Where have all the Soft Hackle Tiers gone?

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Bazzer69
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Re: Where have all the Soft Hackle Tiers gone?

Post by Bazzer69 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:27 pm

Just revise a old thread, I totally understand where the OP is coming from. Soft hackles are certainly not flavor of the month by any means. Fly tying has headed in the direction of cheap synthetic materials and garish colors that are not designed to catch fish but to show up well as a photograph on a
Internet forum. I know from bitter experience that most of theses flies do not catch fish no matter how well it looks to us humans. So soft hackles are not popular except to those who know and those numbers seem to be small. Also the materials needed for soft hackles tend to be hard to obtain. It might help if there was a classified section on this forum for soft hackle materials only. The forum that’s gone right down the tubes is the Classic Rod forum. It’s hard to fish a fly on the Classic Fly section ithat even approaches a classic, what happened to the moderators? I posted a critique of s fly on there and someone giving a recipe that didn’t resemble the original in any way shape or form. For my sins I was banned! So let’s hear from yo all with your lasted soft hackle fly pattern or your latest materials find
Barry
Barry
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Theroe
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Re: Where have all the Soft Hackle Tiers gone?

Post by Theroe » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:47 am

unfortunately true, Barry.

Theres just not a lot of people out there tying & fishing wets with any degree of regularity. Up until I finally made it to this board, it was just me and a few 80+ year old guys in Pennsylvania.....and Mark Romero. But Im not really a big internet guy anyway.....just here and SGM. Most of the patterns I fish are wets with names I never hear anywhere: Ashy, Gallagher, Branchie etc. And the breadcrust family of flies......you hear about one of them every once in a while. Im working on some stuff for future posts!

Happy New Year All!!!


Dana
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Ron Eagle Elk
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Re: Where have all the Soft Hackle Tiers gone?

Post by Ron Eagle Elk » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:34 pm

Dana, Would love to see some of the "local" patterns that have local names. They may translate well to our local streams. My favorite fly of all time is Baillie's Black Spider (Stewart's) in size 14. I've had West Slope Cutthroat take that wee fly when there was an active October Caddis hatch going on. When all else fails, that's my go to fly.
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Re: Where have all the Soft Hackle Tiers gone?

Post by newriverspey » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:48 pm

This is a very interesting post and I use to post on this forum regularly but life threw me a curve ball and I had to deal with that for a while. During that time, I have continued to fish and have always swung soft hackle/hackled flies and flymphs for trout and smallmouth bass. I started with a 10’ 3wt single hand rod but started fishing exclusively with a 10’ 6” 3 wt and an 11’ 4 wt switch rod using either a 150 grain or 175 grain Commando head with a 12’ 96 grain floating tip and 10’ leader. The soft hackle/hackled flies and flymphs range from a #4 down to a #19 but mind you, I am fishing for trout and smallmouth bass. Most of the time people look at me and wonder what exactly I am doing but after a while, like most fisherman, curiosity sets in and they wade over to me and inquire about the switch rod but also ask me what flies I am using because I am catching fish. I show them my flies and talk to them about soft hackle/hackled flies and flymphs and what they represented and how I would fish them. The majority of the people would say to me they had heard of soft hackle/hackled flies but thought they were not used anymore and did not work. This lead to long discussions about materials (synthetic vs. naturals), hooks, equipment, etc. I truly believe that swinging soft hackle/hackled flies and flymphs is extremely productive for many species of fish, not just trout and it is an extremely fun way to fish…..beats staring at a bobber (sorry could not resist). After several discussions with others, it dawned on me that the original soft hackle/hackled flies and flymphs (Skues, Leisenring, Hidy) served as a tying platform or conceptual platform for a lot of the “newer” flies. Most of the natural products are now replaced with synthetics and shiny materials that burn my retinas and agree with the earlier post about these flies catching more fisherman than fish. So, I agree that a lot of people are not fishing the traditional wet flies/soft hackle/hackled flies and flymphs as we know them to be, but to me they are the conceptual platforms that people still fish and tie. The intruder fly seems to me like a giant or mongo soft hackle/hackled fly with a flymph characteristic that a lot of people use for steelhead. Some I have met and have spoken to, now try soft hackle/hackled flies and flymphs and although they aren’t exclusively fishing them, they do understand the history and more importantly that they work. I have a lot more to say on this subject but I will see how this initial post goes over.
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Re: Where have all the Soft Hackle Tiers gone?

Post by hankaye » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:27 pm

newriverspey, Howdy;

Otto, good to see you posting on the forum!

What little time I've spent on a stream those that I've run into have asked
about whatever flies I've been using so I tell them and get pretty much the
same reaction you mentioned. I tell them about the forum, where they might
find some materials and hand a few out so they have a point of reference.
Best we can do is spread the word, kinda like little Johnny Flymperseeds.

Good to see ya back here, don't be such a stranger.

hank
Striving for a less complicated life since 1949...
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Theroe
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Re: Where have all the Soft Hackle Tiers gone?

Post by Theroe » Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:30 am

Ron Eagle Elk wrote:Dana, Would love to see some of the "local" patterns that have local names. They may translate well to our local streams. My favorite fly of all time is Baillie's Black Spider (Stewart's) in size 14. I've had West Slope Cutthroat take that wee fly when there was an active October Caddis hatch going on. When all else fails, that's my go to fly.
Ron - sounds like a plan. Im still working on my picture posting skills..... :x
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Re: Where have all the Soft Hackle Tiers gone?

Post by letumgo » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:04 pm

Otto,

It is great to see you posting, and I enjoyed reading that you fish "soft hackled flies and flymphs for trout and smallmouth bass". I too, have found them to be good flies for both species. Can you tell us more about the rods you mentioned? What make rods are they? The length and weight seem ideal for small flies, and a good fight when you hook up with a fish. They must be a blast to cast and catch fish on.

I look forward to seeing more posts from you soon.
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newriverspey
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Re: Where have all the Soft Hackle Tiers gone?

Post by newriverspey » Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:55 pm

Ray,

Thanks for the reply and both rods were made by a friend of mine in Oregon (Bob Meiser) and they are great rods to use for swinging soft hackle flies and flymphs. They allow you to cover a lot of water very efficiently and effectively. If anyone is looking to build a light 2/3 wt switch rod, Angler’s Roost has some great blanks that are very reasonably priced. Switch rods also allow you to use a longer leader, which cuts down on the amount of mending that you need to do and it is amazing how sensitive these rods are and you can detect softer takes. However, I have found that the takes while swinging flies is not very subtle and the longer rod seems to protect light tippets.
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Re: Where have all the Soft Hackle Tiers gone?

Post by letumgo » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:24 am

Otto,

I did a quick internet search and think this is Bob’s website.

http://meiserflyrods.com/rodblanks.php

It looks like he has a whole range of different rods. Sweet!
Ray (letumgo)----<°))))))><
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Re: Where have all the Soft Hackle Tiers gone?

Post by newriverspey » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:46 am

Ray,

I should have included the link to his site. This is actually his new site:
https://www.rbmeiserflyfishing.com

You may have to cut and past this link to make it work. It has a great section on lines as well.
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