Fishing Soft Hackles in Winer

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Randyflycaster
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Fishing Soft Hackles in Winer

Post by Randyflycaster » Tue Dec 22, 2015 10:48 am

Folks,

I recently moved to Montana, so I want to begin fishing soon. I'm wondering if any of you fish soft hackles during the winter. If so, do you use small flies? Large flies?

Do you fish close to the river bottom? What winter techniques do you use?

Thanks,

Randy
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Re: Fishing Soft Hackles in Winer

Post by Roadkill » Tue Dec 22, 2015 11:15 am

zen leecher
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Re: Fishing Soft Hackles in Winer

Post by zen leecher » Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:13 pm

I would think you'd be using BWO soft hackles and midge emergers. Both would be #18 and smaller and fished close to the surface or in the film.
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William Anderson
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Re: Fishing Soft Hackles in Winer

Post by William Anderson » Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:25 pm

Randy, it's hard to say I've done any winter fishing this season as we're on track to have the warmest December in recorded history. I've been out, but last time I had to take off my light jacket. That said, I do and have fish soft-hackles along with nymphs in winter. It would be foolish to offer a prescription for presenting them. I would suggest getting deeper and flirting less with the emergent imitation as during a hatch. But then it does work all year. Your suggestion to go smaller seems to hold true for me and I wouldn't put money on it but I lean toward a bit more bling in winter, unless the water is very low and clear.

Congrats on the move. I know I'm not the only one who is very jealous. Share what you learn.
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Re: Fishing Soft Hackles in Winer

Post by Smuggler » Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:40 pm

Stewart's Black Spider, Stewart's Black Spider and probably.... oh, right, Stewart's Black Spider.

Fish it as a tandem rig with a size 14 dry for your sighter. Other than that, nymphing takes lots of fish consistently throughout the winter. The key is small patterns. Big stones will probably account for some fish too.

I'm a spider and soft hackle guy through and through but, fishing to rising fish in the winter time with midge imitations is fun. Tying the flies to do so isn't however. ;)
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Re: Fishing Soft Hackles in Winer

Post by zen leecher » Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:59 pm

I think Nemes talked about soft hackles and winter fishing in Montana in at least one of this books. Might be the one(s) released after he moved to Montana.
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Re: Fishing Soft Hackles in Winer

Post by redietz » Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:04 pm

My winter staples are pheasant tail soft hackles and Light Spanish Needles, both in sizes 18-20. Of course, I'm fishing tail waters and spring creeks in the east, so that might not be helpful for Montana.
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Re: Fishing Soft Hackles in Winer

Post by Randyflycaster » Tue Dec 22, 2015 6:38 pm

Folks,
Thanks so much. I've never fished during the winter so it should be interesting.
Randy
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Re: Fishing Soft Hackles in Winer

Post by daringduffer » Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:49 am

I've just tied a bunch size 26 Red Tag for a friend in Montana. They aren't beautiful but they are. I tied a few size 18 and 20 too. He expects them to be too big. I was surprised by the 'doability' on them 26 hooks. No tail and no wing; that was helpful.

dd
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Re: Fishing Soft Hackles in Winer

Post by William Anderson » Wed Dec 23, 2015 9:30 pm

daringduffer wrote:I've just tied a bunch size 26 Red Tag for a friend in Montana. They aren't beautiful but they are. I tied a few size 18 and 20 too. He expects them to be too big. I was surprised by the 'doability' on them 26 hooks. No tail and no wing; that was helpful.

dd

Stefan, I'm not surprised you managed a set of beautiful spiders on #26's. For myself I have not ventured fishing anything that small. I've fooled with #18 and #20 olives, but 26. I'm impressed with folks that do it. Fishing flies the same size as my tippet knot makes me lose confidence. I suppose a bit of success using them might change my mind, but it's a tiny hurdle I'll have to face sometime. But then, Montana is unique. Around here if a size 18 Stewart's spider won't do it, I don't fool with it. But I'm learning. I'm all ears to hear how those red tags work out.
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