Fly Fishing for Trout Home
User Password
or register.
Scientific name search:

> > new to fly fishing.what to use

Butch28July 14th, 2009, 5:51 pm

Posts: 3
i know pretty much the basics and have practice a good what is a good fly to use this time of yr?also should i use a wet or dry fly?maybe could even show me some pics and what size works best.i fish mostly in PA
MartinlfJuly 14th, 2009, 10:43 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3084
Try an ant, either wet or dry. Either way, they should be fished dead drift, without drag. Wet you will basically be fishing the fly like a nymph, on the bottom.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Shawnny3July 15th, 2009, 5:08 am
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
A pheasant tail nymph, or something similar, in sizes ranging from 16-20, can be a killer fly in summer, especially if an evening hatch kicks in (but a little nymph will often fish well regardless).

At the risk of self-promoting, I also recommend my Green Curly Worm, or something similar. It approximates an inchworm or the bright green caddis larvae found in many streams in PA. Louis's suggestion of an ant is a really good one, but I've personally found the ant rather unproductive this year, perhaps because I have usually fished it in tandem with the Curly Worm. Probably because of its bright color, when I tie it on in tandem with another fly, virtually every fish I catch is on the Curly. It produces along the bank (often where you should be fishing in summer, and I mean right up along the bank), swirling around in tricky eddies, in deep holes, fast pocket water... pretty much anywhere.

All three patterns mentioned are really, really easy and quick to tie, and I would recommend doing that instead of paying someone else for them. But then, no one ever saved money (or their sanity) by getting into flytying, so purchase the flies if you must.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
MartinlfJuly 15th, 2009, 12:37 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3084
or something similar

Just couldn't bring yourself to say "green weenie" could you, Shawn?

I'll have to agree with Shawn; his are very good choices. As for ants, Shawn may be forgetting the exploits of the orange ant in the Baree Gorge, though. I've been catching a good number of fish on ants. And beetles, another good summertime option for fishing dry.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Butch28July 15th, 2009, 2:53 pm

Posts: 3
thanks guys you all are alot of help!going out tomorrow morning
Shawnny3July 15th, 2009, 4:13 pm
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
I thought Gonzo would be the first to suggest a beetle - another good one. I have not forgotten the lesson you taught at the Gorge that time, Louis, but I am a slow learner and have yet to even fish the orange ant. Maybe I'll go whip some up and try them the next time the black one doesn't produce. I hadn't noticed that you neglected to mention color in your post.

As for the quote, it was hard enough to bring myself to type the words, "or something similar." I'm just trying to observe Jason's rule regarding filthy language. Of course, those rules never meant much to you, Louis. Heck, you've even been guilty of haiku. But you won't drag me into the gutter.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
Butch28July 15th, 2009, 7:05 pm

Posts: 3
i hate to be to picky,but do you guys mind posting some pics when you guys are saying what to use?being new to it i can pickup a lil faster with pics if not thats cool i'm sure i'll figure out what they are.this is my first yr trout fishing and i'm having a blast.i have caught many on my open face pfluger reel so now i am stepping up to the fly rod that my fiance' has got me.never thought this trout fishing could be this fun!after i get good with it think i am going to try to catch me some bass with it
CaseyPJuly 15th, 2009, 8:22 pm
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
you can Google the name of the fly (add +fly fishing or you'll get some amazingly odd answers) and you'll get a list of links to try. another quick source is a fly tying book of basic flies from the library. another is one of the fly sellers that advertise on this site and others--their online catalogs are nifty.

these suggestions are made not because we're lazy around here, but because the pictures are better than average, and some even come with tying instructions for when that part of fly fishing bites you unawares.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
MartinlfJuly 16th, 2009, 12:08 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3084
Hey Shawn, you're hard to corrupt, but I can keep trying, can't I? Just had to kid you a bit. Caught a nice fish today on the orange ant.

Butch, Casey's suggestion is a very good one. I don't have a camera, but if you Google images of "ant fly" or any other fly you will get lots of photos.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
SofthackleJuly 16th, 2009, 2:40 pm
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Snipe and Pheasant

Have a look at this pattern, but instead of pheasant tail fibers, try using fibers from the brown section of a turkey tail. It's great for Isonychia. Another good one is my Claret Flymph. Both these are wingless wets and can be fished in the film tied on light wire hooks or deeper on wet fly hooks.

Claret Flymph
Hook: Grip 1472BL or standard wet or dry hook #12-18
Thread: Brown Uni-Thread
Hackle: Dark brown Speckled Hen
Ribbing and tag: Fine copper wire
Body: Claret/Maroon colored rabbit, dubbed Leisenring style on Red Uni-Thread

Terrestrials, as mentioned are also excellent right now. Ants, beetles and crickets are great.

"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:
Shawnny3July 17th, 2009, 3:12 am
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Mark's suggestion of softhackles is good on a number of levels. They're easy to tie, imitate lots of things fish eat (so they're good to try if you don't really know what to try), and are easy for the beginner to fish because a perfect dead-drift presentation often isn't needed for them to fish well.

Quite common around here this time of year are small crane flies, Size 18 or so, ranging from orange to yellow. A softhackle in the correct size and color would be a nice imitation of drowned adults.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
Flatstick96July 17th, 2009, 10:10 am
Posts: 127
At the risk of stating the obvious, my advice would be to keep it as simple as possible (at least at first), especially if you want to tie your own (which I think you'll really enjoy).

The beauty of pursuits like fly-fishing and fly-tying is that they offer almost infinite levels of complexity and expense, and each individual can decide what level of complexity or expense suits them best; I am of the opinion that many fly-fishermen are a lot like golfers in that they tend to over complicate things (and over spend), but that's just my opinion. Anyhow, the point is that just because others choose to complicate their approach to fly-fishing, or spend a crapload on money on it, it doesn't mean this pursuit HAS to be complicated or expensive. So, do yourself (and your wallet) a favor and at least START OUT simple.

There have already been several useful suggestions of simple flies (just about all of which are sub-surface flies, which doesn't surprise me since that's where you'll likely catch most of your fish). I'll add three more to the list: Walt's Worm, Muskrat, and March Brown Spider.

I suspect you can buy an inexpensive kit of tying tools, and the materials needed to tie a bountiful supply of the 10 or so flies listed here, for well under $100. And I also suspect that you could catch trout on damned near any stream in PA with nothing more in your box than the very simple patterns listed here.

For more information on a lot of this stuff (and detailed tying info - with pictures - on several of the patterns listed in this thread) go here and read the articles:

If you want more information on Shawnny's worm flies that he referenced above, go to his site: and look in the "what's new" section.

Shawnny3July 17th, 2009, 10:37 am
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
As far as dries go, it's hard to beat an Adams for starters. This time of year an Elk Hair Caddis might be good, too, but I'd start with an Adams.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
GoofusBugJuly 18th, 2009, 6:07 pm
Posts: 31This time of year, I am almost 100% terrestrials. Hoppers, crickets, ants, beetles. Partly because they work and partly because I love the lusty strikes the big browns deliver topwater.
Jmd123July 22nd, 2009, 8:43 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2493
I'll back Shawn up on the Adams & Elk Hair Caddis - two of my favorite dries that will both catch far more than trout. However, as a newbie, I highly recommend Woolly Buggers. Size 6 through 10 is mostly what I use, and any color of the rainbow will work under the right circumstances - for trout, try black, brown, olive, and purple. (For bass and pafish, if you are so inclined, I think chartreuse is best!) Besides this Butch, if you ever want to get into tying your own, Woolly Buggers are easy - first fly I ever learned to tie - and they are DEADLY on ALL fish species. Take a look in the catalogs - Cabelas, Orvis, Feather-Craft, etc. - and your local fly shop. There is even a book out called Woolly Wisdom on the innumerable variationsa on the Woolly Bugger and Woolly Worm.

Also, grasshopper imitations are great from mid-summer to fall. My favorite is a size 10.

Good luck and tight lines!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

Quick Reply

You have to be logged in to post on the forum. It's this easy:
Username:          Email:

Password:    Confirm Password:

I am at least 13 years old and agree to the rules.

Related Discussions

TitleRepliesLast Reply
Re: Deep water trout and insects.
In General Discussion by Crooketarow
1Jul 9, 2009
by Mike56
Re: Identification of a possible Cordulegaster Dragonfly Nymph
In Cordulegaster Dragonfly Nymph by IanB
6Feb 10, 2017
by Taxon
Re: Underwater E subvaria
In the Photography Board by Crepuscular
13Mar 24, 2013
by Crepuscular
Re: The Last Gasp of Winter
In Fishing Reports by Summer_doug
6Mar 27, 2018
by Partsman
Re: Trailing Shuck
In Baetis Mayfly Nymph by Baetis7
1Aug 20, 2014
by Entoman
Re: Nice brookies
In Fishing Reports by Ditch
6Jun 30, 2012
by Jmd123
Re: First fly-rod trout of the year
In the Photography Board by Jmd123
3Apr 16, 2012
by Seatrout
Re: egg sack color
In the Mayfly Family Heptageniidae by LittleJ
3May 20, 2007
by LittleJ
Re: Pale Gray/White Spinner
In General Discussion by WBMike
6Sep 11, 2015
by Crepuscular
Re: Info on Chris Helm
In the Photography Board by Oldredbarn
2Nov 29, 2014
by Martinlf
Most Recent Posts
Re: Sheets Red Quill
In General Discussion by Brian314 (Partsman replied)
Re: My first fly
In Fly Tying by Red_green_h (Martinlf replied)
Re: Best Streamer Rod
In Gear Talk by Dschmaier (Wbranch replied)
Re: Fly tying help
In Fly Tying by Red_green_h (Coha replied)
Re: can you identify this bug?
In the Identify This! Board by Wchougland (Troutnut replied)
Tying Wooly Bugger
In Fly Tying by Coha
Re: RS2 fly video tutorial Barry Ord Clarke
In Fly Tying by Coha (Roguerat replied)
Fly fishing books Barry Ord Clarke recommendation
In General Discussion by Coha
Re: Mystery Creeks
In Mystery Creek # 244 by Wbranch (Troutnut replied)
Re: Anyone up for a western Alaska float trip?
In General Discussion by Sinktip555 (Wbranch replied)