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Old 12-24-2008, 07:17 AM
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Default Re: Nymphs v. Soft Hackles

Originally Posted by peregrines View Post

Nymphs are designed to imitate the larval forms of mayflies, stoneflies and caddis. They don’t have wings, and spend most of their time on the bottom. Usually they are fished with weight, either split shot added to the leader or tied with a bead head, or a combination of both. They’re usually fished under an indicator of some sort that acts as a bobber, or flipped upstream on a short line using the length of the rod and leader and acouple feet of fly line to fish within 20’ while sweeping the rod downstream as it tumbles by to maintain contact while it ticks along the bottom through runs, pockets and riffles.

You can see a bunch of different nymphs here and on the menu on the left of this link:

and a cool underwater photo showing stonefly and mayfly nymphs and caddis larvae in stone cases.
Picture from, a Resource for Fly Fishing and Tying Fishing Flies

Soft hackles are a type of wet fly that have a specific look. Usually a floss, silk or dubbed body and 1 or 2 turns of a “soft” hackle (in contrast to stiff dry fly hackle) made of partridge, grouse, or hen. They are impressionistic patterns that sorta imitate emerging mayflies, emerging caddis pupae, drowned adult mayflies and caddis, and/or diving caddis (some adult females dive to the bottom and lay eggs).

They’re usually fished higher in the water column than nymphs. A standard technique is casting at a forty five degree angle up and across stream and letting the fly swing downstream in an arc until it hangs in the current directly downstream.
Blue Ribbon Flies \\ Merchandise \\ Flies \\ Soft Hackles

Though soft hackles may not look like much in your hand, this pic of an emerging caddis pupae with a lot of wavy stuff going on helps explain why they’re so effective:
Picture from, a Resource for Fly Fishing and Tying Fishing Flies

Try ‘em you’ll like ‘em.

You don't consider the pupa stage as a nymph? A Pheasant Tail isn't a nymph?
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