Description: The Sterling and Herl is a soft-hackled wet fly pattern that is a classic North Country Spider that is based on those tied in the United Kingdom and which has also proven itself deadly on American waters with American trout over a period of many years. In addition, this particular pattern was one of the late Sylvester Nemes' (the self-professed soft-hackle addict's) favorite patterns and is a must have in every fly-fisherman's fly box.
In the water the Parasall's tying silk used on this fly turns a translucent color that represents a wide range of different types of flies while the pulsating soft-hackle imparts motion to the fly which triggers a vicious strike by trout that is easy to feel! Fishing soft-hackle wet flies like this Startling and Herl pattern is to quote Sylvester Nemes, "a fishing system that is easy and productive, satisfying and esthetic."
COLOR OPTIONS: (please indicate option when ordering)
Option #1: Green peacock herl, black tying thread and black starling feather
Option #2: Dyed red peacock herl, red tying silk and a black starling feather
What it imitates: I tend to agree with the British author and expert wet fly fisherman, Roger Fogg that soft-hackle wet flies are effective not so much for what they imitate but, rather they are highly effective because they suggest a food form that is familiar to fish and they look like something that trout have eaten in the past. Although, as the British soft-hackle wet fly expert, Mike Harding points out we may never know for sure exactly what the trout mistake our various soft-hackle wet fly patterns for? It is still up for debate as to what exactly the trout think soft-hackle wet flies are...perhaps, they are mistaken for an emerging fly or nymph.
When to fish it: Fish all soft-hackle wet flies with confidence during the Spring, Summer and Fall seasons.
Where to fish it: In general, soft-hackle wet flies work best for stream & river fishing for trout in fast, shallow riffles which are ideally suited to fishing soft-hackled wet flies. However, they also work well on tailwaters across the country too when fished during the day either, before during or after a hatch of mayfly or caddis flies. In addition, soft-hackled wet flies work well on ponds with a very slow retrieve designed to cause the hackles to pulsate and the fly to hover and then slowly sink. Trout will often strike the soft-hackled wet fly in between strips.
How to fish it: Soft-hackle wet flies may be fished both upstream or downstream and both methods of fly-fishing with this type of fly will work provided that you fish the fly in a drag free manner by casting slack into the line. I recommend that you fish a soft-hackled wet fly using a light sensitive rod with a floating line and a long fine leader just under the surface. I also suggest that you fish this type of fly just as Slyvester Nemes explained, "by casting upstream a little, while moving the rod tip toward the bank to keep the line tight to signal a strike, then moving the rod tip toward the other bank as the line and the fly passed my level in their downstream phase of the trip. To lengthen the amount of drift, when the cast was spent, I would let out line, the amount governed by the current."
Soft-hackle wet flies may be fished as a single fly or in tandem with another similar pattern usually in another size and color in order to provide the trout a choice and to shorten the learning curve as to what fly will work best on any given day.
Approximate time to complete this order: 7 - 10 days (can be as little as 3-5 days)
MINIMUM ORDER FOR THIS PATTERN IS 6 FLIES