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.|
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.
- Nymph: Pheasant Tails and Hare's Ears for nymphs, sizes 14 through 18.
- Wet: Peacock-and-partridge soft hackles for wets, 14 through 16.
- Dry: Elk Hair Caddis (or better yet, CDC-and-Elk) dry flies, 14 through 16.
- Dry: Adams dry flies, 12 through 18.
- Dry: Blue Wing Olive dry flies, 16 through 18.
- Dry: Sulphur dry flies, 14 through 16.
- Dry: Royal Wulff dry flies, 12 through 16. Stick to the classic upright wing(s) here, no parachute.
- Dry: Beetles, 14 through 16.
- Dry: Grasshoppers, 8 through 10, or crickets, 10 through 12. Both if you're flush with cash.
- Streamer: Wooly Buggers in olive and black, 6 through 8.
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.|
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?