The soft hackle emerger has evolved from an experimental tie to a mainstay in my fly box. Over the last two seasons I gravitated to this fly more frequently than the RS2 and with good reason. It delivered. I believe that the additional flash of the white fluoro fiber tail and wing grabs the attention of the trout more readily than the drab RS2. Also the soft hackle style probably serves as a better imitation of emerging blue winged olives during hatch situations.
I continue to deploy the RS2, but I usually reserve it for the time period before BWO’s appear, as this is when the nymphs are active deeper in the water column. I also concluded that the soft hackle emerger is best tied without a bead since I am generally fishing it as an emerger near the surface. Active movement of the soft hackle also seems to be quite effective in many hatch situations.
I tied twelve of these productive flies over the last several weeks to bring my inventory level to 50 again for the upcoming season. The hardest part of tying this fly is the folded soft hackle, but since it only requires two turns, I do not get overly upset if my fold is not perfect. The fish do not seem to care.