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RichK

How many flies?

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Ok, to start off with I'm completely new to fly fishing as I mentioned in another thread so bare with the newb questions. I'm gearing up to do some fly fishing in the Adirondacks and Finger Lakes region of NY for mid-April to the end of May. How many varieties of flies to I need to realistically have a decent setup? I'm sure I don't want to head out with just one or two different styles of flies! I will be fishing for brown and rainbow trout.

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Rich, depending on how folks categorize their flies, there are about 5 different types that may apply to the type fishing you intend. Dry flies, wet flies, nymphs, streamers & terrestrials. There is some overlap in each, as some patterns could fit in more than one.

 

Depending on how much fishing you intend to be doing, a few patterns from each could be a decent set-up. There are patterns that will imitate a variety of things that trout eat, and there are more specific patterns. Getting started, the generic patterns will likely be your best bet to stock up on, and once you get up there, visit local fly shops to get more specific patterns for the area.

 

For dry flies, patterns such as the Adams is a good all around fly, Elk Hair Caddis is another & perhaps a Wulff pattern or a Humpy. These all float well too. Sizes 12 & 14 are good general use sizes.

Wet Flies are a bit different because they cover some different styles, but a few colors from light to dark in the Soft Hackle style should be fine. Again, 12 & 14 are good sizes.

Nymphs imitate a specific stage of aquatic insects. Some patterns work well for different species. Get some Hare's Ear's, Zug Bugs, and perhaps a Casual Dress. Sizes from 10 to 14.

Streamers imitate baitfish. The Black Nose Dace & Grey Ghost are very popular, & work well. Sizes, 10 to 6, perhaps a #4 for the lake fishing, depending on the rod wt you have.

Terrestrials: Land insects such as Beetles, Worms, Caterpillars, Hoppers, Ants, Crickets, etc. Get a few of each, sizes will vary for each, but again in the 10 to 14 range to start should be good.

 

Add as you gain more experience, However, if you really get into this, like most of us, before long you'll have way too many flies!

 

Other folks will certainly have different advise & choices for flies. All will work. Presentation is usually more important than the actual patterns, so no matter what you start with for your flies, learn to cast properly (get instruction if you can) and present the flies properly & you'll be fine.

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Come on tidewaterfly, you know there is no such thing as too many flies.

Well, I know that, but he's just getting started, no sense scaring him at this point! I'm just warning him of the possibility!rolleyes.gif

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I just ordered a bunch of stuff from J. Stockard Fly Fishing so I can get started practicing on tying some Royal Wulff flies. Only thing I need now is to grab a vice! Is the Renzetti Traveler the best value in the $150 price range?

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I can't state that it's the best value in that price range as I've never used that particular vise, but have read comments that indicated many folks like that vise.

 

Renzetti certainly has a good following & makes an excellent quality product, so it should be a good vise to use.

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There is no such thing as too many flies!.I would start out with nymphs, streamers, scuds and early stone files. As far as a vise I would recommend a rotary vise,the Renzetti traveler . The Peak vise is at almost he same set up but a bit cheaper. Myself I can't wade anymore so I use a guide and a boat. I have a boat bag chuck full of flies. Just about every fly you can imagine. It is a fantastic sport and very relaxing fly fishing and fly tying.Welcome ot the sport.....

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Realistically, you will need a dozen of every pattern in at least 5 sizes! blink.png wacko.png ohmy.png tongue.png ph34r.png That's what I'm shooting for. Excuse me, I have to liquidate one of my 401Ks. laugh.png

 

 

He who dies with the most flies, wins!

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Keep it simple as you can. I can get by with just a few different patterns or styles.

 

Forget the Royal Wulff, its not the MOST necessary of patterns. For where your going, you would be better off with some generic nymph patterns. Start with a pheasant tail and the gold ribbed hare'e ear both in size 12, 14, 16, 18, a woolly WORMS (not buggers,) in black, olive, and brown, sizes 4, 6, 8, 10 on 4xl hooks. You can trim the hackle off the back half of some of the woolly worms to represent stone fly nymphs.

 

For streamers use some simple bucktails, in the same sizes as the woolly worms. Colors on these could be black over white, yellow, or chartreuse; olive over white or yellow: natural brown over white: and chartreuse white, or chartreus. Clouser minnows could be an alternate minnow pattern in the same color combinations. One bucktail that is popular in that area is the Micky Finn. Tie it with yellow over red over yellow bucktail. I usually just use pearl tinsel for the body on all my bucktails. I tie up several bodies and coat with head cement letting the first ones dry before adding the hair.

 

Dry flies the Usual or Compara-duns (I prefer the compara-duns,) can be tied in sizes 12, and 14 for the Usual, and 12 through 16 for compara-duns. The Usual pattern is tied with showshoe rabbit's feet as the wing and tail, then a dubbed body. The Compara-duns are tied with deer hair wings, and a little dubbing. Use synthetic materials like Z-lon to represent the shuck on the compara-duns. Tie these with bodies of light to dark olives, grays, and tans, and you should something that will match most of the mayflies. I pre

 

For caddis drys, tie an X caddis with an opal pearl tinsel body, a trailing shuck, and a short deer hair wing. Tie these in sizes 12 14 16 and 18, and you have the caddis flies covered. I have found this single pattern works no matter what caddis are hatching. No need to match the body color, just the size.

 

This assortment of fly patterns will get you fishing with a minimal assortment of relatively inexpensive materials.

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I used to carry way way too many styles, types, size and colors of flies. I am slowly but surely weeding patterns from my box.

 

For trout fishing, my dry flies are almost all parachute "adams" in grey, white, yellow and olive with a black and natural elk hair caddis just in case. I carry some foam hoppers, beetles and ants. A couple copper johns and a hares ear nymph or two. No wet flies. White, black, natural and olive bunny leeches. Nothing against nymphs and wetflies, i just prefer the dries and streamers.

 

We have our camper parked along a warm water river now so i am doing a lot more bass/musky fishing. That is even simpler with flies - several foam hoppers for the bass and panfish. Also carry a few mouse and frog top water poppers and several "Big Gruesomes" for the big bass and musky. Keep one rod rigged with a hopper and one with a popper or streamer.

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Here is what I now carry...

Hares ear parachutes....nymphs....and soft hackles in sizes 12 thru 16

 

Elk hair caddis in 12 thru 16

 

A stone fly in 10 and 8

 

That's my normal box.

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Here is what I now carry...

Hares ear parachutes....nymphs....and soft hackles in sizes 12 thru 16

 

Elk hair caddis in 12 thru 16

 

A stone fly in 10 and 8

 

That's my normal box.

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The number of fly boxes you take along depends on the diversity of the fish you want to "cover". On a typical float-trip in our area I carry 3 to 5 wt rod for grayling (dries, wets & nymphs), 7 wt for lenok (little mice, streamers, big nymphs and dries), 9 wt for pike, and 10 wt 15' two-handed rod for taimen. Al these types of fishing require at least 5-6 boxes of different flies.

 

If you are a novice and go for trout only, 50 to 100 flies should be enough - if you do smart selection.

 

Emergers "with a float" are a must - they could be presented as a dry fly, with dead drift, and also as skating patterns, with a wake.

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