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Tips & Tricks

Fly Tying: Soft Hackle

Soft Hackle flies are designed to be as clean and as effective as possible. While they don’t imitate any specific insect, the soft hackle is an effective pattern for anglers of all skill levels. Dead drift it to imitate a dead spider floating down the river or let it swing out at the end of a drift to give this simple fly movement that will entice fish to strike almost every time.  In our January Fly Tying Supply Drop, we go over how to tie this deadly pattern.  Materials Dry fly / Emerger Hook Size 8-18 Thread same color as body Dubbing to create air bubble Hungarian Partridge / Pheasant Patch To get started, place your hook in the jaws of your vise just past the barb giving you plenty of work space to start your wraps. Soft hackle flies can vary greatly in size which will allow for a variety of hook sizes. While there are no wrong combinations here, Dry Fly or Emerger Hooks in size 8 to 18 work well.  From there start your thread wraps by holding the tread to the hook and wrapping over it. Once the thread is secure trim off the tag end.  Continue wrapping thread down the shank of the hook to the curve of the shank. Continue going back and fourth across the shank to build up a thread body. For the next step, we are going to add dubbing to create a “bubble”. This bubble will help the hackle fibers retain their shape in the water. With dubbing a small pinch goes a LONG way so go easy here.  Once we have the dubbing ball, we will ...