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Fly Tying
Gunnison_Country

What one fly?

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Something brown and about 5/8 of an inch long. Sounds like a hares ear or is it a pheasant tail. Maybe a teeny nymph. You sure only one fly?

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For me it would be a beadhead bugger. It's not my favorite fly, but it's effective just about everywhere and for everything from trout, to bass, carp, steelhead, and even bonefish.

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Since I fish the vast majority of my daytime anglers in Everglades National Park - we're in brackish to saltwaters. The bug I tie on for my fly anglers (fly is just a portion of what we're up to most days...) is called a Whitewater clouser (named after Whitewater bay in the interior of the 'glades - it's ten miles long and six miles wide... all of it wilderness mangrove jungle...). This is a pretty big fly by freshwater standards -and like most of my patterns, has a wire weedguard if at all possible... It's almost three inches long and done up on a Mustad #34007, 2/0 hook - hand sharpened with the barb flattened (all done before ever mounting the hook in the vise...).

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Most would call this a "guide pattern" since it's very quick to tie and has an almost universal appeal... The only fish that consistently turn up their noses at it are tarpon. We've never had a single tarpon bite on one - but everything else - snook, redfish, speckled trout, tripletail, jacks, ladyfish, mackeral, snapper will just shred one...

 

To give those who've never been to the Park an idea of what the environment is down there... here's a single pic of a critter that I see fairly often where I put my skiff in the water... it's not a 'gator - this is a fair sized American saltwater crocodile - about fifty feet from the ramp...

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The really dangerous critter in the 'glades is a big 'gator - the biologists tell us that the crocs are fish eaters - but I stay away from really big ones - I've seen them almost as big as my 17' skiff...

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.... after looking at the sign again... you might want to check with your lawyer(s) before even thinking about killing one.... much less in a national park...

 

Yes, the crocs are making a comeback - now being found in the occasional residential canal down in the Keys - and yes, wherever they're found someone is thinking about killing them. Wish it weren't so - they really are mostly fisheaters..

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Wow I love all the variety here. If we are talking trout only I would choose a number 16 dark coloured pheasant tail nymph preferably with a tungsten bead. If we are opening it up to the other freshwater species I fish (incl. warmwater) I have to go with an olive slump buster. Man that catches everything.

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Since the thread seems to be focusing on trout. Only one segment of the fisheries available to me. Given the time of the year I fish for them I would go with a CDC and Elk. A couple of reasons. The streams I fish do have mayfly hatches, but caddis are abundant. It's an excellent dry fly and can be tied in different sizes and configurations. Also it doesn't float forever and when it sinks it works as an emerger especially on the swing. I've even fished it as a "streamer" with some success. For warm water, right now I'd go with a mop fly. For salt water a white streamer that's a variation of the Semper Fleye.

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Now since the question is not "What do you prefer to fish" but one fly we'd pick for most of our personal fishing if we had to...I'd begrudgingly pick the wooly bugger. Never the first thing I tie but at times it's the last.

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