Re: Identifying fly patterns
Hey Mike, I'm still pretty new to fly fishing and choosing patterns is sometimes hard. It gets even worse when you have a pattern you really like and you just want to stick with it, even when its not working and you're just being stubborn.
First of all, are you familiar with what a "rise" is? When a fish is coming to the surface to feed? When you see these, especially in quantity, you may want to start using a dry. The best way to pick WHAT dry to use is to see what is floating in the water, or what you see flying around. The more you fish, the more you'll learn here, but reading helps too. As far as wet flies/streamers, you certainly can't really go wrong with buggers, just have darks and lights, and of course, the usual olive! Nymphs can be very very useful but I'm just now learning them myself. However, you can't really go wrong with the favorites, copper johns, prince nymphs, pheasant tails, etc.
You can also always rely on turning over rocks and looking in the underwater grasses. The other day while fishing a spring creek I checked some underwater grass and found a bunch of scuds and aquatic worms (basically tiny san juans is what they looked like), which probably explained why scuds were working.
Keep following this forum, and I guarantee you'll learn more! THis forum, along with fishing buddies, is my main source of information, but I also read magazines and some books.
Working out a way to convince my university to allow me to hold my TA office hours on the nearby creek...