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Fish For Life

Go to dry fly

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I agree with flytire - there's no magic bullet, do-everything fly when there's no hatch. The good news is, you can start with his short list and quickly gain some experience on what works for a particular time and place. Once you dial into a river, you'll have a few reliable patterns for each situation.


For example, there are two forks of my local river, both similar steep canyons. On one, a Royal Wulff is a great attractor pattern when there's no hatch. On the other, I rarely catch anything on a Royal Wulff, but a Trude style fly works all summer in the lower canyon. A few miles up that canyon, a parachute Adams or Klinkhammer work really well when there's no obvious hatch.


In meadow sections, I like to sight fish with beetles or ants on summer afternoons when the hatches peter out.


I love fishing attractor dries, and it's often very productive in my home waters.

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My go to dry fly is the CDC and Elk. It's worked for me through out the Northeast and in Southern Ontario. I may not see a may fly hatch but there's always seems to be caddis around or a caddis hatch happening. I also have a dry midge patterns that I'll fish if I see fish rising but no mayflies or caddis around. These three flies produce 90% of the trout I catch.



I've been lucky enough to witness two dragonfly "hatches". A huge one on a lake in Maine while dropping my nephew off for an Outward Bound program and a smaller one on the Black River in south central Vermont. The nymphs crawl out of the water, in Maine they were on the reeds around the lake, in Vermont, they crawled out onto the stream side rocks. In Vermont I watched the whole process, from the nymphs crawling onto the rocks, till the dragonflies wings dried and they flew off. The process took about 15-20 minutes. Once they were out of the nymph shuck, I was a able to get a couple to crawl on my hand where they sat until their wings hardened and they took off. Well worth the break from fishing.

I've never had any luck with dragonfly dries, but I always have a couple of nymphs in my box just in case I see some heading for the beach.

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Brown or Yellow Stimulator size 12 or 14 (respectively).


But like every one else I also like royal wulff, green elk hair caddis and parachute adams

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