Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wilted Spinach: Southeast Minnesota Winter Fly Swap 2018

"Simple soft-hackled wets were first tied more than a century ago for hill-stream trout in the border region of Scotland and England.  They were tied using sewing basket silks and the feathers from on occasional poached partridge or other land bird.  That's all the tiers had available, and they made it work.  Sylvester Nemes, in his brillian book The Soft Hackled Fly, brought these flies to the attention of American anglers.  His flies, and the basic methods he uses to fish them, still take trout well to this day."   - Dave Hughes, Essential Trout Flies, page 74

In 1999 John Montana added to the soft hackle pattern library when he designed the Wilted Spinach.  I've used the fly since with great success.  Sometimes I forget about it and it's always good to come back.  Its application is general here in southeast Minnesota: it's a leggy and buggy looking fly with a trailing shuck indicating the moment of vulnerability which is something trout seem to appreciate.  

Swing it downstream (especially in winter to trout rising to midges) or fish it upstream as you would a dry fly.  Hughes notes that originally, two or three soft-hackled wets were used on the same leader.

Wilted Spinach variation without dubbing and with peacock thorax, tied by Winona Fly Factory.  

Hook: 14-18
Tail: two loops of krystal flash
Body: dubbing (John used orange as pictured here)
Wing: soft hackle, typically a partridge
Head: built up red thread with drop of head cement

I didn't cement the brown thread versions because that is smaller thread and should hold tight on its own.

Varying the dubbing.  Did ten of each color.


Blogger winonaflyfactory said...

Damn I love that fly! I need to re-evaluate my fly choices on the creek and fish more soft-hackles. Looks great man, can't wait to get my hands on a few and probably ties up a few myself.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Yeah we should talk about this fly. I'm thinking of some variants on it that could make it even sweeter for DA trout.

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