Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Few Favorite Dry Flies

When I wrote the post Anticipation a few days ago, I didn't realize that I would be writing a second blog post along the same lines. This time however, it's not deer season that I'm anticipating, but rather cold, clear mountain streams and pretty wild trout. It's been a while, (way too long), since I've made a trip up to the mountains to fish some of my favorite wild trout streams. I've decided that there is only one remedy for this, and that's to go trout fishing.

The summer seems to be flying by, and as a school teacher that's the last thing I want to happen. I love what I do, but I also enjoy summer vacation and I'm never quite ready for it to end. In anticipation of a fishing trip, I sat down at my fly tying desk the other day and worked on tying up several summertime essentials to restock my fly box. I was running low on several dry fly patterns that I love to use, and it had been too long since I took the time to tie any flies.

The act of fly tying is similar to checking trail cameras for me. Both activities are fun in their own right, but also serve to remind me of good times to come. Here are a few of the fly patterns I tied the other day, along with the recipes for them. None of these flies are original designs of mine, but they are the dry flies that I use most frequently. These are all flies that I've had good luck with here in North Carolina, and hopefully they will work for you too.

Thunderhead - This is usually one of the first flies I try during the summer, and often the only one I use during a trip. This fly is a sentimental favorite, because it is the pattern that I caught my first trout on a dry fly on, a pretty little wild brown that hooked me as much as I hooked it.

Hook: TMC 100 or Mustad 94840; 12-16
Thread: 6/0 Black
Tail: Brown Hackle Fibers
Body: Superfine Gray Dubbing
Wing: White Calf Tail
Hackle: Brown and Grizzly Mixed

Rio Grande Trude
Rio Grande Trude - If a Thunderhead isn't working, this is usually my second choice, and sometimes my first. I've had especially good luck with this fly on brook trout.

Hook: TMC 100 or Mustad 94840; 12-16
Thread: 6/0 Black
Tail: Golden Pheasant Tippet
Body: Superfine Black Dubbing
Wing: White Calf Tail
Hackle: Brown

Deer Hair Caddis

Deer Hair Caddis - I've used these a lot over the years. I like to fish this fly in rougher or faster water, since it seems to float well in these conditions. This is just a basic Elk Hair Caddis tied with deer body hair. Both elk and deer hair seem to work about equally well for me for this fly.

Hook: TMC 100 or Mustad 94840; 10-18
Thread: 6/0 Brown
Body: Superfine Tan Dubbing (Sometimes I use hare's mask, olive, or cinnamon dubbing)
Wing: Deer Body Hair
Hackle: Palmered Brown Hackle

Tennessee Wulff
Tennessee Wulff - This is another pattern that I like to use in faster water. I've always heard our wild trout in NC like flies with some yellow on them, and while I don't have any scientific evidence to back this claim up, they do seem to like this fly. Since we have sparse hatches in most of our wild freestone streams, attractor patterns like this will usually do the trick.

Hook: TMC 100 or Mustad 94840; 10-16
Thread: 6/0 Black
Tail: Brown Bucktail
Body: Peacock Herl with a Yellow Floss Band
Wing: White Calf Tail
Hackle: Brown

These are just a few of the patterns that I like to tie and carry in my fly box, but unless there's a visible hatch or I'm fishing a technical stream like the Davidson, one of these four patterns are usually tied on my tippet if I'm dry fly fishing. I can't think of many things more exciting than seeing a wild trout take a dry fly, and I'm planing on giving a few trout the opportunity to see these flies very soon. If you get a chance to give any of these a try, I hope they work as well for you as they have for me.

- Joseph 

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