I have fly fished, but I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a “fly fisherman.” I’m often chided by my fellow anglers for bringing a lot of gear out for a trip. Fly fishermen are a breed apart. If you look at a fly fisherman’s box, it will have flies tied for several different insects based on what bugs are resident to the area they plan to fish. And it doesn’t stop there. For each insect, they’ll have flies tied ranging in size and appearance to cover the entire life cycle of that particular insect.
What if you’re a trout fly fisherman and you plan to fish a river? This article from Midcurrent gives you yet another variable to consider and account for in your box.
This is an age-old question that, unfortunately, has no easy answer. One of the frustrating things about fishing subsurface is that most of the time you can’t see what the hell is going on down there, so you have to guess how your flies are behaving. However, there are ways to make educated guesses that will help you keep your flies in the strike zone longer—and, therefore, catch more fish.
In most angling situations, you want your flies to be close to the bottom, where the vast majority of natural nymphs hang out or get caught in the drift. (There are other angling situations—during a hatch, for example—when you want your nymphs higher in the water column, but let’s stick with the basics for now.) Unfortunately for us, the bottom is rarely a uniform and flat surface, and its character changes from pool to pool and run to run. Furthermore, the ability to get your flies to the bottom will also be affected by the speed of the current and the diameter of your tippet.
Photos: Gink and Gasoline (top); Midcurrent (above)