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What fly to start with?

Joined:
2012/4/28 11:10
From Central Virginia
Posts: 19
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I really would love some help on this subject. Let's suppose you arrive at a stream. There are no hatches coming off, the water is a bit dirty, you can't see any rises or trout, you've never fished this stream before, and information on the bugs that live here is non-existent. In short, you are fishing the stream blind. You have a good eye for reading water and know where you'd like to place your fly, but the problem is: what fly to use! Where do you begin? All assistance, advice, whatever would be very welcome. Thanks very much in advance. Irv

Posted on: 2012/8/19 19:21


Re: What fly to start with?

Joined:
2011/6/29 9:38
From Philadelphia
Posts: 2137
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Irv, the key phrase to your question is "the water is a bit dirty". That always tells me to start with a streamer. Woolly Bugger or Sculpin pattern. I'm giving you a very quick answer to a difficult question because, in my opinion, if you take out the words "dirty water", the answer would be far less easy. You need to take in the time of the year, what generally hatches around that time, if anything, weather (sunny/cloudy), will terrestrials be a good bet. You have asked a questions that may indeed have no right or wrong answer. Get ready because you are going to probably get more opinions than you know what to do with but I can guarantee almost every one would be right, especially to the person answering. Have fun!

Posted on: 2012/8/19 19:37


Re: What fly to start with?

Joined:
2010/6/26 11:19
From Along the Lehigh Above the Gap
Posts: 7087
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My go to fly in "dirty water" is a Drone stone (size 8) or a large prince nymph (size 12). Muddy I am chucking streamers.

Posted on: 2012/8/19 19:42
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Re: What fly to start with?

Joined:
2006/9/11 13:33
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 3310
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Flip some rocks, and see what you find.

A black or olive wooly bugger is usually a good choice in off color water.

Posted on: 2012/8/19 19:57
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Re: What fly to start with?

Joined:
2012/3/14 6:23
From Lancaster
Posts: 967
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+1 on the olive or black wooly bugger. I like to tie them also with rabbit fur strips for the tail instead of the marabou for dirty water. My actual "go to" fly would be a sparrow nymph, an awesome fly with a lot of movement. I tie it on a 2xl nymph hook , size 8, a real productive pattern for me over the years.

Posted on: 2012/8/19 21:09


Re: What fly to start with?

Joined:
2011/1/15 18:21
Posts: 480
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"a bit dirty", hmm I can see streamers being a go to here, but I would be nymphing a sz 12 hares ear/favorite general nymph with a bright pink san juan in size 10-12. I have had some insane days of sjw fishing in off color water. My reasoning for nymphing an attractor pattern over stripping streamers for trout, is that I feel there are only a certain percentage of fish that will chase a streamer in a pool. A higher percentage of fish are more receptive to taking a nymph. Before guys jump on me, tom rosenbauer agrees!

Posted on: 2012/8/20 10:26


Re: What fly to start with?

Joined:
2012/3/22 8:26
From Couldn't Care Less
Posts: 5472
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Welcome to the board Irv .. excluding nymphs & buggers because I have a decent amt of those in my fly box; what type of streamers do you guys recommend to carry in our boxes?

Posted on: 2012/8/20 10:43
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Re: What fly to start with?

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13409
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Stagger, for limestoners a black sculpin pattern is my go to streamer.

For the OP, a "little" dirty could mean a lot of things. I'll use streamers about anytime, but them being my "go-to" pretty much means approaching chocolate milk kinda conditions. In the winter, though, I'll use em with just about any water color.

If it's just a little dirty I'm probably nymphing. And with what, and what size, probably depends on the stream and time of year. I.e. what nymphs would I expect to be active? Big stones, caddis pupa, and pheasant tails (various sizes) are the first 3 to come to mind. The PT's on a mayfly heavy stream in the size of whatever should be hatching at that time of year. Caddis on caddis heavy streams, about anytime from April through Oct really. And big stones on larger, bouldery type streams in the heavy riffs.

In the late winter, I might even throw some midge larva around. Red, ribbed, and with a copper beadhead, despite it's small size that flashy might show up well in cloudy water.

Oh, and if they are stockie rainbows, then egg patterns rank high on the list in these situations.

Posted on: 2012/8/20 11:47


Re: What fly to start with?

Joined:
2011/7/6 12:30
From Ephrata, PA
Posts: 6362
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Streamers are the last thing I'm going for, unless the water high and chocolate milk. That's just me.

On streams I don't know much about, I always start with a dry drop. Adam's, Royal Wulff, or the like for my dry fly, and a hare's ear or PT for my dropper. I like to explore new waters this way, and for the last half year or so, I've found it to be an effective way for me to find trout.

Posted on: 2012/8/20 12:16


Re: What fly to start with?

Joined:
2012/5/4 9:12
From Parkesburg
Posts: 544
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My go to flies are usually pheasant tail nympsh, prince nymphs both in sizes 14. Sometimes they are heavily weighted bead nymphs wrapped with lead. My other go to flies are large articulated streamers that mimic small brown brook and rainbow trout.

Posted on: 2012/8/20 12:58
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Re: What fly to start with?

Joined:
2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
Posts: 7593
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I use what Foxgap uses when the water is a bit dirty. If it's clear I usually going searching with a caddis or something I see in the air over the stream.

Posted on: 2012/8/20 21:21
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Re: What fly to start with?

Joined:
2010/11/5 14:26
From Albrightsville, PA
Posts: 1449
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Quote:

SBecker wrote:
My go to fly in "dirty water" is a Drone stone (size 8) or a large prince nymph (size 12). Muddy I am chucking streamers.



And you would know, fishing that big water all the time. High and muddy :)

Posted on: 2012/8/21 8:59


Re: What fly to start with?

Joined:
2012/4/28 11:10
From Central Virginia
Posts: 19
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Thanks to all for the great advice. I retired a couple of years ago, got back into fly fishing, and my retirement "resolution" is to fish 100 days a year. That's not much of a problem for the warm water critters (I live about five minutes from the Rivanna River - a good small mouth stream that's a tributary of the mighty James River). As far as my first love - trout - is concerned, the only thing that I can say is that Virginia just ain't anywhere near Pennsylvania in terms of the quality of the cold water fishery. I'm originally from Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) and cut my teeth on Slate Run, Cedar Run, Falling Springs, the Letort, Big Springs and many more wonderful stretches of water. I try to get up to PA several times a year and will be fishing Falling Springs in early September. Once again, thanks to all for your advice.

Posted on: 2012/8/21 9:14






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