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Olive Soft Hackle
Olive Soft Hackle
Tying Instructions
Materials:

Notes: Soft Hackles are an old pattern dating back to the 1700's. The pattern is regaining favor within the Sierra Nevadas due to the effort of authors and proponents such as Sylvester Nemes and Dave Hughes. Nemes wrote three books on the subject: The Soft Hackled Fly (1975), The Soft-Hackled Fly Addict (1981), and Soft Hackled Fly Imitations (1991). Hughes recently reaquainted us with the Soft Hackle in his book Wet Flies (1995). Soft Hackles are basically a floss or dubbed body with a soft, webby hackle of Partridge or Grouse, or even Hen Saddle Hackle. They are meant to be fished subsurface, usually with a wet fly swing technique. The fly is often considered to represent a mayfly or caddis emerger. The main focal point of the fly is the hackle, which should be tied sparsely with the hackle fibers in a swept upright position. Often, many soft hackles bought commercially are too heavily hackled and forcibly swept back with thread wraps. This actually negates many of the positive features of the fly since it limits the hackle action during the swing. The hook, TMC 9300, is a standard wet fly hook that is excellent within stillwaters. If you are fishing streams, you might consider switching to the TMC 3769 which is twice as heavy.

Nemes and Hughes often refer to Soft Hackles patterns with a floss body as these were the traditional tying methods. Often some Hare's Ear dubbing was placed within the thorax region just behind the hackle, not to represent a thorax, but to give the hackle some support for remaining upright. Since Hare's Ear dubbing is now available in a multitude of colors and textures, it is often used for the entire body and the traditional floss is ignored. Keep in mind that the primary focus of the Soft Hackle is the hackle, not the body. Keep the dubbed body thin with the purpose of supporting the upright hackle in mind. For an example of the floss-body, see Grey Hackle Yellow.

The Olive Soft Hackle is generally used to represent Caddis emergers. The Hare's Ear Soft Hackle represents Callibaetis emergers and is particularly good within stillwater applications. The Pheasant Tail Soft Hackle represents March Brown emergers. Rick Hafele is the designer of the Baetis Soft Hackle.

Variations:

Baetis Soft Hackle
Baetis Soft Hackle
Materials:
Hare's Ear Soft Hackle
Hare's EarSoft Hackle
Materials:
Pheasant Tail Soft Hackle
Pheasant Tail Soft Hackle
Materials:
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