Yorkshire, Meet Pulaski: Small Steelhead Soft-Hackles

In The Soft-Hackled Fly, Sylvester Nemes writes about fishing for — and catching — steelhead on traditional soft-hackles like the Partridge and Orange. Here’s my steelhead take on four classic patterns, clockwise from upper right: Tups Indispensable, Snipe and Purple, Partridge and Green and Orange, and Grouse and Orange.

Small Steelhead Soft-Hackles


These are all tied on 2x stout, 1x short hooks. They’re a size 10, so effectively they’ll fish like a size 12. Construction should be fairly intuitive from looking at the photo. But, here are the complete recipes.


Thread: Yellow
Tail: Dun hen hackle fibers
Body: Fluorescent yellow floss
Thorax: Hot pink yarn
Hackle: Dun hen
Snipe and Purple
Thread: Pearsall’s Gossamer silk, purple
Rib: Gold oval tinsel
Hackle: Snipe
Partridge and Green and Orange
Thread: Fire Orange
Body: 1/2 fluorescent chartreuse yarn, 1/2 fluorescent orange yarn
Rib: Gold oval tinsel
Hackle: Grey partridge
Grouse and Orange
Thread: Fire Orange
Body: Fluorescent orange yarn
Rib: Gold oval tinsel
Hackle: Grouse

Two years ago, I hooked (and ultimately lost) what was easily the largest steelhead I’ve ever done battle with. He took in the deeper end of a swift run that becomes a shallow whitewater nightmare at its head. I saw him clearly during his cartwheeling histrionics, and he was massive. We finally parted ways when he found a submerged logjam my leader didn’t get along with.

The fly he took was the one at lower left.


Steelhead soft hackles Rogues’ Gallery:

Snipe and Purple, November 2016


2 comments on “Yorkshire, Meet Pulaski: Small Steelhead Soft-Hackles

  1. The snipe and purple and partridge/grouse and orange have become two of my favorite wets up in the Moosehead Lake area. This year, tied above a little bead head nymph – usually a Squirrel and Ginger (Thanks Steve!) or Prince.


  2. […] Purple silk, gold rib, and a land bird hackle. That’s the actual fly at lower right. You can find the full article I wrote about these Yorkshire-inspired steelhead patterns here. […]

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