They’re ancient, effective and still being used today — sometimes! Their origins are shrouded in the mists of time and came originally in a handful of patterns like the Waterhen Bloa, Snipe and Purple, Partridge and Orange as well as a few lesser known flies like the Red Owl, Greensleeves and Stone Bloa.
These are the soft hackled flies known as North Country Spiders or Yorkshire Spiders.
The choice of styles and patterns today is limited only by the materials available, and that choice, as we know in the 21st Century, is so vast that the door is wide open for the creative fly-tyer.
One of my current favourite soft hackle flies
Yesterday my attention was drawn to an excellent article in the 2014 Febuary/April issue of Flyfishing magazine by Gijsbert Hoogendoorn titled, “Soft Hackle – Do we need to even bother?” (http://www.africanangler.com/fly_article.asp?id=952).
What is exciting about this and other articles I have read recently is that there seems to clearly be a revival of the interest in soft hackled flies and their fish attracting merits even today. And, it is not just the traditional patterns that I’m talking about, but the seemingly endless creative opportunities to modernize the traditional, and I’ve already seen that happen – just one example and created by a fishing buddy, Pieter Taljaard, ‘The Guru’ (https://callofthestream.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/the-guru/)
I wrote also about soft hackle flies in the same magazine a while back (http://www.africanangler.com/fly_article.asp?id=824)
Note that all written and photographic material contained in this blog and its posts are the sole ownership of the author/photographer and may not be copied or used for any purpose whatsoever without the prior consent of the author/photographer having been obtained – Peter Brigg.