rachunter

Dry or Wet flies

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How do you know when to use a dry or wet fly? I have the first 11 days off for the turkey opener and want to give fly fishing another shot in the afternoon.

Also what do you look for in the stream/creek that makes you stop and cast?

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If fish are rising, most of your work is done. Come as close as you can to what’s flying around. The type of rise will tell you where in the water column and what stage of insect they’re eating.

If there isn’t any surface action, you can try a dry dropper. Tie on an attractor dry fly then tie on 12”-18” of tippet and a nymph or wet fly. This can help determine what and where the fish are eating. 

You fish and wet and dry very differently. The goal with a dry is to avoid any drag on the fly. It must float naturally. But a traditional wet is swung down and across. Hold the fly downstream for a moment at the end of the swing and raise the tip slowly. This will mimic a nymph rising and can trigger a strike.

In terms of where to cast, look for two things: a bubble line and structure. Trout wait for food to come to them, so they will sit in the current and wait. Typically this is under the bubble line.

If there’s structure like a large rock, cast above the rock and let your fly float down each side in the current. Sometimes fish hold in front of the rock, but usually hanging out at edge of the current. They are rarely directly behind a rock in the swirling current.

Hope that helps a little. 

Edited by left field
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If you see fish breaking the surface, try and see what they’re eating and match it with a dry. If not, fish nymphs (wets)


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I find a duck's opinion of me is very much influenced by whether or not I have bread

-Mitch Hedberg

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I find a duck's opinion of me is very much influenced by whether or not I have bread

-Mitch Hedberg

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If fish are rising, most of your work is done. Come as close as you can to what’s flying around. The type of rise will tell you where in the water column and what stage of insect they’re eating.
If there isn’t any surface action, you can try a dry dropper. Tie on an attractor dry fly then tie on 12”-18” of tippet and a nymph or wet fly. This can help determine what and where the fish are eating. 
You fish and wet and dry very differently. The goal with a dry is to avoid any drag on the fly. It must float naturally. But a traditional wet is swung down and across. Hold the fly downstream for a moment at the end of the swing and raise the tip slowly. This will mimic a nymph rising and can trigger a strike.
In terms of where to cast, look for two things: a bubble line and structure. Trout wait for food to come to them, so they will sit in the current and wait. Typically this is under the bubble line.
If there’s structure like a large rock, cast above the rock and let your fly float down each side in the current. Sometimes fish hold in front of the rock, but usually hanging out at edge of the current. They are rarely directly behind a rock in the swirling current.
Hope that helps a little. 

Thanks!!!
I googled the “dry dropper” definitely going to try this first. I have a muddler minnow and grasshopper for the top forgot what the nymphs are. I’m also going to hit a little fly shop up by me.(if it’s open)
126004c81debbba9e840585ec4f374dc.jpg


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The nymph is lower right, though you might want something a little smaller. 

Grasshoppers are cool but they don’t work here that well. More of a western thing. 

I would grab a few Caddis, some Adams, maybe a Royal Wolf. The later two don’t represent any particular insect, but just look buggy. They also float well which helps keep your nymph from dragging them down. 

For nymphs, keep it simple: pheasant tail, prince nymph, copper john. 

I’m sure the fly shop could put together the prefect package for you. If not, Sierra always has discounted flies  

Tom Rosenbauer in where to find fish: https://news.orvis.com/fly-fishing/tom-rosenbauer-find-trout-river

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I would start with the two on the right. Any tiny split shot? You want them just skimming the bottom.
Grasshopper “season” is typically summer for me


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38 minutes ago, left field said:

The nymph is lower right, though you might want something a little smaller. 

Grasshoppers are cool but they don’t work here that well. More of a western thing. 

I would grab a few Caddis, some Adams, maybe a Royal Wolf. The later two don’t represent any particular insect, but just look buggy. They also float well which helps keep your nymph from dragging them down. 

For nymphs, keep it simple: pheasant tail, prince nymph, copper john. 

I’m sure the fly shop could put together the prefect package for you. If not, Sierra always has discounted flies  

Tom Rosenbauer in where to find fish: https://news.orvis.com/fly-fishing/tom-rosenbauer-find-trout-river

Your right about the hoppers I bought them because I thought they looked cool,same thing with the muddler minnow I just liked the name.Unfortunately there's no fly shops here on long island and the way the mails been lately I won't get them in time.I'm going to call the shop up by me and see if they"ll hook me up with those flies you mentioned.Thanks again for the help.

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46 minutes ago, crappyice said:

I would start with the two on the right. Any tiny split shot? You want them just skimming the bottom.
Grasshopper “season” is typically summer for me


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I have a bunch of tiny split shots.I would never of thought about using a split shot for fly fishing,thanks

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Great advice on this thread.  The only fly shop here on the Island that I remember, was in Oakdale and closed a few years ago.  If you ever do get into the city (post-apocalypse), there's an Orvis shop in mid-town.

When in doubt, I always go with a #12 bead-head hare's ear nymph.

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A true purist abhors the thought of anything but a dry fly....but for the rest of us....depends on what is biting as mentioned already. 

I have to admit I dont have a chance to get out much with my fly rod, and when i do I am as likely to be having fun with panfish, bass, etc. 

As a first round try for almost anything, a muddler minnow is a frequent toss.  As someone else mentioned, tough to go wrong with a hairs ear nymph too. Keep an eye on local fishing reports to see if they mention any particular hatches, thus their matching dry fly. They are very consistent each year as to when they hatch.

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The Muddler minnow is a streamer. It is intended to fish wet .The grass hoppers does work its just a late summer fly.  A size 8 or 6 stimulator will work as a good hopper replacement and is taken as a large stonefly.  In our area first large stones hatch in June. 

If you have an area of home  waters research a hatch chart .

Not all waters have the same bugs . I have fished a stream for 20 plus years that has never produced a sulphur. Yet two  streams around it has prolific sulphur hatches. 

My go to for all waters are .

Rusty spinners  10,12,14

Pheasant tailes 14 ,16

Hairs  ear 14,16

 Adam's, 14

Caddis  14,16,18

Light Cahill wet 14

Dark cahill wet 14

 Yellow Stimulator  size  8

Black nosed dace  streamer 

Muddler minnow 

Wooly buggers white,black,brown ,olive.

Biggest thing about fishing wet or dry is what the fish want . If the fish are taking on top  you will see them . If no rises  fish wet .  That comment is really over simplified  but will serve you well  95 percent of the time . 

Edited by Nytracker
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Not that I am an expert on fly fishing but whenever we got to the stream we would kinda sneak up on it and watch for about 5-10 min to see if anything was hatching or if fish where rising and that helped start what we would throw. We would kinda do the same thing if we rounded a big bend and the stream changed in topography a little especially in the evening when their feeding patterns changed based on a hatch that's happening.  

Nothing can compare to getting a wild trout on a dry fly, sadly for me at least it really does not happen often as I mostly fished wet fly's. 

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I believe for a beginner a good 5wt. with weighted forward line and beaded wolly buggers in brown, green and black will get one started...

Keep it very simple and build confidence and then get into dry flies. Most dries are very time frame specific and flies like wolly buggers imitate multiple food sources and are used all season long..

Good luck... 

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The Muddler minnow is a streamer. It is intended to fish wet .The grass hoppers does work its just a late summer fly.  A size 8 or 6 stimulator will work as a good hopper replacement and is taken as a large stonefly.  In our area first large stones hatch in June. 

If you have an area of home  waters research a hatch chart .

Not all waters have the same bugs . I have fished a stream for 20 plus years that has never produced a sulphur. Yet two  streams around it has prolific sulphur hatches. 

My go to for all waters are .

Rusty spinners  10,12,14

Pheasant tailes 14 ,16

Hairs  ear 14,16

 Adam's, 14

Caddis  14,16,18

Light Cahill wet 14

Dark cahill wet 14

 Yellow Stimulator  size  8

Black nosed dace  streamer 

Muddler minnow 

Wooly buggers white,black,brown ,olive.

Biggest thing about fishing wet or dry is what the fish want . If the fish are taking on top  you will see them . If no rises  fish wet .  That comment is really over simplified  but will serve you well  95 percent of the time . 

Get your eyes out of my fly box!

Love me some ausable Wulffs to throw in faster moving pocket waters...I’ve had trout chase them down stream during a terrible drift to attack those flies!!!

 

 

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The other thing to consider is the type of rise. In general: 

A gentle sip means the trout is eating dead mayflies or spinners. 
Head out but still gentle is adult mayflies. It also suggests they are holding just below the surface. 
Porpoising, (only the back breaks the water) suggest they are eating emergents caught in the film. 
A big splashy rise usually mean emergers or perhaps a caddis on the surface - something they need to chase a little. 
Breaking the surface completely ... who knows? I once had a big rainbow on the Esopus break water and take a streamer before it landed in the water. 

Here’s a more thorough look at rise forms - https://www.flyfisherman.com/editorial/understanding-trout-rise-forms/152245

 

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12 minutes ago, left field said:

The other thing to consider is the type of rise. In general: 

A gentle sip means the trout is eating dead mayflies or spinners. 
Head out but still gentle is adult mayflies. It also suggests they are holding just below the surface. 
Porpoising, (only the back breaks the water) suggest they are eating emergents caught in the film. 
A big splashy rise usually mean emergers or perhaps a caddis on the surface - something they need to chase a little. 
Breaking the surface completely ... who knows? I once had a big rainbow on the Esopus break water and take a streamer before it landed in the water. 

Here’s a more thorough look at rise forms - https://www.flyfisherman.com/editorial/understanding-trout-rise-forms/152245

 

I thought about  bringing  uprise forms and  individual hatch characteristics  slow water of one species  verses fast water .. crawlers and such . Didn't want to cludder things up . Keeping  it simple so as to speak .

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44 minutes ago, crappyice said:

Get your eyes out of my fly box!

Love me some ausable Wulffs to throw in faster moving pocket waters...I’ve had trout chase them down stream during a terrible drift to attack those flies!!!

 

 

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Love the ausable Wulff. I thought about  adding it .. the usual..  bivisable  ... Griffiths gnat  and yes the green weenie.  But there was so much in the list  to begin with . A guy could go broke buying all those patterns .  Fran Betters was a great innovator  in fly tying  and a genuine  nice guy.

Edited by Nytracker

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The other thing to consider is the type of rise. In general: 
A gentle sip means the trout is eating dead mayflies or spinners. 
Head out but still gentle is adult mayflies. It also suggests they are holding just below the surface. 
Porpoising, (only the back breaks the water) suggest they are eating emergents caught in the film. 
A big splashy rise usually mean emergers or perhaps a caddis on the surface - something they need to chase a little. 
Breaking the surface completely ... who knows? I once had a big rainbow on the Esopus break water and take a streamer before it landed in the water. 
Here’s a more thorough look at rise forms - https://www.flyfisherman.com/editorial/understanding-trout-rise-forms/152245
 

Great post!


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36 minutes ago, Nytracker said:

I thought about  bringing  uprise forms and  individual hatch characteristics  slow water of one species  verses fast water .. crawlers and such . Didn't want to cludder things up . Keeping  it simple so as to speak .

I was bored. It’s a miracle I only wrote that little. 

But if @rachunter likes, I’ll post some old Mel Krieger video on casting. 

27 minutes ago, crappyice said:


Great post!

Thanks. A couple of spelling mistakes but I had to attend a rising dough and get it in the oven. 

Another rise form! 

Edited by left field

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54 minutes ago, left field said:

The other thing to consider is the type of rise. In general: 

A gentle sip means the trout is eating dead mayflies or spinners. 
Head out but still gentle is adult mayflies. It also suggests they are holding just below the surface. 
Porpoising, (only the back breaks the water) suggest they are eating emergents caught in the film. 
A big splashy rise usually mean emergers or perhaps a caddis on the surface - something they need to chase a little. 
Breaking the surface completely ... who knows? I once had a big rainbow on the Esopus break water and take a streamer before it landed in the water. 

Here’s a more thorough look at rise forms - https://www.flyfisherman.com/editorial/understanding-trout-rise-forms/152245

 

Awesome! When I see the entire fish its always caddis, those bad boys come rocketing out of the film whereas the mayflies form on the surface and get picked off like Quints squadron from the USS Indianapolis 

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I find a duck's opinion of me is very much influenced by whether or not I have bread

-Mitch Hedberg

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If one is a beginner keep it very simple until you get the hang of it, I normally don't instruct beginners to cast with any type of additional weights (split shot/lead wrap) until they get the hang of casting the line.  

I also start with a fly with the barb and curve cut off until they successfully get past hitting themselves upon casting... 

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3 minutes ago, The_Real_TCIII said:

Awesome! When I see the entire fish its always caddis, those bad boys come rocketing out of the film whereas the mayflies form on the surface and get picked off like Quints squadron from the USS Indianapolis 

Caddis move quickly and in a haphazard fashion so fish have to be quick. They’re also usually holding a little deeper so the strike is more violent. 

I like to skate caddis across a riffle then hold it downstream. Lots of strikes that way.

Excellent reference. 

Just now, Salmon_Run said:

If one is a beginner keep it very simple until you get the hang of it, I normally don't instruct beginners to cast with any type of additional weights (split shot/lead wrap) until they get the hang of casting the line.  

I also start with a fly with the barb and curve cut off until they successfully get past hitting themselves upon casting... 

Good advice. I’ve taken a few in the head and face. More recently than I’d like to admit. 

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12 minutes ago, Salmon_Run said:

If one is a beginner keep it very simple until you get the hang of it, I normally don't instruct beginners to cast with any type of additional weights (split shot/lead wrap) until they get the hang of casting the line.  

I also start with a fly with the barb and curve cut off until they successfully get past hitting themselves upon casting... 

I wish you where my instructor when I was a beginner. My friends had no problem watching me bounce split shot off the back of my head! Thankfully I have never hooked myself (knocks on wood). 

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Most "casting" with nymphs is tension casts, more like shooting a bow than fly casting anyway. Just get em in the water (see above video lol)

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I find a duck's opinion of me is very much influenced by whether or not I have bread

-Mitch Hedberg

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