Re: soft hackles for brook trout? (not on swing)
Soft hackles do an excellent job of imitating both caddis pupae and adults, as well as other aquatic bugs. Brook trout eat these things, so why wouldn't soft hackles be effective for brookies?
I'll quote Dave Hughes, who is a far better fly fisher than I'm sure I will ever be:
"The starting point in imitation of the common range of caddis pupae is the simple soft-hackled wet fly..."
"...many anglers refuse to believe soft-hackles will fool many fish. They spend many hours devising more complicated dressings that don't work any better and often don't work as well."