Soft Hackle Tubes version II

IMG_0863I 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.

IMG_2672Most important is: all these materials breathe and undulate in the current, give a pretty large silhouette in the water, and casts easily – even on relatively light tackle.

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.

More on soft hackle tubes…


IMG_2693 Tie in a few strands of Crystal flash, wind a schlappen feather and make a short body from your choice of dubbing material (tied in a loop). Brush out the dubbing using a toothbrush or a dubbing teaser.
IMG_2695 Wind a speylike feather from a blood plume marabou feather. Strike the hackle back.
IMG_2696 Tie in another long fibered schlappen feather and turn this as a front hackle.
IMG_2697 Tie off and give the windings a bit of superglue.
IMG_2698 Add a disc or a conehead. Cut the tube and finish the head by melting a collar.
IMG_2712 I often combine this fly with a short tail-piece for contrast and a larger profile.
IMG_2713 This fly has a lot of volume and movement in the water – but it’s super light.
IMG_2709 A variant with a ostrich fibers in front.
IMG_2704 More tubes…
IMG_2706 … and colors.