Soft Hackle North Country Wet Flies
WEB4. Partridge and Orange Spider
SOFT HACKLE NORTH COUNTRY SPIDER WET FLY PATTERNS. Hook size 12 14 - $US each
HACKLE PARTRIDGE & ORANGE WET FLY
One hundred years ago the British Angling authors Harfield H Edmonds and Norman N Lee published a famous fly fishing book "Brook and River Trouting" in which they sang the prises of 34 wet fly patterns. Top of their list was the Partridge and Orange soft hackle fly pattern for trout fishing. Unlike some old patterns, that used hard to get plumage, this very old traditional fishing fly has not faded into oblivion. This pattern is now dressed using modern substitute hackles and works just as well as the original. It does what it was designed to do, catch fish. When America was having her war of independence with the British, rich landowning English Gentlemen were using soft hackled flies for sport on the rivers and lakes on their private country estates.
Although they originated in the North of England, the so called North Country, news spread of their effectiveness. They were found to be equally deadly on stony quick rain fed rivers that originated on the highland moors and mountains to the softer rolling hills of the south. Over dressing is the sign of a badly made soft hackle wet fly. They should be delicate just like the swimming aquatic insect they are trying to imitate. The hackles should always be long. They should look like an untidy umbrella skeleton that has lost its rain resistant material.
When fishing the River Tees in North East England my favourite fly is the Partridge and Orange Soft hackle. I normally fish it with a weighted shrimp on point to drag it down in the water. I even get a few takes on the shrimp pattern but it is the Partridge and Orange that is the most productive of the the two flies. I put that down to the movement of the hackles.. They produce grayling in equal numbers as trout. Dave Woods Pickering
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