Fly fishing flies are imitation temptations. But a trout can spit it out in less than 1/10 of a second, so you've got to set the hook immediately. Real insects are tasty morsels to fish, often easy to gulp and high in protein. Your job is to fool the fish using a nifty looking artificial because it's really difficult to attach a hook to the real thing.
Seriously, if for example, the PMD (pale morning dun) or the BWO (blue-winged olive) looks like dinner to a trout, you're in business. Don't forget to check the underside of your imitation carefully. This is the side that your fish sees on its way up to the surface for a meal.
One of the very best books I have ever read on the subject of insects and the fly fishing flies that imitate them is the Handbook of Hatches by Dave Hughes. If you are not into entomology, you probably will not be excited about the subject matter. If you are into bugs and like to fly fish using fly fishing flies (artificials) then this is a great read. I thought it would be dry reading but I was pleasantly surprised. Dave gives us the guide to matching the hatch by explaining in simple terms the life cycle of various insects and how a fly fisherman uses that knowledge to gain an advantage over his quarry--Mr. Fish. If you love fly fishing you are probable an amateur entomologist as well.
I am going to quote two paragraphs from Dave Hughes's book because they set the tone for all that comes afterward in you quest for (in this case) trout.
Chapter 1: Trout Don't Speak Latin"Trout eat aquatic insects. They eat other things, too. They eat
and sometimes even each other.
But all trout get going in life eating aquatic insects. And most trout, including lunkers that make a lot of their living pursuing bigger bites, end their lives still eating aquatic insects. Trout don’t read Latin. They can't identify insects. The most brilliant trout in the stream will spend its entire life gobbling
in all of their immature and adult stages, without ever pausing to consider what it has just eaten. Trout can be alarmingly selective, however, despite all of their ignorance."
Match the Hatch
Have you ever heard the term Match the Hatch? It basically means that you sort through all your fly boxes for the one perfect fishing lure, the fly fishing fly of all time, (yes, the fake thing with the hook attached) that you believe best represents the real flies that are either living underwater or emerging into adulthood and sprouting wings. If you can do that, you are halfway to successfully capturing your prize fish.
The other half will involve proper presentation of your artificial.
Click this line to learn more about CASTING YOUR FLY.
The most fun I've ever had was presenting my artificial dry fly to a trout and watching him smash the surface trying to inhale it. Now, that's fly fishing at its best.
Click here for a list of the most POPULAR FLY PATTERNS from around the U.S.
Fly Fishing Lures --- Choices, Choices, Choices
Let's say you are on the most perfect Colorado fishing trip. You have reached that most perfect of alpine lakes. You've got your fly fishing waders on and you are holding that dream fly fishing rod in your hands (the one you wisely bought at a discount). You are thinking to yourself, what fake bugs should I use today? Decisions, Decisions, Decisions. Your main choices (not in any particular order of importance) are
Are there other choices? Yes. If you are on an Alaska fishing trip in August, consider throwing a replica of the state bird - the mosquito. If you are fly fishing a small stream in Maine, you might pull our a tantalizing trout fishing lures called a stimulator if the fishing is a bit slow. Depending on your particular area and the time of the year, you might consider casting, throwing, or delicately presenting such lovelies as
(little ouch) or
These fly fishing flies come in a vast variety of colors, shapes and sizes. So choose carefully and have fun.
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