Driftless Trout Anglers

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#11 Posted : Tuesday, January 22, 2019 3:06:59 PM(UTC)
Rank: Stone Fly

Joined: 9/19/2015(UTC)
Posts: 521
Location: La Crosse, WI

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Originally Posted by: JGF Go to Quoted Post
To echo others, woolly buggers are great. They catch fish and for learning to tie flies, they're large, you learn a lot of good techniques, and there are about a billion variations on them. I'm not much for patterns - I look at it like cooking - add a bit of what you like and what goes together.

My biggest piece of advice when learning to tie is to learn techniques that you'll apply to other flies and think about proportion as you're tying. WB's are great as you can mess around with different body techniques and weighting of the flies. You can also play around with proportions a bit and see how they look and work differently in the water.

One of the most intimidating part of fly tying is working down to smaller flies. Tie a Griffith's Gnat or an Elk Hair Caddis - basically WB's without tails and with a wing for an EHC - in 12's or so for a bit and work down to more typical fishable sizes.

A few other things I'd learn to tie: simple scuds - no need for all the bells and whistles but a good shaggy body with some weight will catch fish (and teach you to loop dub), Hares-ear and PT type nymphs, Zebra midges (size is challenging but they're simple), and after a bit, a few other dry flies like stimulators (If you can tie an EHC, you can tie a stimmie), start with wingless mayflies, work toward adding wings, etc.

Great suggestion on the Elk Hair Caddis. It's not too complicated to tie, but it really works well here in the Driftless. That is my go to dry fly (#14 and #16 sizes).

The stimulator is a fun one to tie. Gets a little tricky, but when you finally do a good one, it feels like a major accomplishment.

Curt Rees
Coulee Region Trout Unlimited
Catch fish, have a good time, protect the resource.
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