Partridge and Olive size 14

It was about 8 to 10 years ago that a reader asked the question bout tying soft hackles on scud style hooks.  I think we all pulled out our scud hooks and began to whip some up.  They looked great and caught fish too but seemed to faded into memory except for a special situation.  I see them on the web occasionally but they appear as an afterthought.

Now, the question is: should we use them?  The answer is “of course” but they work best in certain conditions.

1. I tie 95% of my SH on standard dry fly hooks.  I hardly ever use heavier wire wet fly hooks.  I fish most of my SH on the swing so I don’t want any unwanted weight from the hook effecting the presentation.  BTW, my most used sizes are 12, 14 and 16.  Size 10 and 8 work well on big stonefly rivers like the Millers and the EB but most of the time it’s the standard stuff.

2. Now, if 95% of my SH are tied on standard dry fly hooks what about the other 5%? When I tie in sizes 18 through 22 I use scud hooks. Why, the hook gape is wider in these hooks so you have a better chance of hooking and landing a trout with that style of fly than with the standard straight shank hook. (the added weight of the hook, in those sizes, can be dismissed.

3. Another thing is that the majority of these tiny SH are basically black because I get to use those tiny startling hackles!!

4.  Don’t waste time and money with those gimpy little bags of loose partridge feathers.  Make friends with an upland bird hunter or just buy the total skin.  It’s worth it.

The Seasons Change

As I write this blog entry it’s 5 am and only 49 degrees on this last day of August.  In my opinion Autumn is the best time for the fly fisher.  Book your dates now!!

BTW, I’m being told that the EB is off  the Fall stocking lit BUT when I look it up, on the latest updated list, it’s still there.


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