Our Man In Canada
October 9th, 2000
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Where To Start Fly Fishing
When Away From Home - Part 3

By Gerry Frederick

The Flies

The flies you choose are up to you. If you have experience fly fishing in the Rockies you may already have a comprehensive fly selection to start with. Every experienced fly fisher of course has his or her favorite fly patterns. These are usually flies that they have a good history with and have learned how to fish. Have confidence in the flies you choose. Don't add too many unfamilair flies to your box too quickly. Learn what each fly imitates and how to fish it; what depth and speed it should have in the water.

The Pheasant Tail Nymph and other popular common nymphs like stone's and caddis nymphs catch trout all the time. Trust them, they work all over the world. In the waters of the Rocky Mountains these flies and a few more old standbys will catch fish if the fish are there and the fly is presented the way they want it.

Here are my fly suggestions. I feel these few flies in a variety of colors and sizes make up a great selection. Six flies in four sizes made up in three colors offer the fly fisher 72 flies, a good place to start.

  • Pheasant Trial (with or without Beadhead) sizes 10 -18

  • Hares Ear (with or without Beadhead) sizes 10 - 18

  • Beadhead Prince - sizes 8 - 16

  • Heavy Stone (Black, tan, olive, yellow) sizes 4 - 10

  • Latex Caddis (Tan, olive, rusty brown) sizes 8 - 14

  • Chironomid (Black, green, brown, red) sizes 10 - 18

Remember to keep it simple. Make it easy on yourself and easy on the fish. Trout, certainly Rocky Mountain trout, are not as picky as you may think. All trout are opportunistic feeders. They will feed on what ever looks and acts like food. Sure enough they have their picky periods. That's when we need to get serious. Stay with the fundamentals and fish the flies in the box properly. Look forward to those challenging days. Beginners will have more than their share of picky fish. Conquering tough days on the water is very rewarding. More so when fishing away from home. A good days fly fishing in new waters, perhaps using a different technique or fly only adds to the life experience. Fishing abilities can only grow with experience.

Other chapters in this book will help with more details and suggestions. Fly fishing offers a large array of methods and gear. After a good fundamental start it is fun to try something new. Once the fly fisher has a good understanding of nymph fishing the natural progression is to dry fly. Top water is fun, some fly fishers believe it's the only way to go. The truth is it's not always the most productive.

Angling in the Shadow of the Rockies

It is widely believed that trout feed under the surface 80% or more of the time. That's why nymphs are a good place to start. They are also a lot easier to fish and learn. Trout are a little more willing and less selective under the surface. Cutthroat trout are the most gullible of all, and the Rockies are full of them. If you're lucky enough to fly fish the Rockies you'll learn quickly what works. Get prepared, steal all the hot information you can and remeber to K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid. You'll have a great time and whatever your level of experience you'll learn something. ~ Gerry Frederick

Credits: From Angling in the Shadows of the Rockies by Jeff Mironuck. We thank Frank Amato Publications, Inc. for use permission!

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