Soft Hackles from a Drift boat

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Soft Hackles from a Drift boat

Postby paparex » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:42 pm

Any suggestion on presentation style for soft hackles from a drift boat?
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Re: Soft Hackles from a Drift boat

Postby DOUGSDEN » Tue May 06, 2014 8:31 pm

Dearest Paparex,
How about a canoe at the mercy of the wind? I have had really good luck fishing from a canoe when the wind is right and it shoves you along with little or no adjustment. Now that I am back from La-La land, usually it goes a bunch better when the guy in the back of the craft has dedicated himself to being your "gillie" and keeps you just the right distance from shore. If you find a bunch of willing and not too leader/line shy fish, it pays to drop the anchor and sit a spell. It also helps if your gillie/guide/brother is the same hand as you to avoid the left hand - right hand arguments that might occur...if he decides to dunk some cream flymphs as well. I hope this helps because I have no experience what so ever in fishing from speedy Mckenzie drift boats although I plan on doing this before I croak. I would imagine the drifts to be short and sweet!
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Re: Soft Hackles from a Drift boat

Postby paparex » Wed May 07, 2014 6:37 pm

Thanks Doug for the reply.

The style is usually throwing dries to the seams and/or bank; get a long drag-free drift and hope. Then pick a back current, (and there are lots) and while gently back rowing to keep the boat a little slower than the backcurrent, either cast the dry, dry dropper, or indicator nymph. I'm trying to envision how to cast a brace of 3 soft hackles and keep tension on them while drifting back up the bank. If I cast into the fast current it will blow right by me and I might just as well be on the bank.

The White River guys say to actively throw at a 45 degree angle towards the bank, and gently strip the flies back across the bow of the boat. If I can guide the flies to the "fast" side of the boat to try and keep it in/on the seam. I am excited to try it out. I like to row some, but really like to lay a set of dries out there with an occasional dropper on the line. I think I am going to attempt a dry and a brace of 2 soft hackles.

Any other techniques or styles I should consider? The flow of the river is 800-1000 CFS right now, but by the end of next week could jump a bit. If the flow goes up it will make the put in and take out a short trip, instead of a 6-7 hour day. I fished it several years ago at 9000 CFS. Fishing was great, catching was great, but felt like I was riding a drift boat on the back of a transport truck. The river corridor is quite narrow in this section.

Do I fish oversized soft hackles like streamers?
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Re: Soft Hackles from a Drift boat

Postby Old Hat » Wed May 07, 2014 9:34 pm

I would fish some soft hackles just like your dries but get them just under the surface and then see if you can work them a bit (get them to move) keeping the line tight. I don't know if I would go with a three series out of a boat. Maybe two, but your not going to be fishing them like they were intended in that sort of setup. I have done two from a boat with a dry and and a soft dropper. Usually a caddis pattern for the dry dapping it on the top and working the softy at the same time. Of course a long rod is needed for this. I have also had good luck stripping large soft hackles. I usually have done best with a bright fly as a bait fish pattern or something along the lines of Carey Special.
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