Selecting the Right Fly Lure

Dry Fly Lures

Coilection of Fly Lures
photo credit: Lonnie’s Life via photopin cc

Everyone knows if you want to do a job right, it takes the right tools. When it comes to fly fishing, the most important tools you can bring to the table are the right lures. Keep reading to discover what you need to consider when selecting the right fly fishing lure.

Do Your Research

Unfortunately, there’s no one answer that makes sense across the board. The types of bugs fish eat can differ greatly from one body of water to the next, even when it’s the same exact fish you’re after.

However, you have help in things called hatch charts. These basically tell you what bugs are local to the body of water you’ll be fishing in. Some people take it a step further, though, and actually do a preliminary search of the water they’ll be fishing in. They’ll put down bug nets to see what shows up, investigate the foliage or simply sit down by the shore and observe. It might sound like a lot of work, but you won’t have any luck simply putting on any old lure.

The Most Common Patterns

Luckily, fish don’t have the best eyesight and there are three patterns of fly lures that will cover most of your bases. This doesn’t mean they’ll work all the time. Nor does it mean you shouldn’t put in some time to do the aforementioned research. However, while you’re learning about the local insects, there’s no sense in at least not trying your luck.

Dry Flies

Dry Fly Lures
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Dry flies so get their name from perching on top of the water. As such, they are lures meant to look like mayflies, stoneflies and a host of other flies that stick to the surface. A lure known as the Adams bares an amazing resemblance to the mayfly. It has a gray body with a sharp brown coat and bristly tail. This lure fits the bill for all manner of mayflies and other similar insects fish find irresistible.

Nymphs

Nymph fly lures
photo credit: Curtis Fry via photopin cc

While Dry Flies are stand-ins for mature flies, nymphs are meant to look like the younger variety. These flies don’t have a problem dipping below the surface, which is why these lures are also sometimes called wet flies. If at all possible, use this lure right before a hatch or around the time water-born insects will be hatching. The pheasant tail fly lure works well here. It has a shiny body reminiscent of a young insect with a bit of a bulge at the front of the body and small bristles.

Streamers

Streamer Fly Lure
photo credit: pacres via photopin cc

When you’re on the hunt for larger fish, your best bet is to use a streamer. This lure is just like a wet fly, except it’s made to look like a smaller baitfish that bigger fish hunt. While there are countless baitfish you can choose from to imitate, minnows and leeches are the best animals to imitate for this purpose. They are common enough and hunted enough that most large fish will strike.

Get Local Advice

Another way to give yourself a better at chance at picking the right lure is simply asking the locals if you’re from out of town. Go to the nearest bait shop. That’s where you can find the necessary hatch chart, but you can also ask the proprietor what people use in that area to fly fish.

Selecting the right fly lure is an important task that can ultimately decide your success on the water. However, it might be an ongoing process. Unfortunately, just because the trout on one river go for a certain lure doesn’t mean it will be the same with trout in other rivers. Do your research, seek advice and carry those three aforementioned lures. If nothing else, they’ll help you practice your casting.

Don’t Forget to check out our Ultralight Fishing Post!

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