Just What Are Flies Anyway? 

When I first started fishing, guides and friends would talk about different flies, patterns, etc. and I felt like I was listening to a foreign language. Hopefully this article will simplify this to some degree. There are basically 3 types of flies and within those categories, there are countless flies with often eclectic and sometimes downright funny names. Most flies are designed to most closely resemble and imitate something a trout would eat; whether it is an aquatic insect, a bait fish, or a terrestrial insect. These are the three main types of flies.

1) Nymphs – Nymphs are designed to most closely resemble immature forms of aquatic insects and small crustaceans. Nymphs are fished subsurface and can be really small so it often helps to have an indicator on the line so you can see the “tug” of the fish. An indicator is usually orange, white or a combination of both that floats on the top of the water. The Purple Prince nymph is one of my personal favorites.

2) Dry Flies – A Dry fly is designed to be buoyant, or to float on the surface of the water. Dry flies typically represent the adult form of an aquatic or terrestrial insect compared with the nymphs who resemble immature forms. One of the greatest things about fishing with a dry fly is that you get to see the fish rise to take the fly. One of the dry flies often used in Western North Carolina is the Royal Wulff.

3) Streamers- A Streamer is designed to resemble some form of bait fish or other large aquatic prey. Streamers may be patterned after both freshwater and saltwater prey species. Streamers are a very large and diverse category of flies as they are effective for almost any type of fish. When fishing with streamers, you let the streamer sink in the water and then gently tug it across to emulate what would be natural movement. Streamers are loads of fun to fish with – here is an example called a Woolly Bugger.

If you are not certain what flies work best, CWO offers pre-packaged kits which will make your day go smoothly and allow you to adjust to various conditions.  ~ Kristen