Driftless Trout Anglers

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SquareEgg  
#11 Posted : Friday, November 2, 2018 7:43:33 PM(UTC)
SquareEgg
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Not to diverge too much, but on the topic of soft hackles- how are you guys fishing them with the most success? fishing downstream/swung? Where in the water column?
I enjoy tying them, but can honestly count on a single hand how many times I've fished them- not proud to admit. I'd like to change that this year.
Guillermo  
#12 Posted : Saturday, November 3, 2018 7:45:22 AM(UTC)
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I sure hope the '19 opener's warmer than last year. I felt like a moron driving through a valley with the thermometer on my truck reading -16 degrees. I actually caught 1 fish later that day when it warmed up to 1 below. The day after I found water with strong spring inflows and found rising brookies eating midges. It was warmer that day, a balmy 15 degrees.
OTC_MN  
#13 Posted : Sunday, November 4, 2018 1:36:49 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: SquareEgg Go to Quoted Post
Not to diverge too much, but on the topic of soft hackles- how are you guys fishing them with the most success? fishing downstream/swung? Where in the water column?
I enjoy tying them, but can honestly count on a single hand how many times I've fished them- not proud to admit. I'd like to change that this year.


I do the traditional swing sometimes, and should probably do it more. Every time I do it I remind myself I want to do it more often. It really is a ton of fun, and when they're on it, it can be freaking murder on fish. They really truck it - to the point where you have to be kind of careful if you have a light tippet.

A lot of the time though I'll fish them dead drift as part of a two fly rig when I'm nymphing, whether that's Euro style (which is what I'm doing most of the time anymore) or with a floating indicator. Most of the time I fish them as the top fly, and off a 4-6" dropper tied in with a double surgeon's knot anywhere from a foot to 18" above the anchor fly. (I don't care much for tying droppers off the hook bend personally.)

I'll fish them any time really. Unless I really want both bugs scraping bottom the top fly on my rigs is usually unweighted because I think they move around better, so soft hackles work great in that case. I also will definitely fish them like that if I think I'm on the front end of an emergence. When that happens, especially Euro nymphing, I get a lot of fish as I'm lifting my rig up to make the next cast, and it's rising in the water column and swinging a little bit. When caddis pupa are swimming up, I'll lift and drop the rig the whole drift just by stopping my rod for a second or two. If they really seem to be on the soft hackles, I'll switch both flies to a SH, with the point fly being a bead head or a flymph with some lead wire under the body.

The other thing I do is trail a soft hackle off a dry during a hatch. I have some soft hackle emerger patterns I like a lot, and I don't know whether they look like an emerger or a drowned adult or what, but sometimes they get hit way more than a dun, to the point where the dry is pretty much a strike indicator. If you are seeing lots of splashy rises, trailing a soft hackle behind a dry can be awesome. Charlie Craven's Soft Hackle Emerger is a really, really good one for this.

If you really want to get into all the possibilities with soft hackles, buy the book 'Wet Flies' by Dave Hughes. Tons of patterns, and half the book is different ways to fish them. Some great info in there.
"Our tradition is that of the first man who sneaked away to the creek when the tribe did not really need fish."
- Roderick Haig-Brown
thanks 1 user thanked OTC_MN for this useful post.
NBrevitz on 11/4/2018(UTC)
NBrevitz  
#14 Posted : Sunday, November 4, 2018 6:19:36 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Guillermo Go to Quoted Post
I sure hope the '19 opener's warmer than last year. I felt like a moron driving through a valley with the thermometer on my truck reading -16 degrees. I actually caught 1 fish later that day when it warmed up to 1 below. The day after I found water with strong spring inflows and found rising brookies eating midges. It was warmer that day, a balmy 15 degrees.


You're insaneLaugh Why you'd do anything besides ice fish when it's 16 below...
It is a bitch trying to run tip-ups below 10 degrees though.
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
hawkeyefly  
#15 Posted : Monday, November 5, 2018 12:18:33 AM(UTC)
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I was up fishing the DA in Iowa this weekend and conditions were good. It rained most of the day Saturday but I still caught a handful of browns and rainbows. One stream I frequent had a few fish rising in a hole I like to fish and I caught a few on a dry fly this weekend. I also had a lot of luck nymphing this weekend.
madguy30  
#16 Posted : Monday, November 5, 2018 2:15:29 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: SquareEgg Go to Quoted Post
Not to diverge too much, but on the topic of soft hackles- how are you guys fishing them with the most success? fishing downstream/swung? Where in the water column?
I enjoy tying them, but can honestly count on a single hand how many times I've fished them- not proud to admit. I'd like to change that this year.



I just drift anything like that in dead drift. There aren't too many streams in the DA that I've found room to cast across and down so it's just upstream and let it come back...fish like it. I tend to see a lot of fish with those when the water's a little cloudier.
SquareEgg  
#17 Posted : Monday, November 5, 2018 8:18:12 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: OTC_MN Go to Quoted Post


The other thing I do is trail a soft hackle off a dry during a hatch. I have some soft hackle emerger patterns I like a lot, and I don't know whether they look like an emerger or a drowned adult or what, but sometimes they get hit way more than a dun, to the point where the dry is pretty much a strike indicator. If you are seeing lots of splashy rises, trailing a soft hackle behind a dry can be awesome. Charlie Craven's Soft Hackle Emerger is a really, really good one for this.

If you really want to get into all the possibilities with soft hackles, buy the book 'Wet Flies' by Dave Hughes. Tons of patterns, and half the book is different ways to fish them. Some great info in there.


Great stuff! The book is in my Amazon cart.
weiliwen  
#18 Posted : Tuesday, November 6, 2018 3:46:29 PM(UTC)
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I was in Houston, TX for a 4-month stint in 2010, and went to the local Half Price Books. In it were four author-signed copies of Dave Hughes' "Wet Flies." I bought 'em all and sold three of them for my total purchase price, each. How many folks in Houston need a book on trout flies?
Bob Williams, "Weiliwen"
OTC_MN  
#19 Posted : Wednesday, November 7, 2018 1:33:11 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: weiliwen Go to Quoted Post
I was in Houston, TX for a 4-month stint in 2010, and went to the local Half Price Books. In it were four author-signed copies of Dave Hughes' "Wet Flies." I bought 'em all and sold three of them for my total purchase price, each. How many folks in Houston need a book on trout flies?


Wow. Nice score! I love Half-Price Books. Was in my local one a while back and found a hardcover copy of Schwiebert's 'Nymphs' for $8, and Swisher and Richard's 'Selective Trout' for $4.

"Our tradition is that of the first man who sneaked away to the creek when the tribe did not really need fish."
- Roderick Haig-Brown
William Schlafer  
#20 Posted : Wednesday, November 7, 2018 3:35:55 PM(UTC)
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Regarding soft hackle flies, here's a pattern I tied up earlier this year:



It looks amazing in the water, but I can't say I've had a lot of success with it so far. Although I may not have been fishing it correctly, or it wasn't the thing the Trout were looking for on the day's I tried it.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
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