Tube Flies For Stream Trout and Other Ways to Think Outside the Box

I really enjoy applying lessons learned in one style of fishing to another, and seeing what works. For example, I haven't thrown anything but bonefish flies to carp all summer. One can argue that the "Czech nymphing" rig with weighted flies and a taut line is basically a drop shot rig adapted for river trout.

On my recent salmon trip to Russia, we swung weighted tube flies like the one pictured above. The advantage of this pattern is that the brass tube body sinks quickly and evenly. Unlike a cone-head bugger or another weight forward fly, this pattern doesn't dive nose-down in slack water. It sinks flat, and is consistent when you're sweeping a run. They're pretty simple to tie. And when you fish, simply thread your leader through the tube, and tie on a hook, which snugs into the flexible plastic sleeve at the back of the fly. They're easy to switch, adjust, and so forth.

I've been swinging tube flies for trout on my home rivers since I got back. I reasoned, if a trout will eat a big Zoo Cougar or Autumn Splendor, why not one of these gaudy things? They do. Big time. Cast at the bank, let it swing through the run, and the big browns will pound this thing.

All of which goes to underscore a lesson I was talking about with Romano the other day. He told me that he had caught a handful of grass carp in one afternoon. He said he thought the reason he could pull that off was because the pond he fished has not been fished for five years. Unpressured fish get really brave. On the other hand, showing the same fish the same bugs over and over is why we have "spooky" and "selective" fish in the first place. Sometimes, if you throw the fish something out of left field, even the wary ones can be fooled. My two cents. Anyway, it's always fun to try.