Fly Categories [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Fly Categories

Darren Evans
04-14-2003, 09:44 PM
Could someone post here, or show me a link that has references to fly categories? I'm trying to work on a database for a FishLog program I downloaded today.

See attachment:

04-15-2003, 06:35 AM
Just ofhand, each category can be broken down into "specific" and "attractor" sub categories. "Streamers" needs to be broken down into "bucktail" (hair wing) and "streamers" (feather wing). But what about zonkers, bunny flies, etc.?
How 'bout egg patterns, scuds, shrimp categories, crayfish, mouse patterns, "worm" patterns (e.g. San Juan worm)?
And that doesn't even touch steelhead, salmon, spey, saltwater, etc.

Be careful what you ask for - you just might get it!:chuckle:


Darren Evans
04-15-2003, 10:44 AM
Well, I'm being educated in flies while I'm doing this, so the more I know about all the sub-categories that there are, all the better. I plan on adding pictures of flies into the database to help me learn them. I am going to start with the basic, most commonly used flies, and add more as I go. :eyecrazy:

John Desjardins
04-15-2003, 12:05 PM
While this really doesn't apply to a database. I categorize my fly boxes on a functional basis. Here goes:

Flys for the surface, mayfly & caddis drys, terrestrials, etc.
Flys for below the surface, wet flys, emergers, various worms, etc
Nymphs weighted, unweighted
Streamers, Hair & feather wing, muddlers, woolybuggers, etc
Midges, keep the small stuff separate

I always have at least some cross storage so I'm not lost if I lose a box, or decide to leave something in the car.

04-15-2003, 06:39 PM
Okay, here is a starter for you. You asked for it!
I have a nice book of standard patterns. I use this as a reference - good pics, too. It is "Flies for Trout" by Dick Stewart and Farrow Allen. Here are the categories it calls out.
1. All Purpose Flies (e.g. Coachman, Hare's ear, Adams, etc.)
2. Mayflies
3. Caddisflies
4. Stoneflies
5. Midges
Larvae & Pupae
6. Crane Flies
7. Damselflies
8. Dragonflies
9. Scuds, Shrimp & Sowbugs
10. Leeches
11. Backswimmers & Water Boatmen
12. Crayfish
13. Hellgrammites
14. Other aquatics
15. Terrestrials
16. Mice
17. Eggs
18. Muddlers
19. Sculpins
20. Buggers
21. Streamers - they don't differentiate hair wing (bucktails) and feather wing (streamers).

In addition, there are steelhead flies, Spey flies, Dee flies, classic (Atlantic)salmon flies, Pacific salmon flies, flesh flies, and a whole variety of flies for saltwater, for everything from Bonefish to billfish. All depends on how you want to break it down.

It's not a bad method for "categorizing".

Good luck


Darren Evans
04-15-2003, 09:12 PM
Thanks! I appreciate the feedback. :)

John Desjardins
04-15-2003, 09:33 PM
I'll second BobK's book recomendation. If you start tying its a great pattern book.

04-15-2003, 11:08 PM
I did a short introduction to Entomology in January. It covers Theakstons class method as well as the top 5 species from a flyfishing perspective. Just look for me under the members section, and click on search next to my name. There you will find all my posts. click on page 4 and scrool down till you find the post "Entomology Primer"! It's nice to match the flys to the bugs there tied from!
Deerhawk.......alias, The Bug Doctor

Darren Evans
04-15-2003, 11:44 PM
Would this be the thread, DEERHAAWK?

Entomology Primer (

Thanks for the info. :D

04-16-2003, 09:07 AM
Need the services of the "resident specialist" who can tell me about such famous events and timing of "The Adams Hatch"???

I also have some questions - is the "beadhead flashback hare's ear" a distinct subspecies of the "gold ribbed hare's ear", or just a genetic throwback or variant???

And do leeches REALLY suck eggs???? We used to shoot dogs for that, when I was a kid!

Do nymphs really come from pheasant tails, or do they just hang out there?

Are buggers really wooly?

And how come I never see adult montreals, parmacheene belles, or silver doctors hatching? Or are they submergent adults only?

Do black gnats really grow that big? Wow! I'm glad they don't seem to bite people - at least, one has never bit me!

Which princes make the best nymphs???

How many bivisible species are there, or are the variations just color phases??

And those Klinkhamer Specials really work.... but how come I never see fully developed adults???

These and a thousand other questions have plagued me for years, and no one seems to know the answers. Us fishermen usually attempt to hang out in bars after fishing to ponder these questions, but even with deep technical discussions, we still don't come up with answers - we just walk funny after these sessions.

Is anyone doing research on these and other important questions from us serious fly fishers??? Or do they expect us fly guys to send in our observations and samples to further the careers of these entomologists or name our findings after them?

Please help, as this is an important - but too often ignored - phase of entomology!!!:rolleyes:


John Desjardins
04-16-2003, 09:46 AM
Bob the friend who got me started on this flyfishing addiction tought me all about the timing of the famed Adams hatch. Spring, summer, fall or winter it occurrs every time he goes fishing. And it took me years to catch more fish than him on a fly.