Fishing Facts and Flys of Central PABy Doug Alichwer and Greg Goldthorp


fisherman2
fisherman2

Table of Contents|| Basics
Fishing Fast Facts
Insect Lifecycle
Harvey/Humphreys Leader System
Nymph Recipes
Wet Fly Recipes
Dry Fly Recipe
Terrestrials Recipes
Streamer Recipes
Miscellaneous Fly Recipes
Shopping List
Monthly Fly Chart
Sources/Links



Basics
You may be asking yourself, “why should I take up a hobby like fly tying?” Well, there are several reasons. Reason one, because during the off-season of trout fishing, you can stay in touch with this incredible sport. Reason two, because you can daydream about all the ones that won’t get away. Reason three, there is no better feeling than catching a trout on something you created. Finally, if you are fishing correctly you are going to loose some flies. Imagine if you will, you are out on your favorite stream, trout are moving and your fly is bumping the bottom. Your fly catches a rock and must be broken off. Hang ups are part of the fishing experience and so is getting snagged in brush. After a few snags, you could be out several dollars of store bought flies. If you are an avid fisherman, you know that losing flies is all part of the fun. At an average of $1.50 per fly, a day on the water can turn into an expensive little venture. If you have experienced enough of this, you have probably decided to tie your own flies. Most fishermen will attest that fly tying is not only easy but also fun. Once you get the hang of it, most flies take only a few minutes to tie and cost only a fraction (between $.25-$.40) of the price you pay in the store. There is nothing more satisfying than to see a fat trout hanging from one of the flies you have skillfully tied. After your initial start up cost of tools and supplies, there is nothing more to buy. Your supplies will last you through many tying sessions and most of the materials do not cost more than a few dollars to replace. (see Shopping List) When compiling supplies, keep the following in mind: 1) purchase your tools and supplies individually and not in a kit. The reason is, you will end up with material you will probably never use and will have to purchase additional items anyway. 2) decide what flies you want to tie and only purchase the material needed for them. As with all hobbies, the initial start up cost is the worst part. That is the only bad news, The good news is that you can purchase all your tools and materials for about $200 - $250 if you shop around at the different fly shops and online.

Tools

To successfully tie flies, there are some basic tools you will need.

· Vise- Probably the most important piece of equipment. Naturally, it holds the hook in place while you tie the fly. Make sure all parts operate smoothly. Check the jaws. They should come together evenly. The finish should be dull to cut down on eyestrain. The vise should rotate 360 degrees. This allows you to check/work on the underside of the fly. It basically comes down to this: buy the best one you can afford.

· Bodkin/Half Hitch Tool- A needle on one end, used to apply head cement and to pluck hairs on the fly. Hollow tube on the other end to tie half-hitches.

· Small Sewing Scissors- Make sure these are of good quality. The points should line up when closed. Used to trim the fly and cut material.

· Bobbin- Holds the spool of thread. The knobs that hold the thread are usually made of plastic or ceramic. The ceramic ones allow the spool to turn easier. If you can afford a few of these, buy them. You can save time by having a few spools ready to go.

· Whip Finisher- Ties the perfect knot to finish the fly.

· Hair Stacker- If you plan on working with deer hair, then a hiar stacker is a must. It allows you to easily align the tips that are to be tied. The stacker comes in two pieces. Both should fit together perfectly and not rattle if you shake it.

· Dubbing Wax- This helps the fur stick to the thread. It usually comes in a stick, similar to lip balm.

· Head Cement- Not only does it secure the thread when the fly is completed but can also be used to secure material to the hook.

Hooks

There are several brands on the market, they are identified by a number. The first item in a fly recipe is the type of hook to be used. The difference between dry fly and wet fly/nymph/streamer hooks is the weight of the wire. Depending on where you purchase supplies, you may be able to buy a smaller quantity of hooks. Hooks usually come in packs of 25 or 100. Decide what size flies best suit your needs and buy those hooks to match.

Materials

The key to buying materials is, again, decide what flies best fit your needs. Most materials can be bought for a few dollars each. The most expensive piece of material will be the rooster neck for tying dry flies. Even with this you can purchase a #2 grade neck and save some money. If you are a hunter or trapper or know someone who is, you can preserve and dye some or your own hides to tie with.

The Tying Area

You have bought your tools and materials and are now ready to tie. Find a place that is comfortable. Your vise should be within easy reach and materials close at hand. Comfort is very important, if you get stiff and sore after tying one or two flies, you are going to become irritated and discouraged. When everything is set up properly you can literally spend hours at the vise. Good lighting is very important, be sure to have enough. The last thing which is helpful and can save on eye strain, is to have a light background to tie against. A pastel green or white ink blotter works well.

Beginner Help


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|| Nymphing Fast Facts
||
Streamer Fast Facts
Wet Fly Fast Facts


Nymphing Fast Facts

· Ninety-five percent of the time trout feed on the bottom. When you look at 365 days in a year only a small portion of those days do trout move to the top or sub-surface to feed.

· The best outfit is a 9-foot rod with six-weight line. I prefer double-taper floating line (Cortland 444). Sometimes I go with deep running line by Cortland when the streams are high or when I’m on big water. This technique is like fishing nymphs with flat-monofilament line.

· Nymph fishing can be done in all types of water, but I prefer the pockets, riffles, and deep runs. Trout don’t have as much time to inspect your flies in fast water and this increases your chances of having more hook-ups. Another important aspect of pocket water nymphing is you can get closer to the fish without spooking them. Many times I catch fish almost right at my feet.

· Most nymph casts are 10 feet or less. You need to have line control. Nymphing is usually done with short, upstream or across casts. I occasionally pick-up fish with a downstream approach and sometimes that is the only way to go, but I focus mainly on upstream nymphing.

· The basic approach starts with getting the flies to the fish. You need to be near or even on the bottom. Weight adjustment is crucial. I mainly use small B and BB split-shots, but have a variety of shots. You need a natural drift as close to the bottom as possible. Feel those shots bouncing on the bottom! It’s alright if you get hung-up, this way you know you are where you need to be. Use your casting hand fingers (Index and Middle) to feel the line.

· Watch for any hesitation at the tip of the line. Sometimes the stop is bottom, but many times it’s a fish. I don’t believe in strike indicators. You need to use your senses to become a good nymph angler. Detecting the strike can be persistent to conquer nymphing.

· Most of the time, I use two nymphs. Vary the distance between the dropper and the lead fly (15-24 inches). In deeper pocket water go with the greater distance and in the shallow riffles cut back the distance. Also, remember, the closer the split-shot, the closer it will ride to the bottom.

· Most of the time, I use two nymphs. Vary the distance between the dropper and the lead fly (15-24 inches). In deeper pocket water go with the greater distance and in the shallow riffles cut back the distance. Also, remember, the closer the split-shot, the closer it will ride to the bottom.

· Learning the basics to nymphing will increase your catches dramatically!!


Streamer Fast Facts

· Become aware of the minnow life in area streams you intend to fish. Watch the minnow’s actions.Example: A Sculpin feeds slowly, and then darts away. A Red Fin like fast water, but it does not move quickly unless in danger

· If you have experienced fishing live minnows, you may have taken many fish on a slow retrieve. Watch a good minnow man and you can learn a lot.

· Streamers, overall, catch more big trout than any other fly group.

· The down and across method works the best. The current will help you along and push the fly. You will also cover a lot of water.

· Be careful with your cast allowing the heavy streamer to load behind you. If you bring back the cast too quick, you might end up with a split-shot slamming into your head or worse yet, catching your ear instead of a fish.

· When fishing streamers, use the slow hand-twist method. Bounce the rod tip about five inches allowing the streamer to settle and then lift and twist. If you use the stripping method, be sure not to strip the line fast. Vary your retrieves, but keep it slow.

· Do not be afraid to “dead-drift” the imitation. Trout like an easy meal!

· If your streamer is not weighted, try a split-shot or two. Remember, the closer the shots are to the hook, the deeper it will be. If you tie your own streamers, weight the front of the hook or weight the entire shank. Front-end weighted flies will ride nose down. If the shank is weighted it will flip over. The key to good streamer fishing it to feel the bottom.

· Discolored water seems to be the best condition to try streamers. The darker colors score big on muddy waters. Use your black, brown or dark olive colors. Gold tinsel bodies work better with discolored water.

· If the water is clear, never be afraid to try a streamer that is white or yellow. The silver tinsel bodies seem to bring fish to the fly. Low light days are excellent streamer days no matter the stream conditions. Top Streamers: Woolly Bugger, Muddler Minnow, Mickey Finn, Squirrel Tail, Clouser Minnow, Dark and Light Spruce and Royal Coachman. The list goes on, so keep experimenting. It is well worth it if a 20-incher turns up in the end!


Wet Fly Fast Facts

· Wet fly fishing was actually the original way of fly-fishing, even before the dry fly. Today it is the most neglected form of fly-fishing to take trout.

· You do not need to be a great caster to be a good wet fly angler. Most streams will require only 15-20 foot casts, but on big water you may need a 30-foot cast or more. The nice thing about larger streams the current will help carry your flies.

· Most people will fish at least two flies and many times go with three. Use the Harvey/Humphreys dropper system. This will double and triple your chances. You may also find the water level that the trout are feeding at.

· The traditional way is to cast down and across the stream. Try a few rod twitches and hand-twist retrieves to impart action to the fly. Never be afraid to just dead-drift your flies. The key is to be flexible. I sometimes will even fish wets upstream like nymphs or dangle them on top like a dry on the small mountain streams.

· Wet flies are excellent early season producers, especially for “stockies”. Stocked trout are used to being fed from overhead at the hatcheries. They are looking up! Sometimes they cannot resist the wets swinging over them.

· Most of the time the trout will actually hook themselves when taking a wet. Be sure to keep the rod tip up. This will keep the rod at the angle to set the hook, if the fish did not hook himself. Remember, trout inhale, they do not grab and when they take a wet, you will definitely know it. It is a great feeling when they strike!

· In the early season, wait until later in the day for the water to warm up before fishing wets. Mayflies, like the Quill Gordon and Blue Quill hatch during the mid-day in April. When the fish start feeding, they may actually be chasing the emerger. If you see violent rises, the trout maybe tailing the water as it intercepts the fly before it reaches the surface. It is easier prey for the trout six inches to a foot under the surface. The trout will exert more energy when feeding on top.

· The Caddis is the most dominate fly group in North America. All streams have various caddis hatches throughout the year. Some of the more popular are the Little Black Caddis, Green Caddis, and the famous Grannom. Caddis hatches can drive dry fly-fishermen absolutely nuts. Through experience I have found that my success during a caddis hatch is taking the fish under the surface fishing wets. Favorite patterns are the Alder, Adams, or Soft-Hackles with various body colors.

· When nothing seems to be working – give wets a try. Be flexible! Besides, things do not get any better if you hook into two or maybe three fish on the same cast.


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Insect Lifecycle

The truly wonderful thing about fly-fishing is the fact that, trout have to eat and somewhere in that arsenal of a fly box, you have something they just might be feeding on. Being on the stream while trout are actively feeding can be a powerful experience. Imagine, thousands of insects flying through the air, and trout voraciously feeding at the rising insects. It is the “what they are feeding on” and the “when will the hatch occur” that can get confusing. If you are just starting out, not knowing the “what” and the “when” can be frustrating.
We know that streamers are designed to imitate some form of baitfish or other food source and terrestrials imitate land- based insects that trout just love on warm summer afternoons. But what about all those other flies that are taking up space in the box? Having a basic understanding of the insect life cycle, can put those other imitations to good use.
Most of what we tie is a mayfly imitation. Others are caddis, stoneflies and terrestrials. Each has its place in the trout’s diet. The mayfly has three parts to its lifecycle that are of interest to the fly-fisherman. Depending on the species, this incomplete metamorphosis can take place in a few hours to over several weeks. The three parts of the mayfly lifecycle are: egg, nymph, and adult.
The nymph naturally makes up most of the trout’s diet because this is the part of the cycle that is in the water the longest. As they age, they also increase in size. Older nymphs can be recognized by their dark wing pad. It is known that water temperature and weather affect the behavior of insects. One thing is certain, during the morning and evening hours, nymphs will dislodge themselves and drift in the current to another location. Fishermen know that during these times, trout are more active and this could be a reason why. There are four types of nymphs for trout to choose from: clingers, crawlers, burrowers and swimmers.
Clingers are found in fast moving water. They have a flat and broad shape. March Browns and Light Cahills are examples of this type of nymph. Because of the faster water, these types of nymphs molt from their shucks faster, making the use of a wet fly a good option.
In the slower riffles are the crawlers. Hendricksons and Sulphurs are examples. Crawlers make-up a large portion of the nymph family.
Burrower nymphs are usually found in rivers with a soft-silty bottom. Green Drakes and Brown Drakes are examples. The appearance of this type of mayfly is usually short lived.
Swimmer nymphs can be found in all types of water. The Isonychia is an example. Since these nymphs move, some action can be applied to the retrieve.
As the mayfly nymph leaves the bottom of the stream and prepares to rise to the surface, it takes on the form of an emerger. As it rises to the surface, it starts to shed its shuck. It is at this point that wings appear. It is here that the nymph is at one of the most susceptible points in the cycle. Many anglers make the mistake and think trout are taking the Duns ( a newly hatched mayfly adult). It looks that way because you can see trout coming to the surface. If you see a “boil” or a “splashy rise” that is usually an indication that they are feeding on the emergers.
Once the emerger reaches the surface of the water, it will continue to shed its shuck. It may do this while riding on the surface of the stream or it may crawl from the water onto a rock or bank. This is the Dun or Sub-Imago stage of the mayfly. Once their wings are dry, it will fly up into the trees to molt into its final stage. The duns usually have smoky gray colored wings, shorter legs and shorter tails. The males can be identified by their larger eyes.
Once the molting has taken place, the mayfly becomes a mature adult, Spinner or Imago. The wings become clear and both the tails and legs lengthen. Swarms will start to appear above the stream. This usually takes place prior to dusk or at dawn. Swarming times depend on the species. It is in these swarms that the mayflies will mate. The female will then drop to the water’s surface to deposit her eggs. As the males and females die, they fall “spent” to the water’s surface. This is referred to as a spinner fall.
Understanding the lifecycle of the mayfly will not only enrich your interest in the sport but it will also increase your chances of catching more fish.
Caddis Flies
At the beginning of the season the mayflies start to emerge but after the season is under way, the caddis fly presents itself. These flies can be fished for months into the season. Caddis flies follow four stages of development or complete metamorphosis. That is, egg, larva, pupa, and adult. They can be fished as larva, since it is in this stage that they spend most of their life, by drifting them near the bottom. As they develop into the pupa stage, a wing pad and other adult features appear. It is in this emergence state that they become more active. It is here that you will see an increase in fish activity. As a fly fisherman you should carry a selection of caddis flies in these various stages. Different streams can produce different colors of caddis. The main colors to have on hand would be olive/brown, tan and black.

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Harvey/Humphreys Leader System

1. Dry Fly Leader (#10-#16): 9½ ft. to 4x


.017 - 10”/ .015 – 20”/ .013 – 20” / .011(0x) – 20” / .009(2x) – 12” / .008(3x) – 18” / .007(4x) – 22”-30”

2. Dry Fly Leader (#16 - #20): 10½ ft. to 5x or 6x


.017 – 10” / .015 – 20” / .013 – 20” / .011(0x) – 20” / .009(2x) – 12” / .008(3x) – 12” / .007(4x) – 18” / .006(5x) – 18” / .005(6x) – 22” – 30”


NOTE: The 5x section should be 22”-30” if it is the last section. The leader will be longer with the 6x as the last section.

3. Streamer: 6½ - 7½ ft. to 3x or 4x


.017 – 10” / .015 – 15” / .013 – 15” / .011(0x) – 15” / .009(2x) – 15” / .008(3x) – 18”

4. Nymph (Big Water): 9½ ft. to 4x


.017 – 10” / .015 – 18” / .013 – 18” / .011(0x) – 18” / .009(2x) – 12” / .008(3x) – 18” / .007(4x) – 22”


Note: Most nymph leaders should be slightly shorter than your rod for control. You can also run a dropper and fish two flies. The dropper should come off the second to last section.

5. Wet Fly with Dropper: 10½ ft. to 4x


.017 – 10” / .015 – 20” / .013 – 20” / .011(0x) – 20” / .009(2x) – 12” / .008(3x) – 18”+4” / .007(4x) – 22”-30”


NOTE: Be sure to leave the heavier tippet as the dropper, this will decrease the tangles. Droppers heavier than 4x tend to twist easily. The wet fly method should be fished with two or three flies. You will cover more water and catch more fish.

Not sure of your knots? The following sites may be of some help.

o Fishing Knots

o Killroy's Fishing Knots


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Nymph Recipes || Caddis Pupa
Caddis Emerger
Cress Bug
Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear
Green Drake
Isonychia
Light Cahill
March Brown
Peeking Caddis
Pheasant Tail
Sulphur
Zebra Nymph


Caddis Pupa


HOOK: Mustad 3399A #10-#18

THREAD: 6/0 Brown

RIB: Thin silver or gold wire

BODY: Olive poly dubbing

HEAD: gray or brown dubbing

NOTE: The olive dubbing is by far the best color to imiate the caddis pupa.


Caddis Emerger


HOOK: Mustad 9671 #12-#18

THREAD: 6/0 Tan

TAIL: Tan Z-Lon

BODY: Natural Hare's Ear dubbing

UNDERWING: Tan Z-Lon

WING: Tan elk hair

HEAD: Dark hare's ear dubbing

NOTE: Alter your colors to match local conditions.


Cress Bug


HOOK: Mustad 3399A #10-#18


THREAD: 6/0 Gray


BODY: Natural Hare's Ear Antron dubbing


HACKLE: Palmered about four turns and clipped close to the top of the nymph, leave legs as long as hook gap.


NOTE: Great on limestone streams where duckweed is found.


Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear


HOOK: Mustad 9671 #6-#14


THREAD: 6/0 Black


TAIL: Pheasant tail fibers


BODY: Various hare's ear colors. Top colors: natural, olive, black or brown.


WING CASE: Turkey tail THORAX: Hare's ear dubbing


LEGS: Brown hackle fibers or use dubbing needle to pick out hairs from thorax NOTE: This is perhaps the best all-purpose nymph if tied in different colors and sizes. A good early season choice is olive #12-#14. This fly will imitate the Quill Gordon.


Green Drake


HOOK: Mustad 3906B #8-#10


THREAD: 6/0 Tan


BODY: Light tan dubbing


WING CASE: Brown turkey feather or several pheasant tail fibers.


THORAX: Light tan dubbing.


LEGS: Pheasant tail tips.


NOTE: This nymph has a brown stripe up the back. Use a permanent marker. Excellent fly for Penns Creek in late May and early June.


Isonychia


HOOK: Mustad 9671 #8-#14


THREAD: 6/0 Black


TAIL: Peacock tips (3)


RIB: Thin silver or gold wire (counter wrapped) BODY: Wrapped peacock strands. Wrap 5-6 strands together 2/3 of the way up the hook.


WING CASE: Black dubbing (dub the remainder of the hook)


LEGS: Wood duck


NOTE: Nymph of the Slate Drake. Hatches from June to October.


Light Cahill


HOOK: Mustad 3906 #12-#16


THREAD: 6/0 Cream


TAIL: Natural wood duck


BODY: Cream dubbing


WING CASE: Natural wood duck


THORAX: Cream dubbing.


LEGS: Natural wood duck (bearded style)


March Brown


HOOK: Mustad 9672 (3x long) #8-#14


THREAD: 6/0 Black


TAIL: Pheasant tail fibers


RIB: Thin brown or tan floss BODY: Yellow/brown dubbing


WING CASE: Bronze turkey feather


LEGS: Brown hackle fibers


NOTE: You probably won't find a better nymph to use in the month of May than this pattern if the stream you are fishing has a good March Brown and Gray Fox population.


Peeking Caddis


HOOK: Mustad 3399A #10-#18


THREAD: 6/0 Brown


BODY: Narural hare's ear dubbing


COLLAR: Insect green dubbing


HEAD: Dark hare's ear dubbing.


Pheasant Tail


HOOK: Mustad 3906 #12-#18


THREAD: 6/0 Brown


TAIL: Pheasant tail fibers


BODY: Pheasant tail


WING CASE: Pheasant tail


THORAX: Brown dubbing.


LEGS: Pheasant tail tips


NOTE: Add a bead for more effect.


Sulphur


HOOK: Mustad 3906 #12-#18


THREAD: 6/0 Pale yellow


TAIL: Wood duck


BODY: Cream, pale yellow or light orange dubbing


LEGS: Wood duck


Zebra Nymph


HOOK: Mustad 3399A #16-#20


THREAD: 6/0 Black


HEAD: Gold bead to match hook size


RIB: Silver tinsel


BODY: Black thread. Keep it thin.


NOTE: Great summer time nymph when there is no hatch to match.



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Wet Fly Recipes

|| **Adams**
Dark Cahill
Dark Hendrickson
Leadwing Coachman
Light Cahill
P & P
Professor
Royal Coachman
Soft-Hackle
Sulphur Emerger


Adams


HOOK: Mustad 3399A #8-#16


THREAD: 6/0 Black or gray


TAIL: Brown hackle fibers


BODY: Gray dubbing (muskrat or rabbit)


LEGS: Brown hackle


WING: Grizzly hackle tips


Dark Cahill


HOOK: Mustad 3399A #8-#16


THREAD: 6/0 Black or gray


TAIL: Brown hackle fibers


BODY: Gray dubbing (muskrat or rabbit)


LEGS: Brown hackle


WING: Wood duck


Dark Henrickson


HOOK: Mustad 3399A #8-#16


THREAD: 6/0 Black or gray


TAIL: Gray hackle or dun fibers


BODY: Gray dubbing (muskrat or rabbit)


LEGS: Gray hackle or dun


WING: Wood duck


NOTE: Superb wet during the Blue Quill, Quill Gordon and Hendrickson hatches.


Leadwing Coachman


HOOK: Mustad 3399A #8-#16


THREAD: 6/0 Black


TAIL: None


BODY: Peacock (5-6 strands)


LEGS: Brown hackle


WING: Mallard wing (brown). Be sure to take two wing feathers that match (one from each side). Cut a small section from each that are identical.


NOTE: This fly imitates the caddis emergers of April and May.


Light Cahill


HOOK: Mustad 3399A #12-#18


THREAD: 6/0 Cream


TAIL: Wood duck flank fibers


BODY: Cream dubbing


LEGS: Dark cream hackle


WING: Wood duck flank


P & P


HOOK: Mustad 3399A #8-#14


THREAD: 6/0 Black


TAIL: Golden pheasant tips


RIB: Gold tinsel BODY: Peacock (5-6 strands)


LEGS: Brown hackle


NOTE: Tremendous early season fly


Professor


HOOK: Mustad 3399A #6-#16


THREAD: 6/0 Black


TAIL: Red hackle fibers


RIB: Silver tinsel BODY: Yellow floss (5-6 strands)


LEGS: Brown hackle


WING: Mallard Breast feather


NOTE: Tremendous early season fly


Royal Coachman


HOOK: Mustad 3399A #8-#16


THREAD: 6/0 Black


TAIL: Golden pheasant tips


BODY: Peacock- red floss- peacock


LEGS: Brown hackle


WING: Mallard wing (white). Be sure to take two wing feathers that match (one from each side). Cut a small section from each that are identical.


Soft hackle


HOOK: Mustad 3399A #8-#16


THREAD: 6/0 Various colors to match body


BODY: Various colors of dubbing (brown, black, gray, yellow, orange, olive)


WING: Small partridge feather with two of three wraps


NOTE: The soft hackle imitates the many emerging Caddis flies.


Sulphur Emerger


HOOK: Mustad 94840 #14-#20


THREAD: 6/0 Pale yellow


TAIL: Wood duck


BODY: Pale yellow or sulphur orange dubbing


WING: Light dun or natural CDC


NOTE: Dub two-thirds of the way, tie in the wing and then dub to the eye of the hook.



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Dry Fly Recipes

|| Adams
Blue Quill
Caddis
Coffin Fly
Gray Fox
Green Drake
Light Cahill
March Brown
Quill Gordon

Red Quill
Royal Coachman
Slate Drake
Stimulator
Sulphur Dun


Adams


HOOK: Mustad 94840 #8-#20


THREAD: 6/0 Black or gray


WING: Grizzly hackle tips (upright and divided


TAIL: Brown and grizzly mixed


BODY: Gray dubbing (muskrat or rabbit)


HACKLE: Brown and grizzly mixed (one of each).


Blue Quill


HOOK: Mustad 94840 #18-#20


THREAD: 6/0 Gray


WING: Gray hackle tips (upright and divided)


TAIL: Gray hackle fibers


BODY: Peacock herl stripped


HACKLE: Light or medium blue dun


Caddis


HOOK: Mustad 94840 #14-#18


THREAD: 6/0 Brown


BODY: Olive-brown or tan


HACKLE: Brown (palmered through body)


WING: Elk hair (tips should not extend past the bend of the hook.)


NOTE: Some people prefer to tie in the hackle in the front of the hook. If you look at the Caddis fly on the stream, you will notice their wings form in the shape of a tent. Substitute turkey feather for the elk hair for this effect.


Coffin Fly


HOOK: Mustad 94840 #8-#10


THREAD: 6/0 White


TAIL: Light tan deer hair


BODY: White poly, dubbed


WING: Grayish poly yarn, tied spent.


Gray Fox


HOOK: Mustad 94840 #12-#16


THREAD: 6/0 Cream


WING: Mallard flank (upright and divided)


TAIL: Deer hair


BODY: Cream poly, dubbed


HACKLE: One brown, one grizzly.


Green Drake


HOOK: Mustad 94840 #6-#10


THREAD: 6/0 Cream


WING: Yellow calf tail (upright and divided


TAIL: Moose mane, tied in the shape of a V.


BODY: Cream or light tan dubbing


HACKLE: Two grizzly hackles.


Light Cahill


HOOK: Mustad 94840 #12-#18


THREAD: 6/0 Cream


WING: Wood duck (upright and divided)


TAIL: Cream hackle fibers


BODY: Cream dubbing


HACKLE: Cream or grizzly


March Brown


HOOK: Mustad 94840 #10-#140


THREAD: 6/0 Yellow


WING: Mallard flank (upright and divided)


TAIL: Brown hackle fibers


BODY: Tan dubbung


HACKLE: One brown, one grizzly.


Quill Gordon


HOOK: Mustad 94840 #10-#14


THREAD: 6/0 Olive


WING: Wood duck (upright and divided)


TAIL: Dun hackle fibers


BODY: Stripped Peacock eye


RIB Thin gold wire wrapped counterclockwise.


HACKLE: Dun (2)


NOTE Good mayfly of mid-April to Late-April. The hatch usually appears around 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.


Red Quill


HOOK: Mustad 94840 #10-#16


THREAD: 6/0 Brown


WING: Wood duck (upright and divided)


TAIL: Dun hackle fibers


BODY: Rhode Island Red stripped quill


RIB Thin gold wire wrapped counterclockwise.


HACKLE: Dun (2)


NOTE The Red Quill is the male Hendrickson. The Hendrickson hatch occurs in early-May.


Royal Coachman


HOOK: Mustad 94840 #12-#16


THREAD: 6/0 Black


WING: White calf tail (upright and divided)


TAIL: Golden pheasant tips


BODY: Peacock-red floss-peacock


HACKLE: Brown (2)


Slate Drake


HOOK: Mustad 94840 #-#16


THREAD: 6/0 Black


WING: Dark dun tips (upright and divided)


TAIL: Dark Dun hackle fibers


BODY: Rusty brown dubbing


HACKLE: Dark dun (2)


NOTE Sporadic hatch that occurs throughout the summer. The nymph of the Slate Drake is the Isonychia.


Stimulator


HOOK: Mustad 94840 #4-#18


THREAD: 6/0 Fluorescent fire orange


TAIL: Light or dark elk fibers


RIB Thin gold wire


ABDOMEN: Peacock herl-red floss-peacock herl with brown hackle palmered through abdomen. Additional colors: olive, black, yellow, orange, green and tan with palmered brown hackle.


WING: Light or dark elk


THORAX: Orange, yellow or cream dubbing


HACKLE: Grizzly palmered through thorax


NOTE As you can see, this is a very versatile fly with many color combinations. Larger sizes can imitate stoneflies, Smaller sizes can imitate Caddis.


Sulphur Dun


HOOK: Mustad 94840 #10-#18


THREAD: 6/0 Pale yellow


WING: Cream hackle tips (upright and divided)


TAIL: Blue Dun or cream hackle fibers


BODY: Cream, pale yellow or light orange dubbing


HACKLE: Blue Dun or cream (2)


NOTE Productive mid-May to the end of June.



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Terrestrial Recipes

|| Ant(Black and Cinnamon)
Ant(Red/Black)
Ant(Hard Bodied)
Crowe Beetle
Green Weenie
Letort Cricket
Letort Hopper


Tying note: While we like to tie with fur and feathers, the use of foam material for all or parts of these patterns may be substituted.

Ant(Black and Cinnamon)


HOOK: Mustad 94840 #12-#24


THREAD: 6/0 Black


BODY: Black or cinnamon brown dubbing


HACKLE: Black or brown one hackle- make 2 or 3 turns). Tie in hackle at the midsection of the hook.


Ant(Red/Black)


HOOK: Mustad 94840 #12-#24


THREAD: 6/0 Black


BODY: Cinnamon at abdomen. Black at front section.


HACKLE: Black or hackle- make 2 or 3 turns). Tie in hackle at the midsection of the hook.


Ant(Hard Bodied)


HOOK: Mustad 94840 #12-#16


THREAD: 6/0 Black, brown, red, orange


BODY: Wrap the tying thread into two round bulges at the back and front of the hook. The abdomen (back) should be somewhat larger than the head.


HACKLE: Black or brown one hackle- make 2 or 3 turns). Tie in hackle at the midsection of the hook.


NOTE: Be sure to add head cement to each bulge. This fly is usually fished like a nymph. Add it as a dropper for a little something extra!


Crowe Beetle


HOOK: Mustad 94840 #10-#20


THREAD: 6/0 Black


BODY: Wrap 3 or 4 strands of Peacock and bring thread back to rear of the hook.


OVER-BODY: Black deer hair. Tie down with tips extending to the rear of the fly. Pull forward tightly and tie down. Clip off deer hair to form head and leave three pieces of deer hair extending out on each side for the six legs.


NOTE: Coat the body with vinyl cement. This fly imitates many types of beetles. Fish along the banks in the middle of the summer afternoons!


Green Weenie


HOOK: Mustad 9671 #12-#16


THREAD: 6/0 Black


BODY: Chartreuse vernielle


NOTE: Try this fly with a bead.


Letort Cricket


HOOK: Mustad 9671 or 9672 #6-#16


THREAD: 6/0 Black


BODY: Black dubbing


WING: Section of black turkey feather.


OVER WING: Black deer hair placed over the wing.


HEAD: Spun black deer hair(trim and shape)


Letort Hopper


HOOK: Mustad 9671 or 9672 #6-#16


THREAD: 6/0 Brown or yellow


BODY: Yellow, cream, tan or orange dubbing.


WING: Section of mottled turkey feather.


OVER WING: Natural deer hair placed over the wing.


HEAD: Spun deer hair(trim and shape)



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Streamer Recipes

|| Egg Sucking Leech
Leech
Mickey Finn
Muddler Minnow
Squirrel Tail
Wooly Bugger


Egg Sucking Leech


HOOK: Mustad 9674 #6-#12


THREAD: 6/0 Black


TAIL: Black Maribou


BODY: Black chenille


HACKLE: Black(palmered)


HEAD: Several wraps of hot pink chenille


Leech


HOOK: Mustad 9674 #2-#8


THREAD: 6/0 Black


WEIGHT: Wrap heavy lead wire the length of the body.


BODY: Build-up a lot of dubbing. Best colors: gray, black, dark brown.


TAIL & WING: Fur-hackle same color as body. Tail should be length of hook.


Mickey Finn


HOOK: Mustad 9674 #6-#12


THREAD: 6/0 Black


BODY: Gold or Silver mylar tinsel


WING: Red bucktail, yellow bucktail (2 of one color outside)


NOTE: Good early season attractor pattern.


Muddler Minnow


HOOK: Mustad 9674 #2-#14


THREAD: 6/0 Black


Tail: Turkey


BODY: Gold mylar tinsel


WING: Turkey wings (paired). Place some strands of squirrel tail as under wing.


HEAD: Spun and clipped deer hair


NOTE: Perhaps the best streamer available. Imitates sculpin minnow and even can be fished dry to imitate a grasshopper. Slow twitches work best.


Squirrel Tail


HOOK: Mustad 9674 #6-#12


THREAD: 6/0 Black


Tail: Turkey


BODY: Gold mylar tinsel


WING: Gray squirrel tail


Throat: Red hackle fibers


NOTE: Good early season fly. Imitates the red-Fin Minnow


Wooly Bugger


HOOK: Mustad 9674 #6-#12


THREAD: 6/0 Black


Tail: Various colors of maribou


BODY: Various colors of chenille.


HACKLE: Black or grizzly(palmered)


NOTE: Mix some silver or gold tinsel with the maribou. Try a bead. Color combination include black/black, olive/olive, olive/black, black/olive, brown/brown.



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Miscellaneous Fly Recipes

|| Glo Bug
San Juan Worm


Glo Bug


HOOK: Mustad #10


THREAD: 3/0 Any color


BODY: Glo Bug Yarn. Best color: Think in terms of a salmon egg because this is what it imitates.


NOTE: Start with 3 pieces about 2 inches long. Tie in the first piece just before the bend of the hook. Tie it in perpendicular to the hook, using an “X” wrap. Tie in the next piece and the last piece, just in front of each other working toward the eye of the hook. Whip finish. Hold up the 3 pieces and cut.


San Juan Worm


HOOK: Mustad 9671 #12-#16


THREAD: 6/0 Red


BODY: Red Vernille.


NOTE: Tie in the material at the back of the hook leaving a ½ inch piece hang out the back. Wrap thread forward, just behind the eye and tie off the front of the material with a ½ inch piece hanging over the front.



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Shopping List

The following is a list of items used to tie the flies listed here.

Thread (in 6/0 and 3/0)
  • o Cream
  • o Black
  • o Brown
  • o Gray
  • o Pale Yellow
  • o Fluorescent Orange
Hare's Ear Dubbing
  • o Natural
  • o Black
  • o Gray
  • o Olive
  • o Yellow
  • o Insect Green
  • o Peacock Eye
  • o Peacock Herl
  • o Imitation Wood Duck(dyed in different colors)
  • o Muskrat




Hackle
  • o Grizzly
  • o Brown
  • o Cream
  • o Dun(light and dark shades)
  • o Red Hackle Feathers
  • o Golden Pheasant Feathers
  • o Pheasant Tail
  • o Mallard Breast Feathers(dyed in different colors)




Mallard Wing
  • o Brown
  • o White
  • o Black
  • o Partridge Feathers

Floss
  • o Brown
  • o Red
  • o Yellow
Poly Wing
  • o Light Gray
  • o Squirrel Tail
  • o Turkey Feather


Marabou
  • o Black
  • o Olive
Tinsel(various widths)
  • o Gold
  • o Silver
Buck Tail
  • o Red
  • o Yellow
Chenille
  • o Brown
  • o Black
  • o Olive
  • o Hot Pink
  • o Yellow
Deer Body Hair
  • o Natural
  • o Black
  • o Natural Elk Body Hair
  • o Glo Bug Yarn


Vernille
  • o Red
  • o Insect Green
Hooks(Mustad)
  • o 94840
  • o 3399A
  • o 3906B
  • o 9671
  • o 9672
  • o 9674
CDC
  • o Natural

View Shopping List in another window.


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Monthly Fly Chart

The following is a monthly list of the most common flies found on Pennsylvania streams. This list should not be considered complete. Also, please understand that weather, temperature and location play a great role on the hatching of insects. This should only be used as a reference.

January
  • o Bead Head Nymphs
  • o Wooly Bugger
February
  • o Wooly Bugger
  • o San Juan Worm
  • o Squirrel Tail
  • o Glo Bug
  • o Bead Head Nymphs
  • o Cress Bugs
March
  • o Green Weenie
  • o Wooly Bugger
  • o Hare's Ear
  • o Pheasant Tail
  • o Glo Bug
  • o San Juan Worm
April
  • o Hare's Ear
  • o Professor
  • o P&P
  • o Adams
  • o Quill Gordon (mid-month)
  • o Leadwing Coachman
  • o Wooly Bugger
  • o Bead Head Nymphs
  • o Glo Bugs
  • o San Juan Worms
  • o Green Weenie
  • o Red Quill(late month)
  • o Hendrickson(late month)
  • o Pheasant Tail
May
  • o Sulphur(mid-month)
  • o Green Drake(mid-month)
  • o March Brown(mid-month)
  • o Gray Fox(mid-month)
  • o Caddis
  • o Hendrickson(early month)
  • o Pheasant Tail Nymph
  • o San Juan Worm
  • o Leadwing Coachman
  • o Red Quill(early month)
  • o Wooly Bugger
  • o Green Weenie
June
  • o Light Cahill
  • o Sulphur
  • o Ants
  • o Beetles
  • o Slate Drake
  • o Isonychia
  • o Caddis
  • o Stimulator
  • o Yellow Drake
  • o Wooly Bugger
JULY
  • o SanJuan Worm
  • o Caddis
  • o Light Cahill
  • o Green Weenie
  • o Slate Drakes
  • o Isonychia
  • o Terrestrials
August
  • o Terrestials
  • o Slate Drake
  • o White Fly(on select streams)
  • o Caddis
  • o Scud
September
  • o Terrestials
  • o Midges
  • o Scuds
  • o Wooly Bugger
  • o Caddis
  • o Green Weenie
October
  • o Terrestrials
  • o Scuds
  • o Tan Caddis
  • o Slate Drake
  • o Wooly Bugger
  • o San Juan Worm
  • o Bead Head Nymphs
November/December
  • o Caddis(Nov.)
  • o Terrestrials(Nov.)
  • o Midges
  • o San Juan Worm
  • o Bead Head Nymphs
  • o Sucker Spawn
  • o Glo Bug
  • o Green Weenie
  • o Streamers
  • o Wooly Bugger

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Sources/Links

Sources Consulted
Meck, Charles. "Pennsylvania Trout Streams and Their Hatches." Second Edition. Backcountry Publications, Woodstock, Vermont. 1993.
The Fly Fishing Connection. http://www.flyfishingconnection.com/abugslife.html July 12, 2004.
Michigan Trout - Opening Day and the Mayfly. http://www.flymartonline.com/article165.html July 12, 2004
Eastern Kentucky University Department of Biological Sciences. http://www.biology.eku.edu/SCHUSTER/bio542/MAYFLIES.htm July 12, 2004.
Hafele, Rick and Scott Roederer. An Angler’s Guide to Aquatic Insects and Their Imitations. Johnson Publishing, Boulder, CO. 1987.
Additional Fly Fishing/Fly Tying Information:

o Fly Anglers Online

o Fly Fishing Journal

o Fly Fishing Connection

o Fly Tying World

o Fly tying information from the Federation of Fly Fishers

o Tie 1 On

o Flyfisher's Paradise (right here in PA)

o Ultimate Fly Tying

o Killroy's Fly Tying

Thinking of trying some saltwater fly fishing? We gave it a try and you can see the results.
A Cape Cod Striper.
A Cape Cod Striper.

Here are a few sites that can get you started:
Joe Branham's Saltwater Fly Tying
Reel_Time Online
Fly Fishing in Saltwater
Saltwater Fly Fishers
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Your comments and questions regarding this Web page are welcome.


Please e-mail to Doug at dalichwer@paonline.com

Last update: July 9, 2006