Soft Hackle Essentials—Hooks and Materials

soft hackle essentials partridge and pheasant soft hackle
Partridge & Pheasant Soft Hackle

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, MT
The traditional soft hackle fly has been with us for a long time. Sylvester Nemes in his Two Centuries of Soft-Hackled Flies (2004) chronicles the history of this venerable pattern back to the year 1747. Even today, in the 21st century, the soft-hackle is a killer pattern that can be effective anywhere trout feed on aquatic insects. Unfortunately, many fly shops don’t carry them and even online retailers don’t offer the variety one would like to see. Additionally, it’s hard to justify paying $2 for a fly on a cheap hook that can be tied in less than a minute or so on a good one. Trout anglers should always have a good selection of soft hackles at the ready anytime they fish in insect rich waters (they are actually very effective for bluegill and other shallow water sunfish).

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