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Can You Pick the Right Bug?

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June 22, 2009

Can You Pick the Right Bug?

By Kirk Deeter

From the "Even a Blind Hog Finds an Acorn Once in a While" Files:

I had a successful afternoon on the river yesterday, and it only happened after I found the right fly pattern.  Honestly, I went from zero to hero in about 20 minutes after making a bug switch.  And it wasn't really my first choice... I saw the fly on my hat brim... was too lazy to dig around the box... figured what the heck... and it worked.

I'll set up the situation, and you see if you can figure out what fly pattern it was that turned out to be the haymaker...

I'm in Michigan.  Fishing a smaller river.  Stumpy.  Some gravel.  Lots of vegetation at the edges.  It's a sunny day.  We had rain last night, but the water is still clear.  Very clear. 

It's that time of year when you get those classic mayfly hatches, like big swarms of gray drakes... but to be honest, the last few nights have been pretty dead.  Few bugs, fewer fish.

I pick a fly, and tie it to 5X tippet.  It's 2-o'clock in the afternoon.  I have no expectations whatsovever... but then it starts going off on that fly.

What fly is it?

Deeter

Comments (33)

Top Rated
All Comments
from KingFisher907 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

#14 or #16 light cahill...possibly a light hendrickson?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Alex Pernice th... wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

either a #14,#16,#18 Griffith's gnat, or possibly a terrestrial like a hopper or an ant.

AP

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Prince nymph

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ejunk wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

an ant.

yrs-
Evan!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Sounds like something is stirring in the mud and silt with the warmers temperatures. I am getting antsy. It's about time for the iso's, but the really big bugs are about to pop!

But, at 2pm .... A 5x tippet means about a size 14-16 hook. Too clear for a San Juan worm. What falls out of the vegetation? Dave's Hopper and damsel flies might be too big. An ant or green inch worm would be a good choice. For the heck of it I'd toss a Royal Coachman, a Mahogany Dun, elk wing caddis, or Adams. But stoneflies, gravel, and stumps go together. A Yellow Sally can be a surprise daytime hatch and would look good on a hat. I'll go with that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tourneyking734 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Size 14 caddis fly immitation

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

a grasshopper imitation, they are just starting to get out and fly now up here.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Lt. Cahill.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ramcatt wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

hopper

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Caddis Fly Nymph, maybe a scud.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from chadlove wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

A grape jelly worm.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I'll second ant. It's the "what the hell, I'll try it" fly that often surprises the crap out of me midday when all seems dead and no fish are rising.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I'm going with the terrestrial folks, a hopper, maybe an ant. The vegetation will have them in the water.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hojnacki wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I'm also going to have to go with the yellow sally

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from as moeggs wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

SULPHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!Sounds like my day on the Boardman.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Evan V wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

A #12-#16 scud pattern. The grass in your story was a dead giveaway.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Evan V wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Oh I thought it said aquatic grass. No, if its outside, a hopper, or a cicada.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from KingFisher907 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I need to read more carefully...

#14 Joe's Hopper!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Everybody beat me to it. Got to be a hopper' of course.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Oh, another pattern every Michigan flyfisher should carry ... a Stimulator.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fflutterffly wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

On mornings or evenings when the fishing is tight I always hit my 'go to dry', a Roayl Wulff on top. For me the searching nymph is Red Squirrel tail. I am rarely disappointed in my waters.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fisherman101 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

a grasshopper or caddis fly imitation.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mr. Bubble wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Inchworm.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Nice work folks.

A size 12 black Chernobyl ant. NEVER overlook the ant is the lesson I learned.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Alex Pernice th... wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

HA! I got it! (First...)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I never would of guessed a big ugly Chernobyl ant! Fish are funny when they fickle. You carry one on your hat? I guess it's with knowing.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

My favorite summer time trout fly and I didn't guess it. If you would have said windy day then I might have got it. It's too early for hoppers and the midday cahill hatch is pretty good in Ohio.

2041

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sportsman Matt wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Size 2 Grey or White Wulff. If it can't get the hook in the mouth, you don't want it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

It's nice to see the other "F&S" guys poping up on each other's "blog" pages.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from aragonnapoles wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

What about a hare's ear nimph? just choose your size.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ninja wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

It is never too early for hoppers. End of May '09 on the Beaverkill. Flows are epic. My buddy slayed 'em on a 10sz Dave's Hopper. It should've been streamers and deep nypmh rigs that were best. It shouldn't have worked, but it was the fly of a week long trip.

Never say never is the take away.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from natureguy wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

Can't go wrong with an Adams, certainly worth a try!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Fox Statler wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

First, you didn't get enough rain to muddy the river and the water was clear, so the fish could easily see a fly above them. Second, it was a sunny day, so a dark dry fly would contrast well with the sky. Third, your article is dated June 22nd and you were fishing the afternoon the day before, so the water is either comfortable or warm to the trout. Fourth, lots of vegetation on the banks, suggest that moths, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and other terrestrials are plentiful . Last, it is 2:00 pm in the afternoon, so your swarm of dry flies are not happening yet. You didn't mention wind or chop on the water so I assume that the surface of the stream like glass.

My guess would be any large (#10 -#4)dark brown or olive and black terrestrial imitation that is a low floater and is cast close to the bank or one of your stumps. A grasshopper or moth imitation would be my choice.

It's All Fly fishin'
Fox Statler

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Alex Pernice th... wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

either a #14,#16,#18 Griffith's gnat, or possibly a terrestrial like a hopper or an ant.

AP

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fisherman101 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

a grasshopper or caddis fly imitation.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Alex Pernice th... wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

HA! I got it! (First...)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from KingFisher907 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

#14 or #16 light cahill...possibly a light hendrickson?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Prince nymph

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ejunk wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

an ant.

yrs-
Evan!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Sounds like something is stirring in the mud and silt with the warmers temperatures. I am getting antsy. It's about time for the iso's, but the really big bugs are about to pop!

But, at 2pm .... A 5x tippet means about a size 14-16 hook. Too clear for a San Juan worm. What falls out of the vegetation? Dave's Hopper and damsel flies might be too big. An ant or green inch worm would be a good choice. For the heck of it I'd toss a Royal Coachman, a Mahogany Dun, elk wing caddis, or Adams. But stoneflies, gravel, and stumps go together. A Yellow Sally can be a surprise daytime hatch and would look good on a hat. I'll go with that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tourneyking734 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Size 14 caddis fly immitation

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

a grasshopper imitation, they are just starting to get out and fly now up here.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Lt. Cahill.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ramcatt wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

hopper

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Caddis Fly Nymph, maybe a scud.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from chadlove wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

A grape jelly worm.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I'll second ant. It's the "what the hell, I'll try it" fly that often surprises the crap out of me midday when all seems dead and no fish are rising.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I'm going with the terrestrial folks, a hopper, maybe an ant. The vegetation will have them in the water.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hojnacki wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I'm also going to have to go with the yellow sally

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from as moeggs wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

SULPHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!Sounds like my day on the Boardman.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Evan V wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

A #12-#16 scud pattern. The grass in your story was a dead giveaway.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Evan V wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Oh I thought it said aquatic grass. No, if its outside, a hopper, or a cicada.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from KingFisher907 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I need to read more carefully...

#14 Joe's Hopper!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Everybody beat me to it. Got to be a hopper' of course.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Oh, another pattern every Michigan flyfisher should carry ... a Stimulator.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fflutterffly wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

On mornings or evenings when the fishing is tight I always hit my 'go to dry', a Roayl Wulff on top. For me the searching nymph is Red Squirrel tail. I am rarely disappointed in my waters.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mr. Bubble wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Inchworm.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Nice work folks.

A size 12 black Chernobyl ant. NEVER overlook the ant is the lesson I learned.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I never would of guessed a big ugly Chernobyl ant! Fish are funny when they fickle. You carry one on your hat? I guess it's with knowing.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

My favorite summer time trout fly and I didn't guess it. If you would have said windy day then I might have got it. It's too early for hoppers and the midday cahill hatch is pretty good in Ohio.

2041

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sportsman Matt wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Size 2 Grey or White Wulff. If it can't get the hook in the mouth, you don't want it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

It's nice to see the other "F&S" guys poping up on each other's "blog" pages.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from aragonnapoles wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

What about a hare's ear nimph? just choose your size.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ninja wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

It is never too early for hoppers. End of May '09 on the Beaverkill. Flows are epic. My buddy slayed 'em on a 10sz Dave's Hopper. It should've been streamers and deep nypmh rigs that were best. It shouldn't have worked, but it was the fly of a week long trip.

Never say never is the take away.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from natureguy wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

Can't go wrong with an Adams, certainly worth a try!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Fox Statler wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

First, you didn't get enough rain to muddy the river and the water was clear, so the fish could easily see a fly above them. Second, it was a sunny day, so a dark dry fly would contrast well with the sky. Third, your article is dated June 22nd and you were fishing the afternoon the day before, so the water is either comfortable or warm to the trout. Fourth, lots of vegetation on the banks, suggest that moths, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and other terrestrials are plentiful . Last, it is 2:00 pm in the afternoon, so your swarm of dry flies are not happening yet. You didn't mention wind or chop on the water so I assume that the surface of the stream like glass.

My guess would be any large (#10 -#4)dark brown or olive and black terrestrial imitation that is a low floater and is cast close to the bank or one of your stumps. A grasshopper or moth imitation would be my choice.

It's All Fly fishin'
Fox Statler

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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