by Lance Egan
To the un-initiated, fly fishing is often viewed as a mystical or magical “art” with complex tackle, rigging and hatch matching. While fly fishing can be a bit tricky while sorting through the terms, techniques and places to wet a line, it often boils down to simply making whatever you place on the end of your line act like food. Delving into this topic could result in a lengthy chapter in a book, but for this blog post I think it’s best left short.
Speaking specifically about Trout fishing, we are often given the same formula with promised success. Books, magazines, DVD’s, internet articles or blog posts such as this often profess to “match the hatch” to ensure you catch as many fish as possible. While “matching the hatch” has its place, too often it isn’t the best option to ensure you maximize your catch.
The next time you find yourself on a river with few hatching insects (or try this during a dense hatch, it may surprise you), think attraction rather than imitation. I realize this goes against the grain of typical fly fishing advice, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found large numbers of Trout eager to take flies which look nothing like the natural insects making a home on the stream bottom. Standard flies which fit into this “attractor” category include the Royal Wulff, Chernobyl Ant, Prince Nymph, Copper John, and Rainbow Warrior. While each of these patterns share parts similar to things found in nature, none are exact replicas, most have strange, bright, contrasting colors and/or outlandish silhouettes, which more often than not draw the attention of the fish.
Put these or your confidence attractor patterns to use on your favorite piece of water. Don’t overthink the fishing process. Remember, Trout have a brain the size of your thumbnail. Present your offering well and let the fish do the rest of the work.