Soft Hackles: consolidation (part 3)

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In this third and final part of the Soft Hackles consolidation series of posts, I preview some of my new PTNs,  flymphs and soft hackle wet flies that I have added to my fly box for the coming 2017 season. 

For this final part of my pattern consolidation process, I tie patterns that are a bit more experimental and that often contain elements and ideas that I think may work.

I wanted to begin by tying a few pheasant tail nymphs to add to the collection. I have chosen to show two of the batch that I created. The pheasant tail nymph on the left is made with natural pheasant tail fibre. The body fibres have been twisted together with two strands of 14/0 olive thread which creates an interesting effect, especially in the abdomen area. A small furnace hen hackle completes this pattern.
The second pattern on the right, utilises an olive partridge tail, natural pheasant tail ribbed with fine silver wire and is completed with a badger hen hackle.

Of course, I also tied some flymphs. Often as part of a two fly cast and along with the pheasant tail nymphs, I find that flymphs make excellent searching patterns. My flymphs do not represent one specific type of fly. Rather they give an overall impression of a natural insect pupa such as midge, olives and sedge pupa. Often a single pattern may contain elements of all these three insect pupa groups.

The third group of patterns that I really wanted to tie and try using this season on the lochs was soft hackle wet flies which could be considered as traditional river soft hackles.  The fly below uses a tying technique know as touch dubbing, where the dubbing is just lightly pressed onto a waxed thread, and is then wound in open turns along the body of the fly. The soft hackle wet fly pattern below uses this technique.

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I also really wanted to try using patterns that have a dubbed thorax just behind the hackle. This makes the hackle fibres stand out a bit more where they can be animated more easily by the water current. As always the hackle needs to be sparse and soft. In the soft hackle below I stripped the fibres from one side of the hen hackle stalk, creating a sparse but lively hackle. The overall effect, when combined with its tan silk body and rib, really excites me and I can hardly wait to see how it fishes on the lochs.

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I also wanted to use this technique to create a soft hackle wet fly that may be taken for a hatching black midge. I incorporated a pinch of hot orange SLF dubbing into the thorax of a black bodied pattern and you can really see how the SLF material reacts to the light in the pattern below. Naturally this soft hackle wet fly is designed to be fished in or just under the surface. It will be interesting to see how it performs when the small black midge are hatching!

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In the gallery below you can see a few more soft hackle wet flies that I will be trying out this coming season. Thank you for visiting and tight lines in 2017.

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