when to use different fly patterns

When to Use Different Fly Patterns

So, you've gotten to the river and don't know what to toss? Look no further! This blog post will cover key aspects about each category of fly that you will most commonly encounter in your fly box, and when to use them.

Dry Flies

Dry flies are best used when the water is relatively calm and the fish are visible and can be targeted. Dry flies are designed to float on the surface of the water and imitate a live (or dead) insect, so they are most effective when the fish are surfacing (breaking through the waters surface to eat floating insects). It always helps to wear polarized sunglasses to see them through the water. When fishing with dry flies, it's important to cast accurately and use light tippets to ensure a natural presentation.


Nymph patterns are a great way to fish in the spring and fall months, when the water temperatures are colder. In the spring, nymphs are usually the first insects to emerge and become active. In the fall, nymphs are often the last insects to hatch before winter sets in. Fish tend to feed heavily on nymphs during these months due to the abundance of food. Nymphs can be especially effective when the water is low and clear. You can also use nymphs during the summer months, especially during the midday hours when the sun is the hottest.


Streamers are most effective when fished in cold, murky waters. Generally speaking, the colder the water, the more effective streamers will be. For optimal results, try fishing streamers in the early morning or late evening when the water is at its coldest. Additionally, streamers are great for targeting fish in deeper, slower-moving waters. Personally, I will fish other patterns like dries or nymphs, especially in streams, before fishing a big streamer to avoid scaring the fish away from that spot.


Fishing terrestrial patterns is a great way to target trout and bass during the warm months when the fish are actively feeding on land-based insects. The best time to fish terrestrial patterns is during the summer months, when the temperatures are warm and the insect hatches are heaviest. During this time, you should focus your efforts on the afternoon and evening hours when the sun is lower in the sky and the insects are most active. Be sure to pay close attention to the water levels and the current conditions, as the fish may be more or less active depending on the conditions. Lastly, don't forget to bring a variety of terrestrial patterns, as the fish may respond differently to different patterns depending on the day.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog post! Have any questions? Feel free to reach out here!  Contact Me

Tight Lines!



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