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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives
Baetis

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

Ventral view of a Hydropsyche (Hydropsychidae) (Spotted Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
With a bit of help from the microscope, this specimen keys clearly and unsurprisingly to Hydropsyche.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Softhackle
Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Oct 13, 2010October 13th, 2010, 2:56 pm EDT
I thought I'd share a few of my creations. If I've posted these before, my apologies. Tying season is coming on, soon, and I'm hoping to inspire some of you that tie, and I enjoy sharing ideas. To view the images full size right click on the image and select "View Image". This should bring them up full size.


Golden Flymph Emerger



Green Goblin



Native American



Ostrich & Hen



Silver King

Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
Lastchance
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Lastchance on Oct 14, 2010October 14th, 2010, 6:47 am EDT
Really nice, Mark. Will you come down to PA next Spring and show me how to fish 'em?

Are you going to post the recipes?
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Oct 14, 2010October 14th, 2010, 6:53 am EDT
Beautiful flies, every one. Thanks for sharing, Mark. I love the Golden Flymph Emerger in the way that it looks like a high-class Walt's Worm (a very productive if simplistic pattern) - I really like the colors and the gradually tapering profile. The others are all well-proportioned and look like they have just the sort of movement that makes them fish really well. Which of them is most productive for you?

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Flatstick96
Flatstick96's profile picture
Posts: 127
Flatstick96 on Oct 14, 2010October 14th, 2010, 9:36 am EDT
The Native American reminds me a bit of a March Brown Spider (which is probably my favorite soft hackle fly).
Lastchance
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Lastchance on Oct 14, 2010October 14th, 2010, 1:09 pm EDT
C'mon Shawnny, reminds you of a Walt's worm! Gimme a break, buddy. All a Walt's worm is is a clump of dubbing. It catches fish, but so will a gold bead on a bare hook. I'm sorry, but I really feel you owe Mark an apology or a dozen flies.
Bruce

PS. By the way, what is fly tying?
Softhackle
Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Oct 14, 2010October 14th, 2010, 1:22 pm EDT
Hi,
Shawnny,
The Golden Flymph Emerger fishes very well for me. The Green Goblin took a good share of fish as well. Of course, I think ALL soft-hackles fish well used appropriately.

Lastchance,
If I could get to where you are, I could show you. You could even come to the Genny, and I'd show you,

Flatstick,
The Native American does have a touch of brown to it and could be used as a March Brown imitation, perhaps. In my area, the Brown is more creamish tan--Fawn colored, I guess. I have a photo of a winged wet fly I use, sometime, for March Brown. If I can find it, I'll post it for you.

Mark

Here's that March Brown Photo. It surely could be tied as a wingless wet.

"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
Flatstick96
Flatstick96's profile picture
Posts: 127
Flatstick96 on Oct 15, 2010October 15th, 2010, 5:37 am EDT
I don't have any tied up right now (since I almost never fish any more), but here's a March Brown Spider I found online that is very similar to the one I tie:

http://www.warmwaterflytyer.com/patterns4.asp?page=21
Bobbyg
North Carolina

Posts: 36
Bobbyg on Oct 22, 2010October 22nd, 2010, 4:35 am EDT
Really great looking soft hackles!

Might I ask what's your favorite for a BWO?

Bob
"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after."

- Henry David Thoreau
Softhackle
Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Oct 22, 2010October 22nd, 2010, 4:47 am EDT
Hi Bobby,
I have two that I use, and both are excellent. The first is by my friend Hans Weilenmann. This fly has been responsible for taking many trout for those I fish with and myself. I've altered the original pattern slightly for smaller flies (14,16,18) and use gray hen Coq de leon instead of partridge as Hans ties it. If you can find partridge small enough, that works well. Here's the pattern. It's murder, believe me!:

Partridge and Olive Emerger

The other pattern is a Little Olive Flymph, and it works as well as the above fly when the olives are active. Here's the pattern:

Little Olive Flymph

Hope this helps, Bobby!
Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
Bobbyg
North Carolina

Posts: 36
Bobbyg on Oct 22, 2010October 22nd, 2010, 5:02 am EDT
Mark,

I believe you!

Those are both great looking olive soft hackles!
I particularly like Hans pattern.

I've been using one since late last season that has really worked quite
well. I wish I had a better camera so that I might provide a photo here. Believe me, I've tried!

A good friend of mine out in Idaho ties them up for me.

Here's the pattern we use:

Mustad 3906B in sizes 16 to 22, or a good equivalent
Woodduck flank tail
Pheasant tail body ribbed w/ fine gold wire
Couple of turns of grizzly hen hackle

Rather simple but also rather effective.

Bob
"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after."

- Henry David Thoreau
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Oct 24, 2010October 24th, 2010, 9:54 am EDT
Your Ostrich&Hen is very similar to a soft hackle "Spider" I tied and fished back in the early 80s as a change-up pattern for pressured lake-run trout. It's amazing what a difference a new look can make to the fish. Everyone threw fluorescent balls of one color or another. Occasionally someone would get daring and throw a classic steelhead design -again, in fluorescent. I tied my spider's in either an earth tone, or all black for roiled water. Such leggy, round bodied bugs really tripped their triggers. I could follow other anglers, sometimes a procession of them, and just mop up. Sure is fun to add something that really works to your arsenal and understanding.
Softhackle
Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Oct 24, 2010October 24th, 2010, 12:33 pm EDT
Hi Paul,
The thing I truly like about wingless wets is their disposition to movement. This makes them "come alive" even when fishing without imparted action. The ostrich herl has a great way of adding even more life to the movement of the soft hackle.

Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Oct 25, 2010October 25th, 2010, 5:01 am EDT
Yes, movement you don't have to impart is a real plus. Nothing beats marabou/aftershaft for this, but unfortunately it rarely adds grace to a fly in hand. I have one way of handling it that I liked, that made a buggy body and could be swept into the legs/wings. I'd tie in a 'bou or gallinaceous feather by the tips then twist it into a rope, wrapping this for a body. Fine wire cross-wrapped added some durability. Clipped tags made for legs/wing. Add a hackle, or not. Result was a pretty, variegated body that was VERY buggy. Trout teeth tore them up pretty good, but I'd just clip off the askew strands and keep fishing until the fly was just some fuzz and thread. The fly might start with a pretty name, then earn it's way to something like "Ol' Fezziwig", Lint Ball", or "Mange". :)

I didn't use herl for that lake-run pattern, but all hackle, then clipped the hackle down for the body, making a very buggy looking body. For "leg" movement I used an oversized hen hackle and then twitched it with a pop of the rod when the fly was in just the right place. The dead drift took fish fine, but the leg twitch could sometimes pull another fish out of a spot.

But I must say, regardless of function, wets are probably the most beautiful of flies. They can be so graceful. Since I often fished them as "attractors" I loved mixing colors and materials to make little works of art of them. I look at your ties and feel that little spark that makes me want to sit down and have some fun with them again. But...I don't need another distraction -I can barely get my "necessary" flies out. My necessary wets are a little depleted at present though so I guess I'll have to move them up on the priority list this winter. Thanks for the inspiration :)
Softhackle
Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Oct 25, 2010October 25th, 2010, 5:30 am EDT
Take a look at this one by my friend Hans Weilenmann. He is super good at tying wingless wets:


Munchy
Right click on the image and select "View Image" to see it full size.

Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Oct 26, 2010October 26th, 2010, 5:56 am EDT
Nice.

Hey I looked over your sites. What fun. I never did fish the "upper" Genny, although I jumped over the headwaters once. Sure is nice to have home water. Your images are beautiful.
Softhackle
Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Oct 26, 2010October 26th, 2010, 12:41 pm EDT
Thanks, Paul.

Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
CaseyP
CaseyP's profile picture
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
CaseyP on Oct 26, 2010October 26th, 2010, 2:46 pm EDT
World Series time is here, and that means fly-tying season has arrived! thanks for the wonderful motivation, Mark. those patterns make my mouth water--now to see if the trout agree.

BTW, my latest weapon is a Tenkara rod. wet flies should work amazingly well with it. have you ever fished one with your soft-hackles?

apologies if this is a hijack. kick me out and i'll start another thread.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
Softhackle
Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Oct 26, 2010October 26th, 2010, 2:55 pm EDT
Hi Casey,
I have not personally, but I know a bunch of others that do with great success, So, give them a try, I'm sure they'll work for you as well.

Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html

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