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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...

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Old 04-25-2012, 10:30 PM
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Default Re: convince me that small flies work

This fat cutty my boss caught on April 7th. These fish were all sipping along the bank just barely making a ripple. It took a size 18 BWO on 6x.

Click the image to open in full size.

So yes there are times when small little flies are the thing that works. By the way this was caught on the Snake River in Jackson not some tiny spring creek.
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:40 PM
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Default Re: convince me that small flies work

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

tailwater mysis #16 or 18?
A #22 black snow midge got me a few good browns last winter in town.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:43 AM
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Default Re: convince me that small flies work

Take a look at Bob Jacklin's fish of a lifetime
Taken on a size 18 baetis dun. I heard him describe the encounter in person at a banquet. He kept the fish for reasons that he explained made sense, and after opening him up found a 10" rainbow undigested.
Go figure!

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Old 04-26-2012, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: convince me that small flies work

LOL I'm learning about small flies this spring; salmon fishing I don't go with much smaller than #8 so I thought I had a crazy small fly on last week going after some 2lb brookies. I found out it was size 16 when I thought I was fishing size 22s! Now tonight I have some true enough size 20s to try and I can't imagine a size 32!
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: convince me that small flies work

I regularly fish size 20s and 22s and I certainly can't imagine a 32. That's almost too small to straighten! Can we get a shot for comparison?
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:22 PM
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Default Re: convince me that small flies work

I have no proof to provide so you're going to have to take my word for it. I have landed GL run Steelhead on #18 nymphs when the streams get low and clear and fish get spooky. Plenty of trout have been brought to hand in freestoners and spring creeks on #18-22 mostly for nymphs and occasionally something in the #22-26 range for midges.

Like WT said, all depends on the river's ecology, time of year, and various other circumstances. The thing to do next time you are out is to turn over some rocks on those streams you're fishing and look for the insects. I have caught a lot of trout on the Zebra midge and variants of it in size 20 or 22.

One more thing to add, don't discount slim bodied flies either. The slim profile really helps get the fly down. You can play around with shorter shank hooks that have larger hook gaps. The TMC 921 hook that I have been using to tie my Two Bits with for example, has a smaller shank on a larger hook gap. Fish LOVE that fly in a #16. The #18 doesn't do too bad either.
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: convince me that small flies work

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Originally Posted by gatortransplant View Post
I regularly fish size 20s and 22s and I certainly can't imagine a 32. That's almost too small to straighten! Can we get a shot for comparison?
I've seen them in person...they were given to me as a joke, gag gift! I've since misplaced them or I would get you a picture of a size 32 hook beside a size 20 griffith gnat....it is awfully ridiculous. A size 32 is about the size of the barb on a size 12. I don't understand the mechanics of the whole situation, how does a fish even get hooked on the size 26 and smaller hooks??? I don't see how that the hook could grab enough flesh to hold onto.
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: convince me that small flies work

It would be interesting to know if anyone actually fishes 32s...anyone out there?
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: convince me that small flies work

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Originally Posted by wannafish View Post
It would be interesting to know if anyone actually fishes 32s...anyone out there?
What would you be fishing for with a size 32 fly? I think you could catch a decent sized caddis on it!
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: convince me that small flies work

Big fish love small DRY flies 18-24, as long as you can see the fly. My favorite is a dry Adams or a Mayfly
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