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Opportunistic Dry Fly Fishing

Joined:
6/27 1:21
From NE Pennsylvania
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It has been my experience that dry fly fishing is an opportunistic fishing method that is only useful if the fish are in a regular feeding pattern, i.e. ~ they are rising pretty regularly to some form of a hatching or dying insect. Ive never been one for lobbing an ant, a beetle, a hopper, or cricket since one rarely sees fish rising regularly on any of these terrestrial patterns. I have never seen it, except when flying ants are around. This is just a "what are your thoughts" thread. Who feels that Dry Fly fishing is better saved for those opportunities when you can focus on fish that are rising regularly? Who feels that it is worth carrying an arsenal of terrestrial patterns in an attempt to entice fish to the surface that otherwise arent in a surface feeding pattern? I guess I never realized that so many flyfisherman consider nymph fishing, in any of its forms, easier than dry fly fishing. What do the "die-hard" dry fly only guys do if there is no hatch or spinner fall? Do they lob terrestrial patterns? Stay home? I go nymphing.

Posted on: 7/15 6:35
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Re: Opportunistic Dry Fly Fishing

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2012/6/11 23:48
From Coopersburg
Posts: 576
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Im not a die hard dry fly guy, and im a newb, but I've been having luck throwing hopper patterns. Sometimes i drop a nymph off the bend. I like to switch it up and go hopper right off the bat, instead of my usual nymph/streamer till hatch starts. I guess if I was prospecting with a mayfly pattern it would be an adams parachute aside from a terrestrial in summer.


Posted on: 7/15 6:55


Re: Opportunistic Dry Fly Fishing

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2007/4/25 10:02
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My favorite way to fly fish is blind casting to where a fish should be then having a fish strike. Very gratifying. Especially with big dries!

Posted on: 7/15 7:41
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Re: Opportunistic Dry Fly Fishing

Joined:
2010/1/2 15:17
From PA and NH
Posts: 766
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It is opportunistic at times, not just selective. Food is food and while I catch more fish underneath sometimes I fish on top even without a significant hatch just because I can and will fool fish.

Posted on: 7/15 7:43


Re: Opportunistic Dry Fly Fishing

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2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 4299
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I catch plenty of fish - that aren't rising, or just doing it occasionally - on terrestrials. Mostly ants and beetles. Best done from june, right through the summer and fall. This is when the major spring hatches are over, and terrestrial fishing comes into it's prime. In fact, I kinda look forward to this period more and more - don't have to be concerned about the timing of a good hatch. They'll take terrestrials all day long.
If you've ever done any brookie fishing - their environs don't usually have much in the way of hatches. They're opportunistic, and will usually hit just about anything presented on the surface.

I say - go dry or go home!

Posted on: 7/15 7:51


Re: Opportunistic Dry Fly Fishing

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2009/11/5 1:46
Posts: 150
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I'm usually a wet fly guy, but in the summer, it's hard to beat fishing terrestrials, especially ants, even with no obvious rises. Cast to likely spots; the fish are on the look out for manna from heaven.

Posted on: 7/15 8:36


Re: Opportunistic Dry Fly Fishing

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2010/6/19 16:43
From Clinton County, Pa.
Posts: 1811
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Fishing terrestrials during the summer time can be one of the most effective methods to use. One of my favorites is casting a beetle into the shade under a tree limb hanging over the water and then let the fun begin.

Posted on: 7/15 9:02
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Re: Opportunistic Dry Fly Fishing

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2007/7/2 19:40
Posts: 15165
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throwing hoppers during their season can lead to some of the most exciting takes in fly fishing.In all of fishing for that matter.
However choose a stream near a field where the wind can carry them unto the water,not a deep woods section.

Posted on: 7/15 9:15
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Re: Opportunistic Dry Fly Fishing

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2007/10/17 10:49
From florida
Posts: 6399
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Good advice Pete. That old Muddler Minnow is as good as it gets on the surface. GG

Posted on: 7/15 9:32
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Re: Opportunistic Dry Fly Fishing

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2012/6/11 23:48
From Coopersburg
Posts: 576
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Pete, agreed! Ive had some vicious strikes swinging a hopper across at the tail of a pool. Good stuff.

Posted on: 7/15 10:04


Re: Opportunistic Dry Fly Fishing

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13552
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It really, really depends on the situation.

On infertile brookie streams, I use dries probably 95% of the time or more. You may see the odd natural rise, but generally speaking, no, you aren't casting to rising fish. I've topped 50 in a day numerous times without seeing a single rise. They hit it just fine. I will use nymphs in the winter, as well as in that one deep hole with the undercut bank you always seem to come across.

On larger, richer streams, there are also situations where I'll "prospect" with dries to great success, but it's less common. For instance, yes, late mornings with terrestrials. In these situations you usually see a natural rise somewhere along the banks every 10 minutes or so, but not regular rises. The rises are an indication that there's fish working the banks, but you're not casting to individual, actively rising fish. Instead, you cast to likely looking spots, for instance plopping an ant down under an overhanging limb, or a hopper near some tall grass. It works.

Another instance where I'll prospect is usually a last ditch resort, but it's saved my bacon a few times after striking out with nymphs. Skittering caddis. Often this is a summertime thing for me, when there's no real hatch, but a handful of egg layers fluttering about. I'll throw on a good, high floating pattern like an Elk Hair, cast to the banks, and skitter it back towards me, letting it pause momentarily over likely looking lies. I've never caught huge numbers this way, but I've picked up 5-10 fish on a good day, and it is really an exciting way to fish as the hits are explosive and surprising. Not like when there's a pod of them rising and you're anticipating right as the fly gets to ____. Instead, you have 20 hitless casts and get lulled into boredom, them bam, that fish launched himself 3 feet into the air on the take!

But no, I'm not one to fish dries exclusively. If I think nymphs or streamers will work better, I go with them. That said, I catch FAR more fish on dries than I do underneath. And I'm not a bad nymph fisherman. The main reason for dry fly success is that I like dries, and am actively seeking out situations where they are effective. For instance, if I fish bigger water, I am typically timing a hatch. The nymphing I do is because in doing so, I often show up early and I'm not the type to sit on the bank waiting for something to happen. So rather than sit around, or hopelessly toss a dry that will work later tonight, I'll try to nymph up a few while I wait. A pre-lude to the main event, not the main event itself.

Likewise, skittering caddis or tossing terrestrials is usually because I showed up, and fished, a trico spinner fall or something, but after it's done I'm not quite ready to leave.

When I don't expect hatch like action on big water, I go to a brookie stream!

Posted on: 7/15 10:09


Re: Opportunistic Dry Fly Fishing

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2010/5/18 17:34
From Leola, PA
Posts: 137
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pcray summed it up my sentiments very precisely. +1

Posted on: 7/15 11:36


Re: Opportunistic Dry Fly Fishing

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2010/8/24 20:13
From Bucks County
Posts: 301
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Try a muddler fished dry for the rest of the summer. If a dead drift doesn't work, add movement, skitter it, and strip it back at the end of the drift. Trust me you will like prospecting with terrestrials after this experiment.

Posted on: 7/15 11:42


Re: Opportunistic Dry Fly Fishing

Joined:
2011/3/23 22:10
From Delaware River
Posts: 495
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Tie up some beetles, ants and hoppers. Then go out and fish. Dead drift them, twitch them, smack them on the water, present them delicately, fish them wet, etc. Just go fishing (!!!!!!) and find out what works.

I personally usually fish a big ant (size 12) and then a small drowned ant (16 or 18) off the back. I cast upstream and smack it down on the water. I am usually met with success within the first few seconds of the drift.

But I look forward to hearing how your opportunistic terrestrial dry fly fishing endeavor turns out.

Posted on: 7/15 17:14
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Re: Opportunistic Dry Fly Fishing

Joined:
2006/9/13 18:28
From chester ct
Posts: 529
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Crickets work better for me here in PA than hoppers.


Posted on: 7/15 17:17
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