Thursday, August 5, 2010

What is Your Favorite go to Fly When Nothing is Working??

Here is the situation that I have encountered on this remote river, which I have never fished before. I walk up to the edge of the bank and notice there is no hatch, low water and nothing rising. I do see some great seams and some pocket water but with no activity. Am I over stating the situation here or could this be any cold water river or stream in the U.S. at any given time of the year.
  So with fly box in hand what flies would I tie on to get a take? Should I start out with a dry or a dry with a dropper, or a nymph, or even a double nymph?? When the average fly fisherman, notice I said “AVERAGE” and that is what I consider myself when confronted with this type situation what are the must flies he should have in his box to get a take?
  I realize that on certain rivers or streams and in certain areas of the country that there are different hatches, changing water conditions, and different climate changes. I am sure all of use have encountered this situation at different times of the day on our favorite river or stream, and I know that we all have our go to fly that we always try to get that hit with. They may be a variety of dries or nymphs or even some go to streamers. So what are the most reliable at anytime of the year, or is there such a fly? I am just wandering sitting here with my laptop today with the temps outside at 103 and the heat index at 109.


Bigerrfish said...

every stream is different... In the way that fish build eating habbits... first thing you need to know is what bugs are in that stream... dont bother screening the runs but look under a few rocks and the best thing to do is find a local fly shop,,, they have no reason to carry flys for the ocean if there is a brookie stream near by...

If you lived in western colorado I would say gold stones and prince nymphs will catch a fish.. not knowing your water I could say that a prince nymph will work in that stream,,, also there must be some caddis, so look up caddis worm, or rock worm, play with baetis nymphs too and find one that those trout like..

Bill Bush said...

Hi Bill! My "go to" fly as of late has been the Griffith's Gnat...or Prince Nymph...Woolly Bugger.. thats it the.. When you find that fly let me know.

Bill Trussell said...

I checked under some of the rocks the other day at the Caney and found some 1/4 scuds at least I think that what they were. I didn't have anything exact but I used a numph with no success. You can bet that when I go back next weekend I will have some. I have fished the prince nymph,copper john and parachute adams and caught trout on all of them at the Caney. Can't wait to get back next week, I will carry two set-ups one for nymphing and the other for dries. I will get the flies you mentioned.

Bill Trussell said...

Hi Bill
Griffith's Gnat is one that I have got on order. Wooly Buggers are flies that I not only use on streams but I have found them to work great in warm water. Another is the grey ghost streamer---a bubby of mine in Virginia has caught some nice browns on this fly. Streamers are big trout flies on the Caney, in Tennessee especially using them from a drift boat. This is another trip I am going to make in the near future. I will give the gnat a try.

Colorado Angler said...

Like Bigerrfish said, it's a little tough to make any calls when you're not familiar with the water...

...but the three flies that have never failed me, and that have taken fish on every river I've been on, are Pheasant Tails, Zebras and Scuds.

But I've never fished a river down in your neck of the woods, but I'd imagine the Zebra and Scud would be a solid choice.

And if i were being banished to the hills, and could only choose 1 fly to take with me...I'd take a scud, hands down.

Midgenut said...

Bigger fish is right on the money when he says every stream is different! When I'm going to fish a new river I generally look on the net to see if there is a hatch chart published for it. That will give me an idea of what bugs live in the stream. Then you check the local fly shops and fishing reports to see what the fly shops are recommending as patterns. Next you turn a few rocks and check out what's hiding under them.
Put that all together and you now have a basic knowledge of the food base and you'll have some idea what others have been taking fish on from the reports. Last you'll get some color and size reference on the bugs from tuning the rocks. All rivers are going to have midges… the mayfly, caddis and stonefly populations will depend on pollution levels, altitude and water types. Pay attention to size range and coloration of the bugs under the rocks as species will determine size and often the color of the stream bottom will effect the coloration to a degree. Last but not least, when you do take a fish have a real good look in its mouth and throat once you’ve removed the hook. The last few bugs it took may still be lodged in its throat or around the gills. It’s all just a matter of thinking your way through the puzzle. If you’re going to be a student of the game it’s all about observation. Over the course of a day the clues will at least point you in the right direction.

Bill Trussell said...

The scud, phesant tail and zebra midge are the top three on the Caney. The scuds I have found beneath the rocks are grey and # 16 to 18 size. I didn't have any the other day when I was there. But you can bet I will the next time. Thanks for the info. It is always good to share.

Bill Trussell said...

I haven’t thought about checking the net for the hatch pattern good idea. I know the last trip I made I didn't have the flies that they were taking which was the scud, in different sizes. I was able to land a couple of bows using the zebra midge which you can always count on there. One was with the indicator and the other off an Adams. I have discovered that the Caney is an early morning river, if you are there at daylight and can wade through the fog you pick off some nice bows and browns on dries. When the sun breaks the surface activity slows, and as the day progresses it pretty much comes to a stop until right before dark. I don’t know if that is the case where you.
I know I need to pay more attention to the hatch, instead of relying primary on the Caney message board. A lot of times the information you get there is not as accurate as one would think.
I have only been trout fishing a couple of years and probably made a dozen trips to the Caney over that period, so I have a lot to learn. I do know when I have a question concerning trout fishing I can depend on all you guys to give me some good advice. I am making another trip next weekend at daylight, with my son and son-in-law. I am really looking forward to that one because my son has never fish the Caney. I will be doing a post on that trip. Thanks for the comment.