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Stocking a beginners fly box - Looking for some insight

Joined:
6/4 23:47
From Upper Burrell
Posts: 17
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I'm new to fly flying and I am looking to start putting together a nice collection of flies.

I've been reading and researching all over and have been finding some good information.

The problem is, Im not looking for the "10 best flies", "a dozen top flies", ect. I am looking to put together a nice little box that will works for my needs.

My needs : I live in Western PA, most, if not all the streams I'll be fishing are all freestone streams. Most of the streams have stocked fish in them. I do however plan on trying to fish some Class A streams once I get a little more comfortable with a fly rod.

In the box I've put together so far, I have

- Light Cahill
- Elk Hair Caddis
- Ant
- Royal Wulff
- Orange Stimulator
- Sucker Spawn
- Muddler Minnow
- Hair Ear Nymph
- Gold Bead Pheasant Tail Nymph
- Gold Bead Prince Nymph
- Copper John Nymph
- San Juan Worm

I plan on adding a few...

- Green Weenie
- Wooly Bugger





I would love to hear some thoughts/suggestions.

What else should I add to this collection?


So far, Ive had luck catching fish with the light cahill, royal wulff, and orange stimulator.

I think my biggest thing is Im not really sure what size of each fly I should be buying. Im worried I am either buying too large or too small.

Posted on: 6/10 1:30


Re: Stocking a beginners fly box - Looking for some insight

Joined:
2012/6/11 23:48
From Coopersburg
Posts: 541
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Maybe some stonefly patterns and some midges? Adams dry also. Id say thats a good start...different sizes for each as well.

Posted on: 6/10 5:28


Re: Stocking a beginners fly box - Looking for some insight

Joined:
2011/3/8 19:04
From York, PA
Posts: 369
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I think it pretty good list...of course if you know a particular hatch is going on, you'd want something similar. I'd suggest adding some rusty spinners as they represent several mayfly species to be fished at dusk.

Posted on: 6/10 5:40


Re: Stocking a beginners fly box - Looking for some insight

Joined:
2006/9/9 11:22
From New Castle, PA
Posts: 1625
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Quote:

steveo27 wrote:

In the box I've put together so far, I have

- Light Cahill
- Elk Hair Caddis
- Ant
- Royal Wulff
- Orange Stimulator
- Sucker Spawn
- Muddler Minnow
- Hair Ear Nymph
- Gold Bead Pheasant Tail Nymph
- Gold Bead Prince Nymph
- Copper John Nymph
- San Juan Worm

I plan on adding a few...

- Green Weenie
- Wooly Bugger


This is pretty good. The only thing that sticks out is the muddler minnow. In their standard, weightless, turkey wing form they are damn near useless. Also, Do get the wooly bugger sooner rather than later.

If I had to add anything it would be more subsurface caddis imitations. LaFontaines Sparkle Pupa in Tan and Olive for sure and larva imitations in the same colors. Get size #14, 16 and 18

After that i would suggest also adding some Griffith's gnats. #18 and 20 will be good.

Quote:

I think my biggest thing is Im not really sure what size of each fly I should be buying. Im worried I am either buying too large or too small.


When buying flies and you don't know what size to get, get the smaller size.

For all of your nymphs I would carry #14 and 16 for sure and get #18 also, particularly for the PT's and HE's. Unfortunately sizes are really not uniform due to different hook styles. For instance, 1X and even 2x long hooks are common for nymphs so a #16 mayfly nymph may correspond more closely with a #14 dry fly. On the other hand curved hooks commonly used for caddis imitations tend to seem a bit smaller so a #14 caddis larva imitations may seem small compared to a mayfly imitation. Then you have streamers and stone flies which often are tied on very long shank hooks and can't really be compared to the other flies of the same "hook size."

But forget all that. Just make sure you have #14 and #16 for you nymphs and a healthy number of #18's too. That's a good plan for your other flies too. Except for the streamers, get #8's to start and then add #6 and #10.

Kev

Posted on: 6/10 6:05


Re: Stocking a beginners fly box - Looking for some insight

Joined:
6/4 23:47
From Upper Burrell
Posts: 17
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Thanks for the help guys. I must say that Im really enjoying this forum. So many helpful people willing to share knowledge.

As for the wooly bugger, any suggestion on size/color?

Thanks :beer:

Posted on: 6/10 9:20


Re: Stocking a beginners fly box - Looking for some insight

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2009/3/30 9:52
Posts: 98
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As a preface to my suggestions, realize that I almost never ever nymph at all, so I'm completely ignoring that aspect of the fly box. I only use/lose/go through maybe 1/2 doz. nymphs every year, so they aren't something I consider often.

That being said, if I were putting together a box for a newbie (which I may actually be doing here in the next few weeks), it'd contain as much of the following as I could fit...with a small assortment of standard nymphs (PT, HE, Prince, Stones, and copper johns) to round it out (there's no reason to withhold nymphs for someone else just because I don't use em):

#14 Parachute adams: can imitate just about any darker colored, larger mayfly, and in a vulnerable position. Also floats well and easy to see for a beginner.

#14 Elk Hair Caddis: Imitates just about any medium sized caddis species on any water, which can almost always be found. Fish are also usually more forgiving of a caddis being a tad too big or too small compared to mayflies.

#14 Stimulator: The EHC's big brother, useful in very choppy water, or when imitating slightly larger caddis or hoppers. In a pinch, it can also be swung as a tiny wet fly.

#18 Griffiths Gnat: The beginner's all purpose option for anything too small to be imitated by the above dries. Midges, tiny caddis, mosquitoes, etc. It's tougher to see, but it'll take fish when you can't see what they're eating. Use it when you have rising trout in the evening on a stretch of still, calm water.

#10 & #8 Woolly Bugger: All purpose nymph & streamer. Carry plenty because they work everywhere and you'll lose a few if you're fishing them right. Black, white, and olive are the must-haves, with brown, pink, and orange as close runners up. They're big stones, they're dragon/damsel nymphs, they're crawfish, sculpins, minnows, helgrammites...

#8 & #6 Zonkers: These are your big guns for trout as a beginner. A size 6 zonker will appeal to trout everywhere from 10-20" and you can still manage casting it on your 3wt with some care. These represent leeches and baitfish, and should be carried in black and white at very least, with chartreuse, purple, and olive as close runners-up. In combination with buggers, these are your subsurface searching patterns when nothing's rising. Zonkers work especially well when the water is slightly too high or muddy for ideal fishing conditions.

Posted on: 6/10 9:33


Re: Stocking a beginners fly box - Looking for some insight

Joined:
2013/10/24 21:14
From Forks of the Ohio
Posts: 63
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If possible, I'd like to chime in on the subject.

Generally speaking, when you are a beginner, is it better to stick with flies that imitate things that imitate ants or baitfish or more common food?

Posted on: 6/10 9:52


Re: Stocking a beginners fly box - Looking for some insight

Joined:
2011/7/6 13:48
From Philadelphia PA
Posts: 1495
Online
For me it depends on water conditions. The clearer the water the more realistic you want the fly, nymph, or streamers to look to real live insects. Also, use the lightest line you can get away with for your tippet. If using a nymph, change the line if it gets a knot in it within 12 inches of the nymph. With clear water the trout are easily spooked so you will want to cast way above them and let the fly/streamer/nymph drift into their area. Your presentation must flow with the current naturally. Streamers are a bit more difficult for me to get action with them.

Stained waters I try to go with something a bit more flashy.

Practice, practice, practice and try variations. It's difficult to tell what a trout will hit on and when.

Posted on: 6/10 11:58
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Re: Stocking a beginners fly box - Looking for some insight

Joined:
2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
Posts: 3614
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For ease you could definitely get away with only taking pheasant tails in sizes 12 through 16, and a mayfly imitation dry in a neutral/lighter colored body in sizes 14 and 16.
Possibly a midge larva and dry pattern as well.

I think most beginners try and take as many flies as possible and switch way too often. When in reality, it's more the fishermans fault and not picky fish.

Posted on: 6/10 13:08
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Re: Stocking a beginners fly box - Looking for some insight

Joined:
5/30 0:13
From Media
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Toss in few zebra midges and many a crayfish pattern

Posted on: 6/11 19:34


Re: Stocking a beginners fly box - Looking for some insight

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2007/1/28 18:18
From Woodstock, MD
Posts: 331
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I started tying flies because I couldn't understand why green weenies cost so much. I started tying them AND woolly buggers. IMHO the 2 most important flies for fishing in the spring for stocked fish.

SJW (IN PINK)

Posted on: 6/11 20:25


Re: Stocking a beginners fly box - Looking for some insight

Joined:
6/4 23:47
From Upper Burrell
Posts: 17
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Thanks for the help guys :beer:

Posted on: 6/12 0:55


Re: Stocking a beginners fly box - Looking for some insight

Joined:
4/24 7:07
From Malvern
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Off topic but, are you the same Steveo27 from over on vwvortex?

Posted on: 6/13 8:44


Re: Stocking a beginners fly box - Looking for some insight

Joined:
2012/6/5 21:59
From Banshee
Posts: 274
Offline
I just bought the trout starter pack from Allen Fly Fishing. You get a nice selection of starter flies and a nice fly box plus they're on special right now.

Posted on: 6/13 13:39


Re: Stocking a beginners fly box - Looking for some insight

Joined:
6/4 23:47
From Upper Burrell
Posts: 17
Offline
I'll have to check that out, thanks.

Quote:

gozu wrote:
Off topic but, are you the same Steveo27 from over on vwvortex?


Yessir. Its my handle on all the forums I'm on. :beer:

Posted on: 6/13 14:46



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