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types of flies

Types of Flies

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In this article, we dive into the types of flies that are important for us while we are fly fishing. If you’ve been to your local fly shop lately you’ll notice that there are new fly patterns all the time. But these are never your fried and true natural flies, they are typically based on stimulator patterns.

It is these natural fly patterns that we will look at in this article. We’ll learn the different flies that we base our flies on. If you’re interested in the trout flies themselves instead of learning about the insects then check out our articles on fly patterns here. Otherwise, on with the show.

Types of Flies (Find The Right One)

Some flies aim to closely resemble the natural forage that the trout are feeding on. At times, trout can be very selective feeders who will feast on just one type of insect, so it’s important to know what is hatching when.

A top tip is to take a close look on and around the water and pick up some stones along the river or lake bank, to discover what the most common local bugs are. Once you know this, try to replicate the look of these insects to trick the fish into mistaking your fly for one.

Other flies are just simply attractor flies – they look flashy and eye-catching to grab the attention of the fish and tempt them to eat. These can work well if you’re not sure what the trout are eating.

You’ll find that some flies work better than others depending on your location, the time of year, or even the water temperature or conditions.

However, the following flies all come highly recommended by pro fly fishermen and women as being versatile, effective, and sure to hook you that trout! Grab a few of these and you’ll be ready for your best fishing trip yet!

streamer flies

Types of Flies

Most of the must-have flies for spring fly fishing work great at all times of the year. They have excellent patterns that cover various hatches. Keep reading to learn about some of the must have flies that can help you get the big ones when you’re fishing during spring. We provide you with information about mayfly patterns, stonefly nymph patterns, and the best wet flies for trout.

Streamer Flies

Streamer flies are a very useful way of fishing year-round. The flies are big and they imitate crayfish, baitfish, and hellgrammites. They make it possible for a fisherman to cover a large surface of the water while fishing.

They are an excellent choice if you are unsure of what the fish are eating. Streamers are, therefore, convenient if you are fishing in unfamiliar waters. They make it possible to reduce boredom as you need to move the fly a lot. There are a few streamer flies that you need to have if you are looking to catch some of the bigger boys and want to catch fish consistently when you are out at your favorite lake.

Even though getting out there to fish is nice enough, it’s even better to actually catch some fish. Streamer flies increase your chances of catching some nice trout without a lot of struggle. Fly fishing during early spring can be a bit challenging but streamers make it a lot easier.

Picking the right streamer flies is key to your success in snatching some river monsters. We are going to show you some of the leading streamer flies that will help improve your fishing.mayflies

Mayflies

Mayflies are one of the most common flies that trout feed on. They make up a large portion of my fly box and they should to in yours too. Mayflies hatches are commonplace alongside the river throughout the warmer months of the year.
 
Fished as a nymph, an emerger and as a dry fly, the chances are you’ll typically be able to catch a trout just about anywhere with a mayfly pattern. Use a floating flyline with a tapered leader to get the best results.
 
The key when fishing mayflies (and just about any other fly) is to make sure there is absolutely no drag as is floats downstream. Drag can be avoided through by adding slack to the line in the cast or doing an upstream mend prior to reaching the fist.
stonefly

Stoneflies

As you probably know if you’ve ever cast a line, stoneflies make up a big part of the trout’s diet in because trout find them absolutely delicious. They are also popular because they are very easy to find and you can find them in almost all parts of the world. 

They are available at any times of the year – talk about a versatile fly! You can use them for early spring fly fishing as they hatch in early spring and the trout are familiar with the pattern. Some of the stonefly nymphs could be bigger than five cm. The adult stonefly has two pairs of long wings with membranes. 

The wings are folded at the back and they are sometimes known as flatwings because of their distinct appearance. Even though they have long wings, stoneflies are not very good at flying. To recognize a stonefly, remember that they have long antennae and two little tails.

Stonefly nymph patterns may be helpful when everything else fails. Once you find the right pattern for your local fish, you can get some really big ones. There are thousands of stonefly varieties all over the world. 

They dwell in clean environments so you may not find them where the quality of water is low.  All of them have a fairly uniform appearance even though the colors and size may vary. Some of the most common stonefly species include; salmonfly, skwala, yellow sally, and large golden stone.

caddis flies

Caddis fly

Caddis fly patterns are made to imitate the different life stages of the caddis. It is one of the most basic sources of food for trout. This makes it a top choice for most anglers. You can find caddis patterns in almost all waterways including still waters and streams. Trout mostly feed on caddis in the stages of larva or pupa. This, however, does not mean trout don’t feed on the adult caddis. They sometimes even rise to the top for the adult caddis.

Once the caddis hatches from the egg, it gets to the larval stage. The caddis larva can be found at the bottom, usually in a hard shell casing. The larva is popularly known as the horn-cased caddis. The caddis will come from the bottom to the surface of the water when it gets to the pupa stage. It will only return to the bottom to lay eggs. The eggs go to the bottom of the river and the cycle continues.

In the larval stage, there are patterns such as the Green Caddis Larvae, Tungsten Brown Caddis, and Green Caddis Nymph. Patterns in the adult stage include the Dry Caddis and Goddard’s Caddis. 

trout eat midges

Midges

If you are one of the many anglers that are intimidated by fly fishing midges, you may be missing out. Midge fishing gives you the opportunity to enhance your fishing experience in still water, spring creeks, and tailwaters as they make up about half of the trout’s food in some watersheds. 

Midges are great at all times of the year. Most species can go through a complete life cycle in only a few weeks. This sets them apart from other flies. Some of the most common midges are chironomids. Even though they are smaller than other aquatic insects, midges can have a huge population. They are a great food option for trout throughout the year.

Understanding the life cycle of midges can make midge fishing a much simpler experience. You must be able to find the right flies to mimic their different life cycles. Midges come in thousands of species but that does not mean that things have to be complicated. 

Pick any midge that works for you. You do not need to know every one of them. You may use colour formula, shape, and size to narrow down your options. It is difficult to go wrong.

The Fly Crate

We partnered with The Fly Crate to get you a deal on all of the best flies for Spring. They make a monthly fly box that contains all of the latest flies to match the hatches that are going on near you.

They will send it directly to your mailbox along with a bunch of other goodies! Check out their lifestyle plan which we managed to get a 20% discount off for you. Use the code FLYFISHER20 at checkout and use the link here.

They commit a portion of all sales to aid disabled vetrans too!

 

fly fishing subscription box

The Wrap Up

Hopefully this article could shed some light on the different types of flies used for fly fishing. At Fly Fisher Pro we’ve been studying these flies for years, and we still make mistakes.

Time and time again we say that it’s much more important to fish the flies properly as opposed to selecting the perfect fly. Though it does help, ultimately if you’ve got one of the best trout flies on your tippet, and your drift is drag free, you’re likely to land a fish!

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