top of page

Anatomy of a Fly Fisherman Part 5: Flies

I've struggled with how to write this article and NOT completely fill it with cliché's. Fly-fishing is full of them! BUT when it comes to which fly to use on any given body of water only one applies. "It all depends on where you are." I wish that I could give you a list of fantastic flies that will work for you on your first time out. If I could do that not only would I be some kind of psychic, but also I would most certainly have to start charging for that kind of top-notch advice!

For instance, if your fishing a high mountain stream in the backcountry or if you’re fishing for tarpon in South America the flies you will need vary greatly. Since I have walked you through the whole rig set-up I'm going to tell you what I do. GO TO THE LOCAL FLY SHOP. Peruse the assortment of flies that they have on hand and buy some of the more popular. ANY fly shop anywhere is going to have someone that ties flies for them. The only exception being the large box stores who probably buy them in bulk from somewhere far, far away. The fly shop you choose may even have someone on site that ties for them right in the store! (They need SOMETHING to do in the winter).

Another great piece of advice is to talk to people you may meet on your chosen body of water, friends that fish, the guy behind the counter at the fly shop and don't forget Grandpa!! You will be surprised where fishing advice will come from once people you know see that you’re getting into it.

Usually after I arrive somewhere new, I look around at what bugs are flying in the air or hopping on the ground. Sometimes I will even just lay my fly box out while I'm getting geared up and see if any bugs have flown into it. Weird I know, but it works! Bugs have the same two things on their mind as any other creature and they may just find themselves attracted to something they see that you have.

Your assortment will grow and grow until one day you open your tackle box and find there isn’t room for much more. Of course just like any fisherman you will also have your "go-to" flies and these are the ones that you keep on the brim of your hat. Soon, you will know that the second week of June is the stonefly hatching time on the Big Hole River and exactly where to go for those fat feeding rainbows (or the hatching season on the river near you).

I know that I haven't provided much insight into that exact fly you should tie to your line before heading out, but like I stated before I can't give Blanket advice that will work for every situation. Although, hopefully, I have at least provided you with some resources for finding that perfect bug to catch that trophy fish.

Be sure to Like HighlandFrog's Facebook Page to receive updates and info about future articles!

Tight Lines, Friends!

Check out the rest of the "Anatomy of a Fly Fisherman" Series here at!

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Find Using Tags
No tags yet.
bottom of page