Winter Fishing – Swinging Soft Hackles

This weeks tip is brought to us by our good friend Heidi Lewis who is no stranger to fishing in the winter and has quickly become quite good at swinging Soft Hackles!!

Winter Tip – Our rivers in Utah in the winter months are low and clear, which makes for a more technical approach to catching trout during this time. I have found it very helpful to down size my tippet to at least 6x and extend my leader from the typical 9′ to 11′-12′. Midge fishing is the name of the game.

They are very small but the trout will readily rise for this hatch! Dry flies or soft hackled flies are my favorite ways to fish this hatch. I often fish downstream for these rising fish since they will most often see my cast and water spray from lifting my line to recast.

Swinging the soft hackle fly down stream at a 45 degree angle, mend the line upstream to slow the fly down if needed, follow the fly with your rod tip and keep the line without much slack.

This technique is the most straight forward and simple way to fish a wet fly just under the surface (unweighted flies) in my experience. No need for the perfect cast and great for any ability level.

Get ready to feel the line go tight at the end of the swing or even before! Pause. Raise your rod tip and enjoy! 🐟

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