Classic Pro Tips: Intro to Fly Fishing with Soft Hackles

Soft Hackles have been around for a long time, but I know that many anglers don’t feel confident fishing these sparse patterns. Here’s a good video from the folks at Silver Bow Fly Shop that offers three simple techniques for fishing Soft hackle patterns and explains where and when to fish them. The tandem-rig set-up—with a beadhead Soft Hackle on top and a standard, smaller pattern below—can be especially deadly. So watch this video and then add some Soft Hackle flies and strategies to your arsenal.

The Sparkle Soft Hackle is a productive pattern that offers great action in the water.
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15 thoughts on “Classic Pro Tips: Intro to Fly Fishing with Soft Hackles”

  1. Thanks for posting this great video. If I am fishing down stream, 95% of the time, I’m swinging soft hackles or wet flies.

  2. I like the new Orvis tactical hooks but one question… In setting up a tandem rig, where other than the hook bend do you tie on to as, with no barb that hook bend knot can slip right off?

    1. One of my fly suppliers ties klinkhammers with a small metal loop tied onto the outside bend of the hook. This allows a further fly to be tied as a dropper and this set up can be fished New Zealand style. There isn’t any reason why this could not be done with most flys to offer this tyoe of set up.

      1. My challenge swinging wet flies (sorry i am old school) is the hook set. With the tight line you would think its a no-brainer but I miss a lot more than I hook. I have tried the delay set, strip set and steelhead slack line methods with only marginal results improvements. I didn’t hear any mention of a different set.

    2. You can leave the tag end of the knot you use to attach the first fly long and attach a second fly.
      You can leave the tag end of your tippet attachment knot long and tie a dropper to it.
      You can form dropper loops on any section of leader and attach a fly or extra tippet with a fly to the loop. Google “dropper loop”.

    3. I tie a dropper or trailing fly on barbless hooks and have only rarely lost one due to slipping off.
      To guarantee the dropper knot will stay put….
      If you tie your own flies wrap thread a bit further into the bend and tie there. Or a small drop of UV on the outside curve of the hook mid-point is really effective for preventing line slippage.

  3. Great video on swinging soft hackles. Sometimes fishing soft hackles seems harder than it needs to be. The video instructor did a great job at keeping it simple.

  4. 1st tutorial video I have run across that actually covered all of the steps in soft hackle fly fishing. Great job! Thanks!!

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