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TrtklrAugust 14th, 2008, 2:12 pm

Posts: 115
I'm curious as to what type of flies people use most. I probably use dries 80% of the time, nymphs almost the rest, and woolly buggers, streamers and the like very little. The latter I've heard and read to be the better for catching bigger and sometimes more trout. I feel using a streamer or a woolly bugger is almost the same as casting a spinner, though I understand these are harder to fish than a spinner.
I have seen nothing more beautiful than the sunrise on a cold stream.
McjamesAugust 15th, 2008, 8:59 am
Cortland Manor, NY

Posts: 139
fascinating... I am exactly the opposite... nymphs 90% of the time, dries 9%... woolly bugger 1%... (when fishing for trout)...
I am haunted by waters
HighFlyerAugust 15th, 2008, 10:22 am

Posts: 24
So would a Wooly Bugger, in your opinion, be a good fly for a beginner to use?
"Calling Fly Fishing a hobby is like calling Brain Surgery a job."
~by Paul Schullery~

"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."
~by Henry David Thoreau~
McjamesAugust 15th, 2008, 11:37 am
Cortland Manor, NY

Posts: 139
Woolly bugger is my top pick for prospecting (i.e. when there is no discernible insect activity/presence); for very deep pools/runs (I tie them with weight and bead-- makes for an inelegant cast but it gets down quickly); and for high water conditions when all kinds of interesting, unusual tidbits are being washed down the stream.

I cant walk past a deep hole under a waterfall without throwing a bugger in...

If I am fishing for other (non trout) species, its pretty much woolly bugger and clousers all the time. I have a few other streamer patterns knocking around the flybox but these two are the only streamer patterns I tie, pretty much.

Definitely one of my favorite all-rounder patterns. I dont use it much for trout because typically there is a particular insect I am trying to key in on. But if I could only carry one fly for all species/conditions, that might be it.

I do think its a great fly for a beginning tier (tyer?).
I am haunted by waters
JOHNWAugust 15th, 2008, 11:44 am
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
In general terms I fall about 40/40/20 (dry/nymph/streamer).
I turn to streamers when targetting really big fish, on dirty water or unfamiliar water. Nymphs are my go to untill I can ID what (if anything) is being taken on the surface.
Where things get a little misleading is that I will frequently use #8 and 10 streamers in a "sight nymph style".

As for what is best for beginners it all depends on what your background is. If you were proficient in fishing bait, especially worms, maggots, and the like, then I would venture to say nymphing is the way to go as the approaches are very similar. If spinners and plugs were your game than streamers may feel a little more familiar. If you are in need of visual feedback then dry flies are the way to go.
Each area has its peculiarities and intricacies that must be overcome to gain proficiency and consistently catch fish.
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
TrtklrAugust 15th, 2008, 5:33 pm

Posts: 115
highflyer-dries I think are probably the most easy to catch fish on.
I have seen nothing more beautiful than the sunrise on a cold stream.
SofthackleAugust 16th, 2008, 8:25 pm
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
There is no doubt with me. I use the wingless wet flies most often and am rarely disappointed. These flies are so versatile, you can fish them upstream, downstream, in the the surface, just below and from bottom to top. They are so impressionistic they can represent, adult egg layers, nymphs, emergers, caddis, mayflies, etc. I've even had some success in the film during spinner falls. If you don't use them, you are missing some great fun.

"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders:
CaseyPAugust 17th, 2008, 8:35 am
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
most dependable in my style of fishing through the year: wets and nymphs

most fun: beetles in the summer--nothing compares with that splashy, confident take, unless it's the sneaky sip by the really big ones.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
TrtklrAugust 17th, 2008, 1:51 pm

Posts: 115
highflyer, softhackles signature line says it all I think
I have seen nothing more beautiful than the sunrise on a cold stream.
WbranchAugust 17th, 2008, 3:50 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2723
Woolly bugger is a great choice for new fly fishers. It imitates leeches, helgammites, darters, all sorts of stuff trout like to eat. Also you can't go wrong with the following nymphs in sizes #12 - #18;

Hares Ear, Pheasant Tail, Prince, Muskrat, and a couple of soft hackles.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Shawnny3August 18th, 2008, 11:11 am
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Interesting question. I think the flies we like to tie and the water we like to fish can influence each other. Toss in other biases we have and it makes for quite a range in fly preferences - and that's part of what makes this sport an art.

When I head to a large stream, I'm drawn to the fast runs and pocket-water, so I tend to nymph almost exclusively. I love trying to tackle the tricky currents and fighting fish in fast water. Under very specific circumstances, I'll fish dries and maybe even move into slower water, but it's usually not my first choice. I don't own good dry-fly necks, so my dries rarely turn out very well, and that may also play into my preference for nymphs. Also, I like to fish patterns I've invented, and my best patterns are all subsurface.

On small water, I'm finding myself falling back in love with the Royal Wulff, which is easy for me to see and casts a spell over curious fish.

I dislike woolybuggers because they look ridiculous and have a goofy name (yes, I'm that petty sometimes, same reason you'll never catch me fishing an egg-sucking leech or green weenie), but I'll not argue with anyone who can look past that and catch fish with them. I dislike foam-bodied flies (something about the aesthetics I just can't get past), so I don't fish beetle patterns in summer even though I know they catch fish - I fish ants and inchworms instead.

Finally, although I spend inordinate amounts of time tying artistic flies and love fishing streamers for lake fish, I hardly ever fish streamers anymore because I just have better flies for the water I now fish.

I've never fished many traditional wets or softhackles, but they're on my to-do list.

If you're a beginner, I would suggest figuring out what makes sense to carry on water you like to fish, the way you like to fish it, before you go filling up your flybox. And if you're also just starting to tie, the flies WBranch recommends are a good place to start.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis

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