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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives
Baetis

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

Lateral view of a Psychodidae True Fly Larva from Mystery Creek #308 in Washington
This wild-looking little thing completely puzzled me. At first I was thinking beetle or month larva, until I got a look at the pictures on the computer screen. I made a couple of incorrect guesses before entomologist Greg Courtney pointed me in the right direction with Psychodidae. He suggested a possible genus of Thornburghiella, but could not rule out some other members of the tribe Pericomini.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Motrout
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Posts: 319
Motrout on Oct 8, 2010October 8th, 2010, 2:06 pm EDT
Do any of you guys have a favorite fly? I don't necessarily mean the one that is the most consistently productive in your box, I mean the one pattern that seems to hold some kind of magic to you, the pattern that you find yourself reaching for even when it doesn't seem to be the right choice given the situation. Not because you think it will work better than anything else, but just because you like fishing with it.

For me that fly is the Ausable Wulff. It's an attractor dry that I've come across on a couple trips up to the Adirondacks-it really seems to be about the only fly some folks use on the pocket-water rivers up there. I bought a bunch of them from a great little fly shop in Wilmington, New York, and I've been hooked on them ever since. I use them for bluegill on the local ponds (even picking up a bass on them once in awhile), rainbows on the wild trout creeks, and I've even relied on them to catch trout in notoriously technical spring creek type waters. It's not an imitative pattern (it's just a couple clicks away from the Royal Wulff) but I just have a tremendous level of confidence when I fish it that I don't have with any other fly in my box. I have no idea why.

Do you guys have any flies like that?
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
Taxon
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Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Oct 8, 2010October 8th, 2010, 2:28 pm EDT
Motrout-

Yeah, I've got one like that. It's a lake fly called the Olive Willy.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
Motrout
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Posts: 319
Motrout on Oct 8, 2010October 8th, 2010, 2:34 pm EDT
Nice looking fly. It looks like one of those patterns that would work for any number of different species.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
Softhackle
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Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Oct 8, 2010October 8th, 2010, 4:09 pm EDT
Motrout,
You have selected one of the best patterns, ever. The Ausable Wulff was created by the late Fran Betters of Wilmington, NY especially for the pocket water on the Ausable. Fran developed it because he said there were many flies that hatched on the river that had a very distinctive rusty orange tint in their bodies. I met Fran many years ago in his shop in Wilmington and purchased two of the pattern to get the body color correct. I have seen it sold in numerous catalogs, but it was never tied as Fran originally tied it, thread of fluorescent red, cinnamon colored body of Australian opossum, wings of upright calf's tail, tail of mature woodchuck tail, and hackles mixed brown and grizzly.

I've used this pattern on my home water with great success. Fran also delevoped other "Ausable" patterns including a wonderful caddis pattern. Fran passed away this past year, and here is my variation of a great pattern: Ausable Spider:



Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Oct 9, 2010October 9th, 2010, 2:26 am EDT
Favorite fly? Any one of my own invention that catches fish. Nothing like catching them on your own pattern, even if you catch fewer fish. And when your fly catches more fish than the old standbys, it's pretty special.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Motrout
Motrout's profile picture
Posts: 319
Motrout on Oct 9, 2010October 9th, 2010, 3:31 pm EDT
Nice fly, softhackle. I've never seen the Ausable Spider, but it's a really pretty fly and I bet it would work too.

I have heard lots of stories about Fran Betters, but I'm afraid to say I never did get a chance to meet him. He really is a legend up in those parts and originated a lot of really good patterns. And whether he intended them to or not, they work in waters around the country.

On that note, could someone please teleport me to the West Branch of the Ausable in Wilmington? Just give me a few #12 Ausable Wulffs, and make it a late evening in the middle of June. That's heaven right there.

"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Oct 10, 2010October 10th, 2010, 10:59 am EDT
By Shawn's definition, mine would have to be Jonathon's Killer Bass Fly, of course. After all, I did catch the biggest smallmouth bass of my life on one this summer, a 19 1/2" beauty I estimated to weigh about 5 pounds. And for those of you who haven't heard this story, the fly got it's name from a 20", 5 1/2 lb. largemouth I caught on it in Texas in 2005. As they say, nothing succeeds like success.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Softhackle
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Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Oct 11, 2010October 11th, 2010, 8:05 am EDT
Motrout,
Just as a side note. The Spider creation is my own based on the materials used in the original dry fly Fran tied.

Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Oct 11, 2010October 11th, 2010, 9:01 am EDT
Mark,

I've said this before, but you can really tell there is an artist lurking behind your creations...That fly is simple, elegant, perfectly proportioned and I'll bet will catch fish anytime of the day or night!

That's my favorite fly...For today anyway :)

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Motrout
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Posts: 319
Motrout on Oct 11, 2010October 11th, 2010, 9:32 am EDT
My bad Softhackle. Didn't mean to credit someone else with the fly- I just misunderstood your post.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
Jesse
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Posts: 378
Jesse on Oct 11, 2010October 11th, 2010, 10:23 am EDT
Got to be the Wooly Bugger! It's beautiful, very moving, catches the fish, and simply just a day maker! The soft hackle is a killer to though.
Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.
http://www.filingoflyfishing.com
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Oct 11, 2010October 11th, 2010, 11:55 am EDT
Yes, Mark, a very pretty fly. I love the aesthetic of your tying.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Dryfly
rochester mn

Posts: 133
Dryfly on Oct 11, 2010October 11th, 2010, 2:04 pm EDT
Madam X, great summer fly. Good after sundown as well.
Softhackle
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Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Oct 11, 2010October 11th, 2010, 3:40 pm EDT
Thanks Spence, Shawnny, Motrout.

While I love the Ausable Wulff and find it very productive, I can not say it's my favorite fly. There are just so many that work well. I guess if I had to select only one it'd be the Leisenring Spider. By far, this fly has taken many fish for me and some real beauties to say the least.


This is a photo of one tied on a regular wet fly hook

Leisenring Spider
This link shows a larger photo and gives the dressing.

It is not my own pattern, but it sure does work. I carry a number of these in three sizes, and I am very seldom disappointed when I fish one. Tying season will be upon us, soon, and everyone should consider whipping up a few. The link shows one tied on a short hook, but it can also be tied on a standard wet fly hook. It's a winner!

Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Oct 12, 2010October 12th, 2010, 2:59 am EDT
I carry a number of these in three sizes


Ok mister! Those three sizes would be...what?

Spence

For the fun of it...Maybe at the end of this upcoming tying season we all should do a fly swap...Not really enough to fish but as models for our collections. I have kept flies friends have tied and given me to try over the years and I've labeled them and they are tucked away somewhere. When I first started tying I used flies tied by my mentor and if mine began to look just like his I knew I was finally getting in to the ballpark. A so called, "fishable fly"...:) Maybe over this winter, when we are tying up a dozen of something we like, maybe do an extra half-doz and take the best 6 out of there and trade them...Just a thought.

I still have the fly I used on the Madison in 1995 to catch a 23.5" Brown I posted in the post, "The West is the Best"...I was on a float and the day wasn't going so well. The guide Eric (manager of Madison River Fishing Co in Ennis) tied on a "secret fly" and asked me to not look at it...A so-called "guides fly"...When I caught the nice fish he decided I had to have the fly and it was called something like "Egor (pronounced A-gor) the Magnificent"...I found it last weekend as I was digging in one of a million fly fishing "junk" boxes looking for some wader patch.
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Softhackle
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Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Oct 12, 2010October 12th, 2010, 5:28 am EDT
Hi Spence,
Well, 10, 12, 14 definitely and occasionally 16 if I think I'll need it where I'm fishing. This Leisenring Spider represents many aquatic insects from various mayflies to caddis, so size variation often helps. The size 10 is most effective early in the year, and as the season gets on the 12s & 14s are highly favored.

I noticed the dressing shown does not tell what color thread the body is dubbed to. It's "Primrose Yellow" Gossamer or a pale yellow.

Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
RleeP
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Oct 12, 2010October 12th, 2010, 6:00 am EDT
If we define this choice as the fly we most enjoy fishing regardless of whether it is always the best choice, I most enjoy fishing a size 10 deerhair ant. I like the splat, I like the v-wake of the fish moving for it and I like the idea that it is at its best in places where most other flies do not perform well, the slow, deeper sections along stream banks.

If we define this choice as the fly we have the most confidence in as a searching dry fly, my pick would be a simple hare's ear parachute (HE body, Adam's hackle combo, poly or calf tail post and a sparse moose body hair tail, kinda short) in sizes #14-18. Over the years, it's been equally deadly for me in PA, WI, IA, OR, UT, NC, VA and TN.

I wouldn't leave home without at least 100 of them..:)
PaulRoberts
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Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Oct 12, 2010October 12th, 2010, 9:44 am EDT
I ask the trout that every day, sometimes every hour. :)
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Oct 12, 2010October 12th, 2010, 9:51 am EDT
I most enjoy fishing a size 10 deerhair ant. I like the splat


Lee,

A quick story re your largish ant...I was floating the N Branch of the Au Sable 4/5 years back with a friend in his Au Sable river boat...I was fishing to match the Sulphers and my friend told me to toss back my flyline for a moment. He tied on this fly that looked like a wasp!

When we stopped for lunch we walked up to this old cabin and all over the wall were Brown Drakes and these huge flying Carpenter Ants! I told this story to my fishing mentor once I made it back to Detroit and he said that sort of thing comes from working the river everyday and knowing the river...

Carpenter Ants were not on my radar that day, but, like you, I seldom walk to the river without a few ants tucked somewhere in one of my boxes.

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Motrout
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Posts: 319
Motrout on Oct 12, 2010October 12th, 2010, 3:53 pm EDT
Beautiful fly Softhackle. While certainly artistic, it looks like it would do an excellent job on the stream.

I think I'll tie a couple of those up this winter.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/

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