help!

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fishudedmeet

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okay here goes. i have never fly fished. i can cast and know the basics but beyond that im in the dark. im going fishing in a small stream (quartzville or the calapooia) and i need to know wat to use. dry fly or wet fly? big fly or small fly? what pattern? how do i fish it? leave nothing out please :pray:!
 
F

FishFinger

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This early in the season most aquatic insects will be in the nymph stage. Depending on water temps they may not be very active until things begin to warm up. Woolly bugger patterns in black or browns would be worth considering.

Attractor patterns might be worth a shot, in that they don't imitate any specific insect, rather cater to a fishes interest with color and movement.

Simple maribu patterns in black, browns, green, reds, & a dash of crystal flash could be an option.

All of the above mentioned flies need to be fished sub surface.

Emergent and drys will come into play later this spring.

Don't over look the single egg patterns, they are perennial favorites.
 
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GraphiteZen

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okay here goes. i have never fly fished. i can cast and know the basics but beyond that im in the dark. im going fishing in a small stream (quartzville or the calapooia) and i need to know wat to use. dry fly or wet fly? big fly or small fly? what pattern? how do i fish it? leave nothing out please ?!

Alrighty. When you decide to fish a body of water the first thing you should do is get on the net and try to find some information about it first.
What flies hatch around this time of year.
What flies work better than others, (this has a lot of significance).
Finding out what you can about the success of other anglers is also a good idea.
Use that information to assure you bring at least something that will work for that particular body of water. There are general go-to flies for any particular region but different bodies have different eco systems and might support certain insects better than others. But don't forget that in some cases insect hatches who's numbers fail in comparison to others of the same river might still be favored 10 to 1. This is called selective feeding. And it is MADDENING!
There are literally hundreds of different patterns and you just can't carry them all, so it's best to determine what you need for each individual trip.

When you finally do show up at your destination, before your boots hit the water you should look around.
Are there any insects in the air?
Are there any floating on the water?
Are there any trout rising?
I know it's hard to not just start fishing but five or ten minutes of prudent observation can pay off big.

You might see bugs in the air but not see any trout rising.
This could mean several things. One possibility would be that they simply aren't feeding on anything that lands on the water, although they could still be targeting that same insect just at a different stage of it's hatch. Whether it be the cased nymph under rocks at the bottom of the river, the larva form as it exist that protection and floats to the surface, what they call the "emerger". That is the stage where they have reached the surface of the water and are trying to get out of their casing and emerge as a full blow flying insect that you would see flying around and either landing on the water to deposit eggs or tapping the surface repeatedly, also laying eggs.
Trout eat them all but one stage they do love is the emerger stage. The reason being is that when the insect is trying to break free of it's casing and fly off it's trapped. Flat trapped. Not only by the casing itself but also by the super thin film that sits on the surface of the water used by skippers, spiders, mayflies and every other insect that interacts with the surface. This film is what prevents them from falling through and makes it a trial for anything trying get out from the bottom.

You might find many bugs flying around while trout are rising. Are they making a decent splash, exposing half of their body or are they just sticking their nose through the surface and hardly making any effort at all? If they are making a big commotion they most likely are going after insects that have hatched completely and need to rise violently like this in order to get them before they fly off.
If they are being real slow and quiet they most likely are "sipping" emergers off the surface and don't need to be so aggressive because as I said before the emergers are trapped.
If you see fish rising pay attention to how they are rising. There could be gobs flying around while you see fish rising, tie on whatever you see in the air and get nothing while the fish are still rising all around you. If you had stopped and looked a little closer you might have found that the fish weren't rising violently for the airborn insects but instead rather calmly for the same insect in it's emerger stage.
One of the reasons fish select different insects and different stages like this is because every attempt they make to take in food costs them energy. If they burn more energy than they get from what they are feeding on they simply won't survive. And don't leave out insects that could have been blown into the river by the wind. These might be beetles, ants, bees, caterpillars, spiders etc. If it's windy and there are a lot of trees or timber right on the edge of the water ants and spiders can get great results.

If you see no insects flying, none dead on the surface, and I would hope no fish rising (;)) you need to fish subsurface nymphs. The same rules apply as to what you should do to find what you need before you get there, the nymph is just another stage of an insects life. However, there are some other options for fishing subsurface that can produce great results. Such as minnow variations, leeches, and beetle larva. One my personal favorites are damslefly and dragonfly nymphs. Sometimes I will fish those no matter what is going on. They are detailed, fat and slow.
A lot of people shy away from nymph fishing because it's a lot harder to detect a strike. It just takes practice and a good strike indicator.

As far as presentation goes this applies to how the insect you chose is acting at the time. On the surface and below, there are two major catagories: Drag and no drag. If the insect is just landing sitting for a while and flying off you need to make sure your fly sits motionless on the water and creates no ripple or disruption on the surface. This is where practicing your "mend" can be very worthwhile. Some skate around on the top so mimic this as well, but don't be afraid to experiment trying to trigger a strike. The same goes for sub-surface.

I linked you up with a search for dominate patterns during February in Oregon. It's pretty cold so the hatches tend to slow down so don't be afraid to use an "attractor". Like a small steelhead streamer or something of that sort. Same idea as using a spinner on a spinner rod. Take the time to do things like google information about the particular insects this site claims are active around now. Check out some YouTube videos. And go to your local fly shop. They will almost certainly have an erasure board with all the hatches for all the rivers and lakes on the wall.

Since it's your first trip out and it's the middle of February, I would focus on nymphs.

Do you have any questions about leaders, wading, casting or anything else? If I think of something critical I left out I'll post it.

Good luck!!!
 
R

redhawk50

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Yah what he said :)
I agree, when in doubt or in new water go with buggers or basic nymph patterns. I really like the Prince Nymph as a general pattern and it can be tied big or small. I often start small and if it catches fish get bigger to try to catch bigger fish.
 
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GraphiteZen

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:D:D:D Yeah, you're right I forgot it was February when I started but he asked I leave nothing out!! There should still be some useful stuff in there though.
 
A

ArcticAmoeba

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If you go, and don't have a few misskeeters, and ant patterns, you will shoot yourself in the foot. Everywhere in Oregon has them pretty much year round, and I can hook fair sized trout at a few stillwaters near my house on ants, or these weird mosquitos with crystal flash wings. These are generally a dry presentation, although I do fish the ants wet quite often. usually they don't get past the first foot of sink for any type of retrieve. Who doesn't like watching fish rise to your bugs?
 
Irishrover

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Well you're getting some good advise from Fishfinger, Zen, AA, and Redhawk. If I'm hitting new water I alway like to bring along the woolybuggers (my favorite is green) and for sure the prince nynph like Redhawk said. If you are going to get into flyfishing as another tool to catch fish there are a couple of good books to get. They have been recommended here before but are worth mentioning again. Number one on my list is Curtis Creek Manifesto one funny but great book. The other is Fly Fishing Basics by David Hughes. These book will answer a lot of questions and speed up your fly fishing skill and knowledge.:)
 
Last edited:
F

fishudedmeet

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how?

how?

how do i fish a woolly bugger? twtch and sit?
 
G

GraphiteZen

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Pretty much anyway you want to. When fishing attractor patterns you can do anything you want to entice a strike as it doesn't really represent anything except maybe a leach.

Try this. First cast just let it bop along on it's own.
Second cast let it run down for a few feet then pull it back a few feet then down a few feet and back a few feet.
Third cast pull it back up to you in fast 3 or 4 inch strips. Just zip zip zip zip zip zip.
Fourth cast mix it up any variation of those and whatever else you can think of. If you get a hit stick to whatever retrieve you got the hit on. If you don't get another in 5 or 10 minutes start switching it up again.
 
C

Catch 22

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The essentials of any river trout box for year round fishing:

-Nymph fishing with or without an indicator-
Beadhead Prince Nymph
Flash Back
Copper John
Hare's Ear

-As the weather warms up add in some dry flies-
Adams
Mosquito
Ants
Etc. There's a ton.......

Right now, I would dead drift nymphs. Fish them like you would drift bait.
 
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Catch 22

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Also, in my 25 years of flyfishing I've never found bigger flies to catch bigger fish. In fact the opposite. It's the young juvenile fish that are dumb enough to attack everything. Bigger fish are the educated ones that need a little more finesse and presentation. They don't get big by being dumb. I use what is working. If a size 12 is working, I wouldn't size up. But ??
 
R

redhawk50

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I tend to size up when all I am getting is hand size or smaller fish while nymphing and I think there are bigger fish in the area that are not beating the tiny ones to the fly. I have also caught big fish with small flies and small fish with big flies. I just sometimes get the big fish urge.
 
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Catch 22

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I tend to size up when all I am getting is hand size or smaller fish while nymphing and I think there are bigger fish in the area that are not beating the tiny ones to the fly. I have also caught big fish with small flies and small fish with big flies. I just sometimes get the big fish urge.

Not to bicker about it, but I would argue that it's where you're casting to not what you're casting that is hindering the size of your quarry.

I would say that you have found a spot that juvenile trout are resting and should look for a place that a brute would rest. Like an undercut bank or behind a boulder.

All I'm saying if something is working for dumb fish, throwing something bigger and scarier isn't necessarily the answer. I would even argue that downsizing may be the answer to getting a response from an educated and wary adult fish.

You may be able to prove me wrong, but the odds I believe are in my favor. ;)

Google "Brian Chan Chironomid" if you want to see someone catch bruisers on size 24 hooks all day long. He is a genius and defies the bigger is better theory as well as it can be done.

This is just my opinion based on my own experiences.
Your results may vary slightly.

Jason
 
O

Outdrsmn

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Flies i always have in my box for winter....

Prince nymph
Wooley bugger
Hares ear
possie bugger
Adams
Blue winged olive


I have never fished the stream you are talking about, but if i was fishing the mckenzie this time of year it would be a prince nymph and possie bugger show.
 
F

fishudedmeet

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thank you all

thank you all

thatnk you for all the info guys! :)
 
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redhawk50

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OK so as I was thinking about this and it is fun healthy debate and I am enjoying it. Do you think it has anything to do with native vs. stocker fish with the size of the fly? Because they are use to the pellets or whatever feed they are given?
 
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Outdrsmn

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if youre not catching decent sized natives your not matching the size or hatch correctly.
 
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Catch 22

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OK so as I was thinking about this and it is fun healthy debate and I am enjoying it. Do you think it has anything to do with native vs. stocker fish with the size of the fly? Because they are use to the pellets or whatever feed they are given?

I haven't really had much experience flyfishing for hatchery trout. To be honest, I'm not even sure where they still stock trout in any rivers or streams. I don't really fish lakes or reservoirs too much.

If you had a pet snake, you would start it off with baby mice until one day you could feed it rabbits. Trout aren't really like that though even though we think they should be. Chan says that he will find up to 1500 larvae in a trout's stomach and that they eat that much in a single morning.

They don't really act like we do. They don't put on their boots and go hunting. They are sitting there hunting all day, just sipping in bugs.
 
R

redhawk50

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McKenzie River is stocked with hatchery trout. And I agree that you need to match the hatch to catch big fish or any fish for that matter that is a given. I think this is the nice thing about fishing is that it allows each angler to have their own ideas and ways to catch fish. I have caught fish when people told me I am crazy to be tying on fly I was and I am sure I have thought or said people were crazy to be using what they are using and then watch them catch fish. Even better, the situation changes on each body of water that you fish. Which is why I love fly fishing, or fishing in general. Good discussion and I hope we all catch fish and if some of them are big cool. Also as a lot of people or some famous person has said "that is why it is called fishing not catching" anybody know who did say that first?
 
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FishFinger

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OK so as I was thinking about this and it is fun healthy debate and I am enjoying it. Do you think it has anything to do with native vs. stocker fish with the size of the fly? Because they are use to the pellets or whatever feed they are given?

Perhaps 25 years ago or so I would tie up # 10 brown woolly buggers by the dozens for trips to the Warms springs river. The Chef I apprenticed with and I would head out to slay the hatchery fatties with them. Being pen raised I doubt leaches were a staple to their diet. I began to fondly refer to them as "Pellet Flies"
 

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