Soft-Hackle Techniques

Arkansas guide John Berry was first turned on to soft hackles by author and tier Sylvester Nemes, whom he happened upon in West Yellowstone pizza joint. He offers some commentary on their use in this morning’s Baxter Bulletin.
“The soft hackle is most effective when used as a searching pattern. Use it to cover large sections of water, when you do not know exactly where the trout are. I look for broken water, particularly below rapids. I face downstream and cast downstream to the right at a 45-degree angle to the bank. As soon as the fly hits the water, I strip it back a foot or so to sink the fly into the film. I keep my rod tip low to the water and track it as it swings in the current.”

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