Fly fishermen can be pretty set in their ways. Not all fishermen are cast from the same mold. Many fly guys are wonderful to fish with. Some don’t want to see other fishermen in their territory. Some fly guys only use bamboo rods, or fiberglass, or Sage, or…
Grumpy Fly Guys are called Snobs. We have all met them. They ridicule, complain, judge, yell, and advertise their distaste for other fishermen and techniques. Many only fish dry flies. Any other technique is like using bait or cheating. They never eat a fish and have few kind words or patience for others. To each their own.
There are some basic flies that are considered trash flies. These flies are flashy, trashy, easy to tie, and they work!
Mop Flies This simple fly, made of towel material, looks like cheese or power bait. It is not matching the hatch. The silly looking thing works more like a jig than a fly, but it works.
San Juan Worms My first San Juan Worm was made from a red rubber band, off a newspaper. I used a fine piece of wire to make the connection.
Egg Patterns Egg flies mimic bait! What else can I say?
Jig Flies Jig flies can be fished with a spinning rod; therefore, they are not flies! Let’s ignore that most European and Czech nymphing flies are tied on a jig hook. Jigs are not for fly fishing.
Bait Fly Fishermen Back in the day some of the best trout fishermen I ever saw fished minnows off an old fly rod. They carried a belt attached minnow bucket and were deadly when enticing trout. Usually, they wore old canvas chest waders and marched down the middle of the creeks and rivers trolling their wares.
Spinners on a fly rod Using small Colorado bladed spinners was money back in the day. Lightweight spinners like Joe Flies and bladed wooly worms are still a great way to catch fish. Just don’t do it front of a dry fly purist!
Strike Indicators The first strike indicators that I ever used were in the 1960’s. I made my own out of a stick of Balsa wood. The ¾ inch long sticks worked great! I would paint the top half red and the bottom half black. The indicator was attached at a Blood Knot, to prevent sliding. The slightest bite would allow the stick to move.
Today there are dozens of effective strike indicator variations. They make for great instructional tools, to teach nymphing. Once you learn how to nymph, indicators can be discarded. Honestly, a good nymph fisherman does not need this crutch.
When it comes down to it, be ethical, honest, and open minded. Fishing is about legally catching fish. Don’t be afraid to venture away from the norm. Always try something new and…