MVF! MVF! MVF!
|What is now my biggest fish of any species (23lb) on a soft hackle!|
|John setting the hook on one of many (60ish?) he seduced with the soft-hackle|
I have been a little confused for quite some time about the soft-hackles the Columbia River carpers (I.E. Mr P's Carp Carrot, John Montana's Green Fly) espouse. I was confused about what feathers from a pheasant to use and what the point was. I have tied and fished a couple of what I thought were carp carrot-ish flies with hen-back or kneck and had success, but they did not bring anything new to the table in terms of presentation or action when compared to a Backstabber. With the proper hackle in place these flies are very sparse yet have an incredibly subtle and seductive action in the water that is totally unique. And deadly.
In terms of presentation, given the conditions we were mostly using it to coax passive cruising or sleeping carp by dropping it into or very slowly sweeping it through the field of vision mid-column. John uses it for tailing fish too when conditions permit, but because of the ever-present heavy flooded vegetation you really needed a fly that would work above bottom and this one sure did the trick. Several even rose up, followed and then gently sipped the fly as I slowly planed it upward past their head. "On the rise" represents a totally new presentation for me. I think John was probably surprised and slightly embarrassed when I started screaming like a pre-teen girl at a Justin Beiber concert the first time it happened.
This fly kicked so much butt on this trip that the first impulse was for it to go straight onto the favorites flies page, but I wanted to at least get one tight line in CO before I did. Mission accomplished. On Sunday morning I had three clear takes and hooked one - on the rise! I lost it, but who cares, it was on the stinkin rise!
Materials: Bear with me, but John varies the bead-size, body material and hackle color to match different situations.
Hook: Gamakatsu Size 6 Octapus
Weight: Varies. 5/32 to 3/16" brass or tungsten in black, silver or copper colors.
Body: Cactus Chenille or dubbed body in all the typical colors (olive, black, orange, rust etc). In the pictures I show a dubbing loop body with orange-ish dubbing to make it interesting, to mess with John who loves simplicity, and because that is what the one fly I caught 12 on had.
Hackle: Pheasant rump in all the typical colors (black, olive, yellow, rust, natural etc.). This can be hard to find, at least in CO fly shops. I had to order some and will just use natural (which seemed to work Sunday) until it gets in.
1) You want these feathers. Just one!
2) Feathers Prior To Prep.
3) Prepped Feathers.
4) Add bead, wrap hook.
5) Fill a dubbing loop.
I have over-filled this one to
make it easier to see
6) Spin dubbing loop.
7) Wind dubbing loop forward.
8) Brush dubbing out and back.
This fly came out a little bulkier than I wanted.
9) Add pheasant hackle.
10) Fold hackle.
11) Wind hackle and finish fly.