Articles With the Tag . . . flies

The first time out, a fly needs a good showing

“What’s this doing in here?”

I plucked the oddball fly from its slot on the backside of a swinging leaf in my nymph box, from a place reserved for trial runs and some rarely used once-or-twice-a-year kind of stuff.

Holding the flashback fly between my thumb and first two fingers, I shook my head.

“No, you didn’t quite make it into the lineup, did you bud?”

You should know, the solitude of my favorite trout river provides me the freedom to talk to myself. And it’s become a habit — not often enough to consider me too strange, I wouldn’t think, and certainly not loud enough for streamside starlings to hear me over the breaking currents. I only comment aloud on the remarkable things, and I do so somewhere above a whisper.

But I like to speak the questions. Because these thoughts seem to command more answers when they resonate aloud.

That last question needed no reply. It was obvious. And I’ve known it for a while now. The first time out, a new fly has to make a good showing. . . .

When should you change the fly?

My buddy, Smith, is stubborn. Whether traveling across the country or fishing our local rivers, he fishes the same handful of flies, year round. Smith can literally hold his selection of nymphs, wets, dries and streamers in one hand without them spilling over. With patterns that are fine-tuned from experience and a selection ruthlessly stripped down to the bare bones, his handful of hooks is the very definition of confidence flies.

Smith’s trust in those patterns is so spot on, you might assume that he rarely changes flies. But you’d be wrong. Ask Smith, and he’ll tell you he changes flies whenever it’s necessary.

Now, what does that mean? . . .

These Hooks Bend Out

Competition hooks are most often designed with penetration as the primary goal. When you’re scoring fish, one nine-inch trout can put you at the top of the leader board, (I think that’s what they call it). So super-sharp hooks with wide gaps and long points are the norm. While the standard nymph hook for many years has been 1X or 2X strong wire, competition style hooks are most often designed with medium or even light wire, under the belief that thinner wire penetrates easier. Of course it does. But oh my, the difference is slight. And the trade off is not worth it (for me).

That lighter wire is where the cheaper companies get into problems . . .

Eggs for Breakfast, Eggs for Lunch, Eggs for Dinner

It was an early summer morning. Late June probably, and I was fishing my home water. Once the fog had lifted from the cold spring creek, I’d done alright. I caught enough trout to keep me moving upstream at a steady pace, hitting each pocket and every likely bank lie...
When should you change the fly?

When should you change the fly?

My buddy, Smith, is stubborn. Whether he's traveling across the country or fishing our local rivers, he fishes the same handful of flies, year round. Smith can literally hold his selection of nymphs, wets, dries and streamers in one hand without them spilling over....

These Hooks Bend Out

These Hooks Bend Out

I grew into fly fishing under a different era. In the same way that Americans once got their news from three main sources, twenty years ago we bought our fishing hooks from just a few different suppliers. But now, an abundance of choice saturates everything: a hundred...

Eggs for Breakfast, Eggs for Lunch, Eggs for Dinner

Eggs for Breakfast, Eggs for Lunch, Eggs for Dinner

It was an early summer morning. Late June probably, and I was fishing my home water. Once the fog had lifted from the cold spring creek, I’d done alright. I caught enough trout to keep me moving upstream at a steady pace, hitting each pocket and every likely bank lie...

Mop Fly Thoughts, and a Tutorial

Mop Fly Thoughts, and a Tutorial

“It’s Mop Fly mania, I guess.” That’s how a fishing buddy described it in a text, along with a link he sent to another Mop Fly article. When the Wall Street Journal writes about a fly pattern, you know the fly has made it to the big show. Now, smart fly shops are even...

Pin It on Pinterest