hedging my bets
Inspiration for this soft hackle wet fly came from an unlikely source; the garden beech hedge! The sun was shining through the hedge which was by now, a very pleasing mixture of very dark browns, lighter toffee browns and sun dappled ginger hues. ‘Those beautiful colours would make a lovely soft hackle pattern’ I thought. And, here is the result.
This soft hackle wet fly is probably most suggestive of a hatching midge or one making its way through the upper layers of the water column. Fiery brown can be an excellent colour to incorporate into a surface fly dressing on its day, whether that is a dry fly, palmer hackled wet fly or soft hackle wet fly pattern. With this soft hackle, I added a sparse thorax of fiery brown SLF dubbing and then brushed it backwards over the body of the fly; just plain black tying thread. This gave a visually pleasing effect and once wet, should give a fair impression of translucency, itself an important quality in a wet fly. I used a soft mottled brown hen hackle in the dressing and you could always use a brown partridge hackle instead if you prefer.
I envisaged fishing the Beech Hedge Soft Hackle as a surface or near surface fly, either casting to rising trout or into an area containing rising fish. It may also prove to be a useful searching pattern too. I would think that it should be effective on both stillwater and running water. Ultimately of course, it is the trout that decide on how effective any pattern is. How many times do we create a fly pattern thinking it will be, should be effective, only for the trout to completely ignore it whenever we tie it onto our leader?
I have noted too, that some patterns which were once effective seem to gradually lose their appeal to the trout over time. Why that happens, I really couldn’t say; perhaps it is down to changes in the availability of the natural flies the trout see and feed upon? Then there are those patterns which time seems to have had no effect upon, their effectiveness and appeal to the trout remaining as great as ever. One of these patterns particularly for me at any rate, is the Black Spider. I am sure you too, have your own patterns that this applies to. Tight lines everybody.