Colorado Fisherman Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts
C

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I know the basics. Problem is, I only use 3 flies: a mosquito, a black gnat, and a woolybooger. How do you know what flies to use?
 
B

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
It's all about trial and error. A few more fly choices might increase the trial and lessen the error. Pick one that feels right or...........match the hatch!
 
I

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
one can actually be very successful using a limited number of flys, while learning or seasoned.

if i had to get by with a limited number here is what i would use.  in fact when i teach someone to fly fish (not casting but fishing and catching) i have them spend about $50 for a good range of these flys.

i would mainly stick with mayfly and mayfly nymph flys, since the nymphs are always in the water and in abundance and during the warm months always hatching from late march till october, with heavier hatches on/off this range of time.  not to take away anything from caddis, stone flys, midges or terrestrials - but the may fly reins supreme.

i would use:

- bead head flashback pheasant tail nymphs in sizes ranging from 20 - 14. the best general mayfly nymph imitator period.
- bead head hares ears (tan) nymphs in sizes ranging from 18 - 14.  a little flashback added would be best. the best buggy nymph imitator.
- parachute adams or an adams dry in sizes ranging from 10 - 20.  i like the parachute because the body sit down in the water and for me draws more strikes. the best general mayfly imitator dry.
- a humpy dry (tan, black, yellow) in sizes 14 - 20.  just a good overall searching dry that could be a mayfly, caddis or stone fly and even a terrestrial.
- a cone head wolly bugger (black, brown, tan, green) streamer in sizes ranging from 6 - 14.  a good reaction strike fly, can be dead drifted and current fished.
- bead head RS2 sparkle wing or WD40 nymphs (gray) in sizes 18 - 22 - either.  a nice midge, small mayfly nymph emerger imiatator.
- foam grasshopper (tan, yellow, brown) in sizes 4 - 12.  a great summer/late season attractor.  works well as the strike indicator while hanging any one of the nymphs i listed.

i could get by very well on just these, as long as i had a range of sizes in each and were not stuck during some super selective feeding during a hatch.  but even then, i would still get a fair amount of action since these flys cover the range.

i would nymph with a strike indicator eary in the day, switch over to a hopper or dry dropper setup late morning/mid day, then perhaps go strickly to a dry if fish were consistently rising.

i would use a 7-9 foot 5X leader with 24"-36" of 5X tippet as the dropper, depending on the depth.

start with this and add to it but don't get crazy.  adding a san juan worm and milting/nuclear egg patterns would be nice.  throwing in a few caddis dry would be too.

you could handle any trout river/stream in the world with these basics and do yourself justice.

hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,797 Posts
if i had to go with onl 3 flies those would be some good ones but for now i been using terrestrials like ants and hoppers the ant is my goto dry except for the dead of winter ants are comon even in july you can find ants crusing sometimes i also use my generic nymph (have been trying some pheasent tails and a few other "real" nymph patterns but havent been impressed) in diferent sizes depending on the size of the critters i find under rocks my generic nymph is just a short sparse tail and a coarse dubbed body and pluck a few wiskers then toss a andfull if these on the ground and stomp on them grind them in to the dirt to break them in good for me atleast it seams to be a size thing rather than identical replica flies unless there is some sort of hatch that has them real finiky so my kit is ussualy a coupe ants a few hoppers a good rangw of generic nymph sizes a good selection of wooly buggers a few pistole petes and then the grand finaly a few small panfish poppers ive had lots of high mountain trout just tear em up in the high lakes and with these im good to go just about any were that isnt high pressured water and not just the trout these will catch just about any thing that swims

and i dont have to rack my brian to figure out what stage of the hatch is going on
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,797 Posts
PS: i like the KISS principle so i picked something simple and concentrate my effort on presenting them as best i can rather than constantly switching from fly to fly worrying that i got the wrong one
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,678 Posts
There are plenty of good publications out there that will help you narrow down your patterns for specific bodies of water in colorado depending on the time of year. Any decent flyshop should have these books, along with some advice on what to fish and where. Most flyshops also have a current "status' board also that will give you some tips. Once youve been fishing awhile you will be able to more easily determine what patterns to stock on your fly boxes. For tailwaters you will most likely stick to small midge patterns, for summertime dy fly fishing terrestrials and various mayfly imitations, along with a few larger nymphs, and for lakes and ponds streamers and damsel flies and callibaetis nymphs are usually a safe bet. I have so many different fly patterns in my boxes i couldnt even begin to count them, but for the most part i tend to only fish a dozen or so of them with regularity...my favorites, depending on where i am fishing, is as follows:

scuds...olive and orange...these work well in both lakes and rivers
wooley buggers...usually black or olive
san juan worms...red and earth tone. this is a great fly as to use in conjunction with a midge pattern on tailwaters.
dark hares ear...a good stillwater pattern that is a good imitation of the callibaetis that come off in the summer and spring on most colorado lakes.
blue wing olive...a size 20 dry is a good one for all year if you see them coming off on cloudy days
RS2---another good tailwater pattern. i usually fish grey or sometimes olive
elk hair caddis..a summertime must on both lakes and rivers
Royal Wulff...a great attractor when fishing for summertime cutts and brookies on high mountain lakes and streams
Griffith's Gnat...both large and small, its also a good winter time midge dry imitation
Adams...also in small or large. these imitate a huge assortment of mayflies on lakes and rivers
Hopper patterns...theres lots of variations...i like to fish these with a dropper in late summer.
Brassie...a great all around midge pattern in streams. i fish them in sizes 22-16.
Barr Emerger...another great tailwater favorite
Black Beauty/Miracle Nymph...a good midge imitation. the miracle nymph is usually in white.
Egg Patterns---some guys dont like em because fish take them deep sometimes, but they are a great attractor fly when fish are spawning...especially with a midge trailer.

Also check the interenet for fishing reports...any good report should list the "hot" pattern for that particular time of the year. good luck, and tight lines
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
664 Posts
I started fly fishing this summer and have been 100% consistant after being turned on to nymphs. I have caught 99% of my fish in the poudre and big thompson rivers on 3-4 nymphs: Bead head prince, zug bug, green drake, and hares ear.

when fishing these patterns I know that I will catch fish no matter what. Sometimes if I want to change it up I will try a dry, terrestrial, or small streamer but I can always go back to the nymphs and be in the money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,678 Posts
Yeah, re looking at the list i posted above, i forgot the bead headed prince...another staple to have in your box...
 
C

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I live in LaSalle, Colorado. Where is there a local flyshop nearby that would be able to help me find these flies that have been descibed to me?
 
C

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Well, now, Fishingcats! That didn't help much did it?!?! ;D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
a good way to tell what the fish are feeding on is to pump the stomach of the first couple fish you catch, any flyshop has pumps, they look like a little turkey baister- what better source than right from the fishes mouth ;D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,797 Posts
yeah nothing like sending a tired fish back with an empty belly...lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
catmann29 said:
Okay, I know the basics.  Problem is, I only use 3 flies: a mosquito, a black gnat, and a woolybooger.  How do you know what flies to use? 
Catman29, When you go out flyfishing, look around. Look for what's flying around and where they're coming from, like bushes or from under the water. Pick up a rock in the water and see if any insects are crawling around on it. Note the time of day and season you see them and the life cycle stage they're at. Then get some books from the library or a friend to id them or put them in a vial and take them to a fly shop.

Note the color, size, shape, etc.

While you're at the fly shop, ask them for a report and what flies are going on.

Also, build up your internet bookmarks of sites for reports, hatch charts, flows, weather, fly tying, etc, that will develop your knowledge of fly selection as well as where to go fishing and when to go.

Then match the real flies to the flies at the fly shop and get at least two of each so if one is working and you lose it to the river gods, you'll have a backup.

Everything works in a natural cycle. Insects grow and hatch during certain times of day and season in between other insects' natural order so you can base your choice on that basis and/or whatever your contrarian hunches may be.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top