Does The Fly Matter?
Notice the two tails and flat clinger nymph head on the Little Yellow Quill. Recently,
someone ask in an email if using a specific imitation of something hatching
or that is most plentiful and available in the form of a nymph or larva is any better than
using a generic or popular fly such as a Parachute Adams. The answer is, yes, it is
always better to be fishing an imitation of something either hatching or nymphs and
larvae very available for the trout to eat than any generic fly designed to match a little
of everything type of fly. If conditions are good, you are usually able to catch a few
opportunistically feeding trout on the generic flies, especially if you present the fly in
fast moving water where the trout have little chance to closely examine the fly;
however, as a general rule, the trout will always accept a fly imitating something in the
water they are seeing at the time more often than they will something they are not
The bottom line is if your satisfied being a mediocre angler at best, then use the
generic flies. Just make sure you remember all the generic excuses you will need to
learn to rely on when you fail to catch trout or the number of them you would like to
You may do well some days. You won't catch many, if any, in the pools or anywhere
the speed of the water isn't helping you out by giving the trout only a short glimpse of
the fly. As a general rule, you won't catch as many on those days anglers call tough
fishing days. On the tough fishing days, you won't do near as well as you would fishing
a good imitation of something that's very available for the trout to eat.
Remember this if nothing else. The "matching the hatch" phrase was great and helped
many anglers realize that they were relying on pure luck for catching fish; however,
"matching the hatch" is just a small part of the challenge. You should to be able to
match "what is about to hatch"; which almost always represents the bulk of the food
available for the trout to eat in the form of nymphs and larvae. The trout can see
them far better than the duns and adult flies drifting on the surface of the
water during a hatch. In other words, it is more important to closely match the
nymphs than insects floating on the surface.
Yes, the particular fly you use can make a big difference.
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
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