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Patterns that are a Must Have

Joined:
2009/7/7 21:09
From Red Lion PA
Posts: 62
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I think that an awesome topic for the Beginners forum would be fly patterns. Specifically the meat and potatoes patterns that every fly fisher should not leave home without, and that are a good base upon which to build a fly box. Even though I have been fly fishing for a few years, it is still something that I find overwhelming at times, with the number of patterns and sizes to choose from.

Posted on: 2010/3/9 19:50


Re: Patterns that are a Must Have

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2009/3/3 19:40
From girard pa
Posts: 221
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I always carry wollybuggers in diffrent sizes and colors they work in a lot of conditons. Also carry a few bwo patterns along with prince nymphs are always in my box.

Posted on: 2010/3/9 20:02
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Re: Patterns that are a Must Have

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2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
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Buggers,
Adams,
Ant,
Green Weenie,
PT,
Hare's Ear,
Griffith's gnat

Posted on: 2010/3/9 20:50
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Re: Patterns that are a Must Have

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2006/10/2 10:08
From Westmoreland County (near fairgrounds)
Posts: 3736
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Eggs in various colors and sizes.

Posted on: 2010/3/9 23:26
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Re: Patterns that are a Must Have

Joined:
2008/1/2 16:42
From Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Area
Posts: 248
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Good thread......

Along with the posts above, also:

black or brown caddis
Copper John or Copper Creeper
Beadhead PT
San Jaun worm

Posted on: 2010/3/10 4:52
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Re: Patterns that are a Must Have

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2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
Posts: 4460
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You will eventually have more patterns than you need , it just happens , my vest wieghs 70lbs (not really but it's way too heavy) ......don't get crazy at first ..... the list MKern posted would be a great place to start , if the fly fishing bug really bites you , before you know it you'll have plenty of flies , if you decide to tie your own flies get in on the fly swaps that happen on here , they're cool and you get an assortment of patterns. Remember to HAVE FUN!!!

Posted on: 2010/3/10 6:12


Re: Patterns that are a Must Have

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2010/3/10 6:42
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I CARRY DIFFERENT SIZE AND COLOR EGGS, AND DIFFERENT SIZE AND COLORS OF HARES EAR AND PHEASENT TAILS.

Posted on: 2010/3/10 6:45


Re: Patterns that are a Must Have
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Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 8868
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If I were to limit myself to a dozen fly patterns for all my fishing, here are the ones I’d carry in different sizes and in some cases different colors:

Wooly Buggers

Hares Ear nymphs

Pheasant Tail nymphs

Adams (for darker mayflies)

Sulfur patterns (For light mayflies)

Beetles

Ants

Elk hair caddis

Caddis pupa flies

Stonefly nymphs

Green weenies

San Juan worms

Posted on: 2010/3/10 7:26


Re: Patterns that are a Must Have

Joined:
2009/7/7 21:09
From Red Lion PA
Posts: 62
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Thanks for the suggestions guys! Iam already looking at these and thinking about what I dont have in my fly box. I have been tying since last year so I am still pretty new to it. I (like I am sure most new tiers do) have alot of Buggers in my fly box, they are easy to tie, effective and easy to fish! I am going to look up some of these patterns in my book and do a little matierials shopping I think! It is funny that two of you guys mentioned San Juan worms.... I have never tied or fished one, and it is such an easy pattern!! Do you guys use split shot with them? I dont recall the pattern being weighted when I looked at it last.

Posted on: 2010/3/10 8:02


Re: Patterns that are a Must Have

Joined:
2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13623
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add an egg and a hopper to afish's list and that's pretty good. I think though depending on if you tend to fish a few waters very often you could narrow it down. I need sulfurs probably 2 days a year. I can fish an Elk Hair Caddis wet or dry. Trim all but the very last hair clump by the head and its an emerger. I tie foam spiders for bluegills in the spring. Trim the legs, its a beetle. Sometimes a good sharp nipper in your vest means you have a lot more patterns than you started with, with a little stream side trimming.

Posted on: 2010/3/10 8:06


Re: Patterns that are a Must Have

Joined:
2006/10/18 15:46
From Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
Posts: 6457
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I like MKerns and Afish's lists. Remember to keep it simple. Basic patterns like Hares ear and Pheasant tail work on almost any fish... just change up the colors. Junk flies like eggs, san juans, and green weenies can nail the stockers and sometimes get some wary fish and wilds. For dries an adams covers many hatches and an elk hair caddis will float all day and match some of the many caddis and stoneflies out there. I love small griffiths gnats for the small mayflies and midges. I probably catch more fish on top with a griffiths gnat than any other dry fly. Just get some basic flies and tie them or buy them in different sizes and colors. You can get more complicated as you go on.

Posted on: 2010/3/10 10:26
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Re: Patterns that are a Must Have
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2006/9/13 12:42
From Altoona, PA
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This is a popular question. The only problem is that the answers are nearly worthless! It's not that the responders are misleading or wrong, it's just that everyone has a different style... and more importantly, a different stream!!

I used to fish Clarks and Stony Creeks before my accident. One was great for caddis pupae. It was a goto for me. On the other side of the mountain, the same flies were very sporatic. So you have to know your stream really well. So, watch the hatches, turn over rocks, check out spider webs and the trees to see what is hanging out on the stream.

That said, if you fish a variety of streams, you'll probably find that a short list of flies will be your favorites. I loved dry fly fishing and was real big on attractors and general patterns. Guys who match the hatch or like nymphing may have a different list:

Dries:
Royal Wulff (or if you start tying, royal trude... it's just as good, and much, much easier to tye. Plus it won't twist your leader as much) 16 & 18 is great. Most guys would say 14, but you can fudge sizes DOWN not up, so if you are on a budget, skip the larger flies. In the summer, 12's &14's are good for beetle hatches.
Lime trudes 16 & 18. Great for sulphur hatches. I felt much more confident with a lime trude than a strict imitation.
Adams 16 through 22. In the summer, downwing styles are good for mosquito and black fly hatches, but the traditional is good in early spring. An Adams 12 is OK for the Quill Gordon hatch, but the bigger the bug, the better the imitation should be... also the longer the hatch (in days) the better the imitation. Adams 18, 20's and 22's are good for BWOs and midges. Those are hatches you'll fish often.
The Usual 14 to 18 good caddis and mayfly pattern. A pattern you can color with pens to match any hatch
Tan Elk Hair Caddis 16&18. Guys will scream I am not recommending more colors and sizes. This is what worked for me 90% of the time.
Orange Ant 18- This you might need to get tyed for you. It's worth it. Tye it with bright (hunter's ornage) orange dubbing and white hackle. Do not trim the hackle.
Black ants 12 & 16's down to sizes you can't see any more.
White Cahill 16&18 good for late sulphurs and of course, cahills which can hatch all summer.
Beetles 10-14. Crowe beetles are great, but they get beat up real fast. It's worth it IMHO. BTW you can fish ants and beetles from ice out to the first heavy frost.
Bivisbles 14-18. great for midge hatches (especially if you go smaller) caddis and general searching. Great pattern to put on early and experiment with various presentations.

Wets:
Patridge and Orange 12to18, I like to upsize my wets and nymphs a bit. Good pairing with the bivisible above, it can be fished many different ways
Hare's ear wet 12-18 fish it any time, any hatch
Pheasant tail wet 12-18 any time, any hatch

Nymphs:
Guys like wooleybuggers. I never had the same kind of luck with them. Good luck to you, if you carry them
Stonefly nymphs. 8(black) or 14(brown) or 18(black). There are a large variety of stoneflies. They take two years to mature, so you can carry many more sizes than that, and more colors. That's what I like. For some reason, all white and all golden brown do well in 8's too.
zug bugs 14. This fly could be anything. That's why you need it.
Pheasant tail 10-16. You could carry this down to 22 or as big as 4s but I showed some restraint and limited the size range to meat of the line up. Carry them unweighted to start, as your fly collection grows, add beadheads and weighted beadheads to fish faster and deeper.
Hare's Ears 10-16 as with PT's. This is another could be anything fly

Streamers:
Shenk's White Minnow-8-14 When everyone else is catching fish on buggers, this is what I used. In fact, it's good in a hatch. 'cause when a hatch brings fish out to feed, the big fish are feeding on the little fish.
Muddler Minnows. 8-14 Unweighted and greased, they can be a cricket or a big caddis. Weighted, they are a really good streamer. Fish them tight to the bottom.

That's plenty to get you started!

Posted on: 2010/3/10 10:36
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Re: Patterns that are a Must Have
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2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
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Great post Pad. How did I KNOW you would include a Lime Trude and Paul's WMD. Hopefully you got permission from him to disclose his weapon.

Posted on: 2010/3/10 11:07


Re: Patterns that are a Must Have

Joined:
2006/10/18 15:46
From Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
Posts: 6457
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It is a great list Pad, and some good advice... the only problem is that if you're just starting out and have no flies, to purchase a decent selection of all of those would cost you probably atleast $300. You've got close to 50 different sizes of different flies there and if you buy a dozen of each size you're looking at 600 flies. My advise is to start with about 10 different flies, and work up from there. All of fly fishing is a progression.

Posted on: 2010/3/10 12:15
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Re: Patterns that are a Must Have

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2006/12/13 9:28
From Other side of the tracks
Posts: 18115
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some great advice already.

I'm going to answer this as if i were starting out all over again... knowing what I know now. and I will limit it to trout fishing because that is usually the target species on this forum. I’ll keep the list very short.

when i started out, I started with just dry flies. Must have dry fly I would say is an adams or something similar. Like the books say, they look a little like everything and a lot like nothing. I believe it is the most popular trout dry fly in the US if not the planet.

Then I would go with an attractor pattern like a royal trude/wulff/coachman. they sell them everywhere. I also like the chartreuse trude. same as the royal cept the red part is now chartreuse. Get these in sizes 14 and 16 for starters.

Nymphs: I have to mention the two classics. Pheasant tail and hares ear. Both easy to tie and effective.

Also consider prince nymphs, beaded and/or not beaded. To me they are the adams of the nymph fishing world. They look a little like everything and a lot like nothing in the underwater diet of trout.

Might want to keep a few wooly buggers in the fly box. I didn’t use them early on, but they are very effective and can be fished so many different ways.

Opinions may vary depending on what part of the state you live in. Most of my fishing was MWPA, and the advice is for there.

One final piece of advice. If you are thinking about buying one of those fairly cheap fly tying kits... don't do it until you seek advice here. If I had it to do all over again, i wouldn't buy the kit that i bought. The vice wore out in no time, and I still have some of the materials that came with it because they were not very good quality.

Further ahead to buy a vice and a few tools (or a kit of just decent tools) and then purchase only the hooks and materials you need for a few select patterns. When you want to try a couple more paterns, buy the hooks and materials as you go.

Posted on: 2010/3/10 12:30
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