Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fly fishing crack

The Swift River should be a controlled substance.  Couldn't resist going again yesterday and might go tomorrow. Air was almost 40F and water was 46F.   Didn't see more than a couple tiny insects and very few rises (stray pellets?) but a size 20 BHPT with a size 20 and smaller softhackle dropper did the trick.  When they got tired of the red SH I took a couple on the olive and one on a small pink egg. This is one of my small soft hackles.  It is nothing more than appropriately colored (red, black, olive, yellow, etc.) thread, thin gold wire and two wraps or less of partridge hackle. The hackle is a little longer than ideal, but on a 20 or smaller fly, it is a challenge to find and wrap a proportionate soft hackle.  The fish don't seem to mind.
For a Serendipty, I substitute elk hair tips. For a midge pupa I don't use hackle, just a couple wraps of peacock herl or ostrich herl.  A quick tie and effective.  I tie the soft hackles in slightly larger sizes (16 and 18) to use as droppers throughout the season.


  1. Gerry,

    Nice photo!!

    Use your "pull" and see if you can get NH to create a year round tailwater. Less miles for you and a reason for us to head north during the Winter.

    Someday I'll meet you on the Swift or maybe the Millers!


  2. Nice fly, Gerry. I tied up some similar in various green configurations.
    I'll try a few of those red ones next.

  3. Nice report.
    Small flies do the trick at this time of year.

  4. Ken, Ironically I am very actively involved in dam removal efforts in NH (2 in Milford are current candidates.) I would have to wear a disguise and work under a a nom de plume if I were to lobby for another one! Strange that two of the rivers I most enjoy fishing (the Swift and Farmington) are the product of dams. That's another story though - for now I'll be happy to make the drive down to the Swift and Farmington. Look forward to wetting a line with you.

  5. Gerry,

    I love tying soft-hackles, not sure if it's the fact that they are so easy or because they can be used so universally. I use Charlie Craven's methid for tying up the hackle, it allows for less appropriate sized hackle for those sub-20's we need to tie for the Swift. Here's a link to a tutorial on his website ( I also recommend his book, great photos)