Monday, February 21

Unacceptable weather, also fly selection for dummies.

  • Your made in china label is showing.

Isn't it amazing, just a week ago I was singing the praises of spring, only to be given snow this week? Not that I was able to enjoy any of it, what with having to work late each night last week, and not being able to call off like the rest of the free world and feign illness (with doctors notes if you're in WI or wherever that is). Oh, sure, there was a weekend, but one day was spent with gale force winds, and the next was spent looking at a blown out stream.

Not that I didn't go out and try, but it wasn't to be. I did let some little kids cast my fly rod, because that seemed like the right thing to do. Whens the last time you let some random stranger try your fishing gear? I challenge you to hand it over to someone who walks by and randomly expresses interest. Do your hobby a favour, people. 

Or don't,  what the hell do I care?

Anyways, this is the part of the post where I do something useful. Its the goal, generally.  Actually, the goal is to somehow figure out a way to line my pockets, and I imagine some sort of linkage to some sort of retailer is a way to do it, but thats more effort than I can put forth, so whatever...and thus, until then, I can claim nothing but altruistic designs.

I remember a few years ago, I walked into a big box store, pulled out a stack of gift cards and got stupid. I had no idea what any of this stuff was, but I knew I needed it. I picked out some tackle, then stared in mute horror at the wall of flies.

I had no clue what they were, none. Not any. I had to go in blind based on what they looked like, it wasn't pretty for a guy who hadn't seriously fished in 15+ years.

So, that said, "beginner flies," or "what flies do I use in fly fishing?" I wish someone had done this for me, or, y'know, I put forth some basic research into "starter flies." 

Not pictured: Confused newbie.
Look, I know it seems pretty insane, especially if you went t a fly shop with its little case of tiny little compartments, thousand plus types of flies all of which look surprisingly similar to you. The guy in the corner, he's no help, because he speaks a language you just don't understand, what the hell is a Baetis, and wasn't Sub-Imago Henry Rollins' record label (no, that was Imago Records). 

So, forearmed with a little knowhow, you can walk in and out with ease. Hell, the bulk of these flies are going to be available in your average rural Sprawlmart store from the likes of those little Cortland blister packs. This is not an all inclusive list, but I guarntee you that if you buy this up, you could fish successfully well for the season and the fish won't laugh at you for not having a LaFontaine Sparkle Pupae in Ginger for the elusive oh-who-the-fuck-cares hatch.

For the dry flies, you can buy them regular or parachute style. If you're going to buy one, go parachute. Or, that's my personal opinion. If you want someone else's, navigate to another blog.  The nymphs come in bead head versions or not, buy some of each. 

Basically, that's a full listing of everything you need. If the bug coming off the water is light, you use the sulphur. If its dark, use the Adams. Those tiny little ones with the grey wings, you probably don't need me to tell you this, but they're the blue wing olives. 

The terrestials come into their own in summer, when the spring mayflies have mostly run their course. 

Serious fly fishin' business. 
Then there's the Royal Wulff... What the hell does it look like? 
Strawberries-and-cream said its designer, Lee Wulff. Besides being one of my personal pet patterns, its great for "prospecting," or randomly throwing a dry to likely places. It floats like a champ, works well as an indicator, and is a timeless classic. If people see the Wulff at the end of your line, they know you mean business.

"But, how do I know which to use?" Eh, we'll do that next time. Go spend some money, and support your local shop. They need the help and they'll be able to tell you when its Ephemerella Rotunda or Ephemerella Invaria. 

BTW,  that answer doesn't matter, because its cream and size 14, so use the Sulphur pattern, right?


  1. This might be the most gay blog I have ever read.

  2. Cool write up but I can't find the oh-who-the-fuck-cares-hatch in Meck Pocket Guide what edition did you see that in and what are the hatch dates for it.

  3. I pride this blarg on being sexual orientation neutral, but gay dudes are young, generally hip and enviromentally concious so I'm quite glad you like it.

    As for the oh-who-the-fuck-cares, you'll find they most often hatch through out the day in the spring through fall, although they can be found in the smallest sizes occasionally during the winter. Often times morning or evening, although again, in the cold months its often the warmest part of the day... Meck's pretty sharp, but he's old.. I think he tied the Patriot to match the hatch, but foolish man should know you need Peacock Flashabou, not Blue Smolt.

    But, you can't teach and old dog new tricks, eh?

  4. I like what you have done here Jerry. Should be a standard answer to "what flies"? Well thought out, though I still question the Royal.

  5. Hey, you don't like it start your own blog.
    No, seriously. Its a generic, good fly. It floats like a beast, its easy to tie yet contains fundamentals, looks like many things and no things, and its also just a pretty fly that drips charm to non-fishers, and should inspire confidence in its user.

    It works, and that's what makes it a quality prospecting fly.

    I fully expect that half of what I write is terrible advice that people will ignore once they learn their own answers. I'm down with that.

  6. Hi Gary, thanks for the beginner fly selection. I also like that you found this PA (and less expensive) fly shop. Too bad we lost our local one (the Little Lehigh Fly Shop).

  7. That's fact this is challenge to hand it over to someone who walks by and randomly expresses interest.

  8. Thanks for sharing this info... Now that I'm getting a handle on what to buy. I need to learn how to keep them.


  9. sounds about right.... even if it's gay

    I fish the hell out of a Wulff with a bed head hare's ear dropper on little ditch creeks and my local pond and catch every damn thing from minnows to largemouth bass. I recently started using the Wulff with legs, PMX I think they call it and the panfish can't leave it alone.