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What Popular patterns donít work for you?

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58 replies to this topic

#1 Mike West

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 09:18 PM

For me its the Woolly Bugger.
The Woolly Worm yes..hackle tail and then I tie it with a tuff of rabbit fur(no hide)
And that works great but Marabou tail nope. Plus I feel Im just fishing a Crappie jig I could buy at the gas station tackle shop.
I probably have 10 full fly boxes and you wont find one Woolley Bugger in them.

Next is a Clouser Minnow....I carry some and fish them every once in a while. Ive caught a few fish on them but they are not a confidence fly for me at all...and once again I feel like Im just fishing a store bought jig.

Next would be the Prince Nymph...Dont think Ive ever caught a fish on one, dont tie them anymore.


#2 DarrellP


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Posted 17 December 2018 - 10:18 PM

Jigs, zug bugs, trudes
"Calling fishing a hobby is like calling brain surgery a job." John Geirach

#3 Philly


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Posted 17 December 2018 - 11:11 PM

Mike, you and I are on the same page.   I've had very little luck with woolly buggers in the standard colors.  I carry a couple of variants in my fly box,  the White River Demon, the Chili Pepper and the Catskill Killer.  I've caught a few fish with them but they certainly are not my go to flies.  I will say that I've caught more fish on them tied in size 14 and 16 than I have I have on the full size versions.  I do have one in my salt water box.  The body is tied with long pearl estaz and white spey hackle, the tail is borrowed from Bob Pops Semper Fleye.  I've caught stripers and bluefish on it along with a few pike in Northern Ontario.   The Clouser Minnow is the other fly I don't have confidence in.  I blame that on the fact that I was tying it wrong for about 5 years.  I had the eyes to close to the hook eye, and as Clouser told me when I showed them to him at fly fishing club meeting where he was giving a presentation and some tying lessons, "You tied a really nice buck tail jig."   I think the only time I've tied a Prince Nymph was in a couple of beginning fly tying classes I took many years ago.  I've never tied it for fishing.

"All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."

#4 j8000


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Posted 18 December 2018 - 03:10 PM

Add me to the wooly bugger list, although a wooly worm works great.


Although sometimes it's a timing issue, last year the very popular Royal Coachman didn't catch a thing for me most of the year; this year though, it was my most producing fly! 

#5 Flicted


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Posted 18 December 2018 - 03:35 PM

I can't say I have that problem. Didn't mean for that to sound snobby. But I don't think I've ever selected a fly because it's popular. I select flies from what I tie and I tie flies because I think they'll work as an imitation of some type of fish food. I do my best to match the hatch or other forage so I would be more accurate to say the pattern didn't work for me because I used it wrong. What I think is the perfect drift, insect, color, size often differs from what the fish thinks is perfect.

#6 chugbug27


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Posted 18 December 2018 - 03:38 PM

Wooley bugger here, too... But replace the Marabou with a zonker strip and POW

#7 redietz


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Posted 18 December 2018 - 03:41 PM

I'm in agreement about the Woolly Buggers, at least for trout.  I've caught quite a few warm water fish on them, but I've never caught a trout on one.  It's not that I've never used them for trout, either. 


"Confidence" has a lot to do with it.  I'll usually only tie on a WB after I've already failed to catch on a variety of other flies, so it should be no suprise that the WB doesn't catch either. 


Over the last year, though I've tried a few times to change that by starting out with a WB.  On each occasion, I tried several colors and size, and not had a bump.  Changing to another fly brought immediate results.  In one case, I caught a fish on the very first cast after switching from the WB's to Black Ghost, in the same stretch that I'd been fishing.  On the other occasions, switching to a soft hackle produced almost as fast.  I'm not sure what it is about the fly, but it just doesn't work for me.


#8 Crackaig


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Posted 18 December 2018 - 06:14 PM

A couple of seasons ago I finally got Woolly Buggers to work. Not great but I caught on them. The one I really can't seem to make work is the Invicta. I catch loads on the Silver Invicta, no problem there. The original with the amber seal's fur body.... nothing. Not a single fish. Now Mike, who I share a boat with, is the opposite. He catches on the original but not the silver. We have even both had them on the cast, in the same middle dropper position, at the same time, and both caught on our favorite. It is a great mystery that neither has as clue about.

Even stranger we have a fly based on the Invicta, the Interloper, same materials but tied more "in the round", that works well for both of us. That has the amber seal's fur body.

I don't understand. Wish I did, but I don't. That's fishing!



"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical
minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd
by the clean end"

#9 feathers5


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Posted 18 December 2018 - 06:20 PM

I have very little luck with copper john's in my part of PA

#10 DavidR


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Posted 18 December 2018 - 06:27 PM

Copper Johns anyplace ...now its a confidence issue, I just won’t tie one on.

#11 tjm


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Posted 18 December 2018 - 06:48 PM

Bead heads generally  don't work for me.

Wooly buggers seem to be on an individual basis, I suspect I don't use the same kind of hackle on each, or I'm not consistan in my palmering, marabou in general is a fish getter and one bugger catches everything while the next catches nothing. But over half the marabou sold is junk, imo.

Prince is another that looks good in the box and is easy to give away. The two or three in my box were given to me and the couple I bought to try before tying I gave away.

Tying the Clouser Minnow with the weights  too near the hook eye is not uncommon, I've done it myself and when  I looked through the bins at Cabela's/basspro last week  all the Clousers were tied jig style, and mostly over dressed as well, another common thing with Clousers, imo.

#12 Poopdeck


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Posted 18 December 2018 - 09:10 PM

Great responses. It's wonder how things can be so different amongst anglers. The wooly bugger I've learned is good when it's good but can be really bad when it's bad. I guess it's feast or famine but I always try one to check their moods.

A copper john is one of my go to flies. It seems to catch anything from pannies to SMB to trout for me. Color does not matter but I prefer a copper colored one.

I can't really come up with a popular pattern that does not produce for me. I think it helps that I only fish a handful of flies 90% of the time. I really don't care to carry tons of flies and constantly tying and retying every obscure fly I can dig out of the pack. For trout I can say I've never caught anything on something smaller then a size 22. So I guess my answer would be anything tied to a size 22 or smaller hook.

#13 NohackleHS


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Posted 18 December 2018 - 11:15 PM

A copper john USED to be my go-to fly on my home stream.  And this was true for many years.  But, for whatever reason, it just stopped working for me.  Same tie, same stream, but its effectiveness really dropped off.   I never could come up with a good explanation but I guess this is one of those classic mysteries of flyfishing.

#14 Dave G.

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Posted 19 December 2018 - 07:28 AM

Yellow Humpy, never caught a thing on them. Never had a bite even.

John 7:38 ESV  is about "Rivers of Living Water"

#15 xvigauge


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Posted 19 December 2018 - 01:06 PM

For me it's the Muddler Minnow. Never caught a thing on one. I've caught lots of sea trout and redfish in the salt with a Clouser. But, only when I tied the Clouser with a rather sparse dressing instead of the full dressing that is so common. I think the sparse dressing gives more action.