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Wet fly vs. soft hackel

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Ok- what is the difference? Is the soft hackle supposed to fished any different? Do they mimic the same thing?

I know of the 3 fly leader with the use of stiff tag ends of blood knots. Any other designs you guys (and lady) use?

This came up on another board but wanted to see if I could learn a little more.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions. Paul

Posted on: 2008/6/27 9:16
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Re: Wet fly vs. soft hackel

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They certainly can represent the same things, just depends on how you tie. For me (although I'm not a huge wet fly guy) it is similar to a marabou streamer vs a muddler...the marabou will give it that lively movement, but in fast water will flatten down to look like a pin. If I'm fishing faster currents, I go with the wet to ensure the shape is intact...slower currents, I'll opt for the soft hackle to give it life. If I'm fishing just before a hatch of a mayfly that emerges before it swims up, I'll go the the wet fly to ensure the wings are pronounced.

Posted on: 2008/6/27 11:09


Re: Wet fly vs. soft hackel

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In my oppinion a soft hackle is just a type of wet fly (like a snake is a reptile, but a reptile ins't neccesarily a snake).

They can be fished dead drifted, but I think wet flies are more suited for a swinging cross-current drift, or even one that you lift the fly to the surface or let it drop quickly. Mimicing emerging or egg laying insects.

I think the main difference between the flies themselves is body material and traditional wet flies have paired wings.

Posted on: 2008/6/27 11:32
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Re: Wet fly vs. soft hackel

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Mkern stole what I was going to say.

Posted on: 2008/6/27 13:05


Re: Wet fly vs. soft hackel

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Correct me if I'm wrong Acrist., but I'm assuming he was referring to the traditional paired wing wet fly as simply "wet fly" just for the discussion of comparing the two styles. That was my take anyway...but you know what happens when you assume.

Posted on: 2008/6/27 14:21


Re: Wet fly vs. soft hackel
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They are both very similar in that both are to be avoided if there is any hope of catching fish with surface flies.

Posted on: 2008/6/27 17:11
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Re: Wet fly vs. soft hackel

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2006/9/9 22:43
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I rather have a needle in my eye Then listen to Jack talk about how he rather dry fly fish again

Posted on: 2008/6/27 17:39
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Re: Wet fly vs. soft hackel

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I seriously doubt if any trout that ever lived ever saw an insect that looked like a traditional down winged wetfly.The consensus use to be they were taken for small fish.
So fish them like small streamers and use the soft hackles to give the trout the impression something alive and good to eat is in his feeding zone.
Paint a picture for them.Pulsating,breathing and eminently eatable.
Let those who fish with plastic flies on the surface catch their plastic little stockers.TETO

Posted on: 2008/6/27 18:42
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Re: Wet fly vs. soft hackel

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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I think they look a lot like emergers...and are fished as such...just a couple inches lower than we think of emergers now days....

Posted on: 2008/6/27 23:57


Re: Wet fly vs. soft hackel
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From Chester County
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Actually, many insects change from a nymph to a dun below the surface or near the stream bottom. Wet flies should be effective imitating these insects.

This chart is a great cheat sheet for hatches. The second to last column lists where the insect changes to a dun. The key is near the bottom of the page.

http://www.charlesmeck.com/hatchchart.html

Posted on: 2008/6/28 6:52


Re: Wet fly vs. soft hackel

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They may change before emerging but do they have their wings held like a wet fly?
Back in the 60s before nymphs became the ``in'' fly,many attempts to study underwater emerging or spinners never showed wings held like traditional wets.
That was the main reason they lost favor.

Posted on: 2008/6/28 8:41
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Re: Wet fly vs. soft hackel

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David- yes. The chart afish put up shows that most BWO's change to a dun near the bottom. I don't think I knew that.

Posted on: 2008/6/28 9:28
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Re: Wet fly vs. soft hackel
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Pete wrote: “They may change before emerging but do they have their wings held like a wet fly?
Back in the 60s before nymphs became the ``in'' fly, many attempts to study underwater emerging or spinners never showed wings held like traditional wets.
That was the main reason they lost favor.”



Pete,

According to the bug books I read, the dun emerges completely on the bottom of the stream and fold their wings tight against its body. They then swim or drift to the surface, dry off their wings while floating on the surface, and fly away. It would hard to photograph this process unless you scuba-dive and take a photo when the insect is in the water.

Notable mayfly hatches that emerge on the bottom are: BWO, Quill Gordon, Hendrickson, Pale Evening Dun, and Golden Drake. In addition, caddis emerge as a pupa on the bottom and swim or drift to the surface to hatch.

I have a lot of luck drifting and swinging traditional wets and soft hackles before and during a hatch or sometimes just prospecting when no hatch is apparent. The fish are the only ones who really know, but I never argue with them.

Posted on: 2008/6/28 10:03


Re: Wet fly vs. soft hackel

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Change to a dun near bottom but with wings tight against the body so they can streamline to surface.lol
They do not swim down and across as traditional wet flies are fished.
I wager the fish take them for minnows not insects but we will never know.

Posted on: 2008/6/28 10:07
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Re: Wet fly vs. soft hackel

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From Bozeman
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I always figured drowned adults and emergers. Minnows makes sense too.

I'll just say they are emergent Adamses and Royal Wulffs to stifle the argument. A fake bug that we made up. The day you show me a cheeto tree in the wild, I'll probably give you a hug... but after that, <insert outlandish wager cliche here>. Yet, I'll pound a bag of the things. It's all in the presentation, just ask Chester Cheetah.

Posted on: 2008/6/29 23:43



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