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doogue 03-26-2002 06:36 PM

Freshwater Flies

I need your help. I am trying to put together some web pages related to fly tying (actually, it is for this site!). I find it very easy to define the various species of baitfish etc. that saltwater flies represent.

I am more of a saltwater fisherman and when I tie a fly I am aware of the intricacies of the creature that I am trying to imitate.

But when you freshwater guys tie various nymphs and dry flies and wet flies and terrestrials - what creatures are you most often trying to imitate?

Will some kind souls please brainstorm and just blurt out the critters that you are trying to imitate when you tie freshwater flies? Please!?! There are no bad answers here. Help me out.

For example, you might blurt out the following list:

caddis flies, stoneflies, shrimp, leeches, grasshoppers, mice, mayflies etc.

What are all of the stellhead fishermen out there trying to imitate with their flies? I know that you are fans of various nymphs and shrimp patterns but what else do you try to imitate when working on the bench.

Thanks for your help,


Dble Haul 03-26-2002 07:29 PM

Mike- I'll chip in with some warm water suggestions.

Bass: Crayfish, dragonflies, damselflies, frogs, minnows (shiners, chubs, dace, shad, smelt, madtoms, sculpins, gobies, perch, sunfish, juvenile bass), mice, eels, worms, snakes, leeches, large nymphs, helgrammites

Pike/Muskie: All of the above, plus whitefish, cusk, ciscoes, immature gamefish (i.e. freshly stocked trout fingerlings), and lemmings

Panfish: Typically any simple trout flies and miniature bass flies

Pickeral: Typically bass patterns and scaled down versions of pike/muskie flies

To all of the above, perhaps a category of attractor flies? The type that don't necessarily imitate anything but suggest many things in general or draw upon the predatory instincts of the fish to be caught.

Good luck with this project. Let me know if you'd like more detail, and if anything else comes to mind I'll add it.

kush 03-26-2002 11:22 PM


For BC trout lakes; chironomids, mayflies, chironomids, sedge pupa, adult sedge (caddis), chironomids, leeches, bloodworms (which are chironomids) and in case I forgot to mention it - chironomids!

Philster 03-26-2002 11:50 PM

trout: ants, beetles, catepillars, inchworms, termites, helgrammites, cranefly (larvae and adult), butterflies/moths (high mountain), waterboatmen and other aquatic beetles, and once, on a bet, a Cheeto superglued to a hook during a "hopper hatch". Yes it did work, but you only get about 3 quick drifts, and I think it was technically bait fishing:devil:

FishHawk 03-27-2002 05:08 AM

Here is a list of my favorite freshwater flies:
Caddis Elk Hair Caddis
May Fly Nymph Gold Rib Hare's Ear
May Fly General Red Quill
May Fly Cream Lt. Cahill
Minnow Conehead Muddler Minnow
Midge Griffith's Gnat
Large Nymphs Wooly Bugger
If I had only one fly to fish it would be the Conehead Muddler followed by the Black

doogue 03-27-2002 06:34 AM

Thanks guys!

Keep it coming. I want feedback from this board so that you guys will be well represented with what I am working on...


Adrian 03-27-2002 08:15 AM

Kush, I was going to say Chironomids too!

We call 'em 'buzzers' back in the old country.

capt_gordon 03-27-2002 08:18 AM

1 Attachment(s)
When I do my Alaska trips and when we fish for rainbows and grayling we imitate a variety of things with a variety of flies:
Mayfly nymphs- Bead Head Hare's Ear
Stonefly Nymphs-Montana
Caddis adults- Elk Hair Caddis, Royal Trude (really hot fly for grayling)
Salmon Egg- Glo bug, bead egg
Dead salmon meat- Flesh Fly
Sockeye salmon smolts- Deceiver, Wood Duck Soft Hackle Streamer (old one), Grey Ghost (another old one)

When salmon fishing I don't know what we are imitating but some of my favorites are:
Egg fly (fished with split shot works really well for sockeyes)
Polar Shrimp (my favorite for kings)
Bunny and marabou Leeches tied in purple, orange and/or black with large dumbell eye (best king salmon fly there is)
Popsicle (kills on kings and silvers)

You could pack a big selection of these flies on a June/July trip to Alaska and do pretty well no matter where you went.

MarkDoogue 03-27-2002 09:36 PM

I'm a huge wimp!!
For the record, I'd rather hammer a nail through my foot than fish with a live helgrammite!!!!

My father-in-law and his friend fish for Bass on the Shenandoah with helgrammites. No thank you. Thank god for flies.......

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