Thanks for all of the support from customers and readers that have made it possible for Tactical Fly Fisher to become a full time pursuit. We've still got some glitches with the new platform to work through and a lot of blog posts to move over from the old site, but hopefully all of our past posts will be available soon.
A lot of you have been wanting a tutorial for the Soft Hackle Carrot, which is one of my confidence patterns from Modern Nymphing. Well, ask and ye shall receive as they say.
Back in 2010 before the world championships in Poland, our team got a few photos from a contact of some flies that the Czech team master Martin Droz often used on the River San that would be the river venue for the championship. One of the flies caught my eye that was very similar to the soft hackle carrot. I'm not sure of the timeline but it wasn't long after that Umpqua started carrying the Tungsten Carotene Jig which my teammate Mike Sexton submitted. Maybe Mike was inspired as well or maybe this is a pattern which has a natural gravity that leads tyers to similar designs independently.
As I've looked in other competitor's boxes over the years and read articles from European anglers, this pattern (or close variations) is a regular staple with many world championship anglers. I don't know what it is about the orange rib and the contrast of the dark thorax, but it just oozes confidence in my mind which leads to good angling and results on the water. The addition of the cdc hackle brings some extra mobility and allows the pattern to fish really well on the swing or with a down and across Euro nymphing presentation; as you'll see if you watch that section of Modern Nymphing. Tie a few up and give them a try. Whether you dead drift them or impart some action, I think they will quickly be added to your confidence pattern lineup as well.
Hook:, Hanak 230, or your favorite nymph or jig hook in sizes 10-16
Hanak 230 BL nymph/wet fly hook (14) Bead: Tactical Fly Fisher slotted gold, copper, or silver tungsten bead matched to hook size
Tactical Fly Fisher Slotted Tungsten Beads 50 pack Silver, Gold, Copper, Black Nickel, and Unfinished Tungsten (Copper, 2.8mm) Weight: 0.015" or 0.020" lead wire
Lead Wire (.015") Thread: 16/0 Veevus in dark tan or brown
Veevus 16/0 Thread (Dark Tan - 10) Tail: Dark speckled corzuno coq de leon or a color of your choice
Tactical Fly Fisher Coq de Leon imported from Spain (Flor De Escoba) Rib: Fl. orange or fl. fire orange Veevus Power Thread
Veevus Power Thread (Fl. Orange 8) Abdomen: Hareline Dubbin Hare's ear
Hareline Dubbin (Hare's Ear 4) Hackle: Nature's Spirit CDC gray olive or color of choice
Nature's Spirit duck cul de canard (CDC) (Grey Olive) Thorax: Hareline Ice Dub uv brown
Stonfo Y dubbing twister Stonfo Y Dubbing Twister Dr. Slick Whip Finisher
Riverruns Bead Pad Riverruns hook and bead pad
Dr. Slick Bead Tweezers Dr. Slick Bead Tweezer