I have been fishing Jack Gartside’s Soft Hackle Streamer for decades, and I have made my share of variations over the theme. One of the most successful versions has been my Soft Hackle Tube. Recently I made a few improvements to the fly, combining the soft spey-like blood plume marabou feathers with large schlappen feathers – to give the fly more volume in the water. I am experimenting with a short body of dubbing as well. The dubbing (which most often is seal, some kind of SLF-dub or Staffan Lindstrøms synthetics) is applied in a dubbing loop and brushed out with a toothbrush. On some patterns I use mini-ostrich-spey fibers at the front of the fly. Often I combine a Soft Hackle Tube with a smaller tube with only a hackle for the tail end. It gives a hot spot for the fish to key in on.
I use these flies for sea trout and brown trout, but I don’t see any reason why they should not work just as well for salmon. Too me though, it’s just a great way to make large streamers, without the weight of a long and heavy hook. And… perch like them as well.