This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Ed Engle’s Micro Soft-Hackle Fly.

Engle's Micro Soft-Hackle |

I’ve been on a soft hackle kick lately and pulled out Ed’s book, Tying Small Flies (2004) to see what inspiration I could find for a TBT post. It’s one of my recommended books found in the Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Books page. 

Tying Small Flies by Ed Engle

I used his book back in 2016 for a post entitled Tying Small Flies. It’s still relevant today with tips for success when tying small flies.

I’d heard of Ed in my fly fishing past, but had never met him. I knew he was known for the small flies he ties and fishes in Colorado waters. I purchased his Tying Small Flies a year or two earlier to see what I could learn.

I’ve not fished this fly, but to me, it appears to be over-hackled. Ed writes the feather “readily absorbs water.”  The fly is designed to fish wet and the feather provides great action to imitate a swimming midge pupa.

It’s a simple fly to tie. Perfect for sizes 18 to 22 midge flies.

For the fly pattern sheet, go to Engle’s Micro Soft-Hackle.

I met Ed on the banks of the Metolius River in May 2016. He was fishing with Kent, an acquaintance my wife and I met a couple of months earlier in the year. Kent was doing a little “recon” on the river in preparation of Ed’s trip to Oregon from Colorado where he lives.

They timed their arrival to the river in hopes of finding rainbow trout rising to Green Drakes. 

Kent was trying to get Ed into a Metolius rainbow as we walked up on them in mid-May. We offered to help.

Ed cast and cast, but never saw a fish. Just about every time he turned his back to the river, a fish would rise and we would say “there he is”. It was a rare day when fish continued to rise all day long. 

Kent and Karen decided to move upstream and found a rising fish. Kent asked her “what fly should I put on?” Here response…”whatever the fish are eating!” I think it might have been one of my Green Drake Sparkle Duns he had recently purchased from me. The fish rose to it, ate the fly, and he landed a beautiful Metolius rainbow. Our job was complete!

Unfortunately, Ed never hooked up on a trout that day, but he loved the river and vowed to return.

I hope he does.

Enjoy..go fish!


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