Fishing Soft Hackles: An Intro

One of the things I’ve learned is that a little movement to a fly can go a long way. On some days, the trout want a pure dead drift. But, at other times, they want some twitches or an active retrieve.

The other things I’ve learned is that a fly with a soft hackle can be an important strike trigger. A soft partridge hackle can give tremendous life-like movement to a fly. A go-to fly for me has been the Frenchie, and I tie them both with and without soft hackles.

Above, is a very good primer on fishing soft hackles.  Orvis’ Phil Monahan just blogged about it.

Last, with the break in the weather, I’m thinking of heading out to the Swift. Has anyone been out recently? Would be grateful to know if I should fish north or south of Route 9.



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2 thoughts on “Fishing Soft Hackles: An Intro

  1. That Frenchie fly looks like a regular Nymph….what makes it a soft hackle fly, and why does it work swung on a down and across cast as opposed to how most nymphs are fished – i.e. dead drift?

    1. Yes, the photo is of one without a soft hackle. I tie some like that and some with a soft hackle.

      Movement to a nymph does well if there are bugs starting to emerge for a hatch. For example, BWO nymphs "swim" a great deal.

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