Saturday, August 30, 2014

When are Enough Flies and Poppers Enough??

I have found that fly fisherman who fish for all species of fish, regardless of warm water or coldwater have an abundance of flies in their fly boxes. If you are not one of these individuals then I would consider you in the minority. All my fly fishing buddies including me have enough flies and poppers to last season after season. So the question is why do need so many poppers and flies, and of course the answer is to land lots of fish.

I realize that if one is fishing for trout, the hatch comes into play a lot of times which dictates a certain size and style pattern that matches the hatch. Trout fishermen have to be a bit more creative with the fly pattern and of course the presentation to get a take. Assuming no hatch is visible and your buddy is slaying the trout with this tiny little nymph or dry he has perfected, and you are struggling to land even one trout, hence a few more patterns to add to the fly box. 

Fly fishing for warm water species such as bluegill, bass and even crappie usually requires some poppers and nymphs and that is all one needs to have success especially during the spawn. There are times and they are rare for me when certain color poppers will attract a hit better than the popper my buddy is using, but most of time any type popper will trigger a hit.

So my point is, could we as fly fishermen have success on our favorite stream or lake using what you would consider your top six dries and top six nymphs on any given outing? The same question could apply for the warm water species as well, could a few poppers and nymphs land you an abundance of bluegills and bass.

So here are my top dries, nymphs, poppers and warm water nymphs for a season, what is your top pick?

My top six dries for a season, how could any trout fisherman be without the Adams and of course Alan’sBomber
My top six nymphs including  David’s Knapp’s Seal Leech and of course the famous Zebra Midge
Poppers and terrestrials are among my top six warm water flies. These six flies should get hits when fishing for bluegill or even bass anywhere in the U.S.
My top six warm water nymphs has to include my favorite the Gant in black and yellow.
I truly believe I could fish a season or more with these flies and poppers I have feature here; but am I willing to get up all my flies and poppers I have in my boxes yet------NO!! 





  1. I have so many flies and poppers I don't think I'll need anymore for the next.......week?

  2. I laugh when I sit at my desk to tie more flies. I simply do not have any room for them. The extra flies are the reason I created a new tab on my blog "Fly Shop."

    I could probably go an entire season of bass and panfish fishing with 5 patterns, but I just cannot part with leaving the other flies, because...what if they're needed. Haha

  3. I'd say a half dozen patterns, in dry/wet/nymphstreamer variations, would be more than adequate for most serious fly anglers. I've heard of one guy who ostensibly fishes (quite successfully) with ONLY an Adams pattern. Presentation is critical.

  4. I wouldn't even know where to start cutting back even though I definitely have my favorites. After all, what if...

  5. Bill, the only fly that really matters is the one you have on the end of your line when you cast. All the others don't do you much good setting in your box......
    Knowing where the fish should be and making a good presentation is where it all starts.

  6. Mark
    Join the crowd, we've all been there! Thanks for the comment

  7. Justin
    All of us seem to feel your pain; I have flies I may never used, but for some strange reason I can't part with them. Thanks for the comment

  8. Walt
    The Adam could work as a dry on and on, but the nymph selection is a bit more critical requiring more patterns. Thanks for the comment

  9. Howard
    All of us have these flies that we may never land a fish with, but still we just can't cut back on all those flies in our boxes--thanks for the comment

  10. Mel
    What a true statement indeed; true presentation sometimes wins out over the fly one is using--thanks for the comment

  11. If I actually picked out the actual flies that I fish on a regular basis I could place them in my cupped two hands. But I do fish flies that I have in my boxes from time to time and I'm always rewarded.

    You can never have enough flies.....more flies, more flies. They are a comfort.

  12. If anybody has extra flies on there hands and don't know what to do with them... send them to me! lol

    I primarily use small red and orange poppers for bluegill/ pans. San juan worms also get the job done. hopper patterns work for me and of course the royal humpy!

  13. Alan
    I could actually fish 4 or 5 flies on our tailrace, but I always like to try something new and see if I can trigger a hit on those slow days. Thanks for the comment

  14. Juan
    Send me your email and I will see what I can do for you on flies. Thanks for the comment

  15. Hey Bill remember me ? David Frazier.

    My go to fly hands down is simply the Elk Hair Caddis. Year in and year out its been a life saver and fish taker. I recently moved to Tennessee and have not fished south Ms. all summer , but my warm water flies and trout flies are basicly the same . Dries ,,,,Caddis stones and terrestrials .... Wets,,,,,, hares eare, midge and chuckle stone nymphs. I have and use poppers but only late in the summer. I do gave some very large streamers I ry called a bunny lizard that bass love. Nuce article