Thursday, November 29, 2012

Little Red River Report- Softhackle Swingin'

Before the turkey was even cold, my dad and I had the itch to take advantage of the beautiful weather and snag a few trout.  We rolled on up to the Little Red and, at a whim, stopped at a spot neither of us had ever fished before.

The weather was awesome when we got on the water but a front soon dropped the temperature drastically.  

Fish were caught.  We didn't catch any big fish, heck we didn't even catch numbers, but we had the spot to ourselves and  you really can't beat that. 

 I thought we might see a few larger browns with it being around spawning time but we had no such luck.  We did catch a few of their offspring though.  There was a decent BWO hatch and the fish were taking emergers and adults with abandon.  This is usually a good time to swing a soft hackle because the swinging flies look like emerging insects as they rise.

 Tied up a few proven pattern that I was excited to use.  This one was pretty successful.

The ol' "red-a**" is always a winner.  I tied both of these on size 14 Mustad 9671s.  I think both need to be more sparse.  Swinging soft hackles is one of my favorite ways to catch trout and the Little Red has some great swinging water.  If you've never tried swinging softhackels, my typical rig is a 9ft 5x leader with about 18in of 5x to the first bug.  Tie a 16-18in piece of 6x to the bend of the first bug and then add a smaller softhackle.  Place an appropriately sized splitshot above the first knot and your ready to go.

Cast across stream or 45 degrees downstream in a riffle.  Throw a quick upstream mend to let the flies sink.  As the flies begin to swing, keep your rod low and pointed at the flies.  Strikes will usually be pretty vicious.  Use an upstream sweeping motion to set the hook.  Boom.

This little wire midge was money.  If you can't catch fish with one of these it's a rough day.  Just red and black brassie size wire with a tungsten bead on a tiemco 2488.  Sizes 16 and 18 are usually good.  We also caught fish on size 20 Parachute Adams and small streamers.  Big browns should be up on the shoals.  Watch out for their redds and please debarb your hooks.  Thats it- stay fly.


  1. Soft hackles are my go to flies. I have never tried that many without a bead head. It's hard to try something new when you have so much success one way. Have you noticed a difference with or without a bead?

  2. Man I like both but I usually throw 2 non-beaded and just use split shot for weight. I'm, honestly just getting used to the soft hackles and I gotta say- they're fun.