Friday, July 20, 2012

The Weekend 10: Best Attractor Patterns

As I prepare for next week's TU blogger tour in Yellowstone with fellow bloggers Marc Payne and Steve Zakur, I've come to realize that I'm woefully short on late-summer attractor patterns I'll need for the big adventure. That, of course, brought to mind a few hours at the vise, and while it sounds like fun, it also looks like I'm not going to have the time to actually tie.

So... off to the fly shop. Here's what's on the menu for the rainbows, browns, cutthroats and brookies of Yellowstone next week:

Parachute Royal Coachman. Delicious!
1) The Royal Coachman. This is by far my favorite attractor dry. It floats high, catches fish and manages to meet that nebulous standard of being attractive to both fish and fisherman. The peacock herl and red floss make this gaudy creation almost irresistible upon cracking the cover my fly box.

Adams. 'Nuff said.
2) The Adams. Tied to imitate nothing in particular (but I dare you to find a better March Brown option), this Michigan-born creation might be the best dry fly ever created. I've threatened to go entire summers using nothing but a box full of Adams dries ... who knows? I have a few summers ahead of me.

3) The Stimulator. This bad boy will be kept in reserve for the off chance that there'll still be stoneflies hatching and buzzing around the Lamar Valley. I'm not counting on it ... but I'm also not going to Yellowstone without it.

4) Elk-hair Caddis. No brainer. In the park, depending on the water, the time of day and, of course the weather, caddis flies hatch all the way through October. Just in case, you know?

LeTort Hopper. 
5) The LeTort Hopper. I hate tying with spun deer hair, and I greatly admire those who can pull it off without pulling their own hair out. Douse this sucker with Gink and let it fly meadow streams--you won't be disappointed. The Lamar comes to mind for this fly. I hope to see a big cutty attached to one this coming week.

6) The Irresistible. Again, spun deer hair. Ugh. But it catches and catches and catches... Agan, hat's off to the folks who tie this critter. I'm in your debt.

Orange Asher.
7) The Orange Asher. This is a very easy fly to tie--it's up there with the Woolly Bugger and Woolly Worm in the "elementary" class of flies. It's also the first dry fly I ever learned to tie, although I'd wager I've caught more fish on this fly after it's good and drenched and on the swing.

The Prince Nymph. Aptly named.
8) The Prince Nymph. In the off chance we're not seeing anything on top (or even if we are, and I'm in the mood to drop something behind that LeTort Hopper), I'll have a few these in my box next week. I like the bead-head version best, mostly because I'm not a fan of chucking weight and a fly. And because it seems to work when other nymphs don't, even in the dead of winter.

Madam X. 
9) The Madam X. This is right up there with the Royal Coachman--I'm not sure if it imitates one thing or many things, and I can see where it could be mistaken for anything from a hopper to a golden stone. But the rubber legs and white antron parachute make this fly seem bigger than it is, and that makes it easier for a set of 43-year-old eyes to see it on the water.

10) The Woolly Bugger. In a pinch, this fly will catch damn near anything. I hope to be fishing on top this trip, but if we get rain or cool weather puts the fish down a bit, I'll swing a big 'bugger under cut banks, just to see what's home. Hello? Mr. Brown? Want come out and play?


  1. I like the threat of the "Adams Summer"'d probably fair just fine.

    solid top ten for sure...makes me realize how understocked I am right now. Looks like a whiskey and vise night.

  2. With the realization, that we all carry way too many fly patterns, just in case we may need them, I still would think a fly box filled with these patterns would be hugely successful on many, many waters.

    1. I agree Mel... even some of the "graduate school" waters, like the Ranch...

  3. Well Chris, I have most of everything you mentioned as well as a few "secret weapons" that work like a charm in the water of The Perfect Drift. I have a few extras of these oddities to go around. I also am a big friend of the prince and tie one called a redneck prince that works well too. See you Tuesday!

  4. Roderick Hawg-Brown falls for Olive the Woolly Bugger. Sounds like something right out of an animated movie. Live it, Chris. Have a great time.

  5. I agree with all of these flies. I love the parachute Adams so much that I used to wear one in the lapel of my lab coat! I'd get funny looks from people almost every day!

    Tom Davis

  6. I just came back from the park. Not sure where exactly you'll be going, but the stones are coming off nicely in Canyon area of the Yellowstone river still. Many of the streams are ultra clear and the fish are ultra spooky as a result. So make sure to be ready for long leaders and downstream presentations. I didn't get over to Lamar valley, so no help there. Gardiner river is fishing well at the moment, though many of the guides are hitting that area hard at the moment.

    In any case, you'll have fun! ANd it is hot! This was the hottest I've ever been in the park.

  7. Ah hem. . . I know that this is probably the wrong place to post this, but speaking of things in Wyoming. . . and brook trout, I recently assembled this thing using this old, old, reel I had in the garage (and I think I did it incorrectly). Being too cheap to buy any new flyfishing gear, I also used an old Eagle rod I had for this.

    Now, having grown curious about it, does anybody know the story behind Pemco reels? I've never seen another one. I don't intend to use it much, and this was done for a special reason, but it's an odd thing and now I'm curious about it. Guess it makes me the worlds cheapest flyfisherman, and I'm recycling all my Dad's old, old stuff (and I don't recall him using it).