishing many times on the Big Green and the Blue.

    70% of my fishing is soft hackles, unless there is a hatch, or if there is a deep hole that needs to be dredged with nymphs or streamers.

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    Last edited by NZ Indicator; 03-25-2014 at 01:30 PM.

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