right fly? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: right fly?

06-02-2004, 11:00 AM
just wanted to get help on fly fishing? How do I know what fly to use and when to use it? I new to fly fishing but have fell in love with it, but sometimes its discouraging not knowing what to do. I fish on the south fork of the snake river and get to fish it 3 or 4 times a week. Would love to have some input and maybe some basic flies to use. I have lots of flies but am not sure what to use at any time. Thank you.

Dble Haul
06-02-2004, 11:52 AM
You've asked one of the most common questions in flyfishing. Sometimes just sitting back and observing will let you know what the right fly for the moment is.

Are there any insects hatching? If so, look for rises in the water. Bulging rises indicate that trout are taking emergers, and true rises to duns usually leave a bit of an air bubble on the surface. If no insects appear to be hatching, turn over some stones or rocks in the streambed and look for nymphs. Note the size and color, and fish a nymph pattern to match. Depending on the time of year, terrestrial insects can make up an important part of the trout's diet.....again, taking note of your surroundings can pay off.

If all else fails, I usually start with a searching pattern such as a streamer or nymph. Even if a fish doesn't actually take the fly, it may show itself and betray its position in the water. This is very common, especially with streamers. That same fish can now be tried for with other flies.

I'll let others who are more familiar with your home waters chime in with particulars, but this should get you thinking in the right direction.

Good luck.

Hobble Creek
06-04-2004, 10:57 AM
The South Fork is one of the sweetest waters in the west.

Take a trip to Jackson and visit with the folks in High Country Flies, and Jack Dennis Fly shop. They know the river well and can begin your education. Or make friends with some folks who have been fishing the river for years and learn from them.


has a hatch chart for the river. It will help you know what to expect. But most of all, the best thing you can do to learn what flies to use is go fishing as ofetn as possible and work at it. Try lots of patterns for the bugs that should be on the water etc.

Now more specifically, this time last year I was fishing the South Fork and the Stonefly hatches were on. A stimulator pattern size 8 to 10 in orange or green, a large elk hair caddis with a yellow body and red hackle, and a Jake Cabe all caught lots of fish. Drop them right behind large boulders in the river or along the seams by eddie currents and be ready, the cutts are agressive feeders and will nail your fly.

Other good flies for the South Fork are the chernobyl ant, pheasent tails, sonefly nymphs, and royal coachman, alnog with many others.

Remember if you catch any rainbows to keep them, take em home for dinner.

If you want more info email me.