Hi guys, I have had numerous flies purchased for me this year and unfortunately I have no clue what any of them are and I was wondering if there was an online catalog available or anyone here could identify them if I uploaded pictures?
I am currently going through the Orvis summer catalog as I type but the going is slow.
Okay, I believe that I have correctly identified seven types: Griffiths Gnat, Renegade, Crystal Stimulator Kaufman, Nuclear egg, Amy's Ant, San Juan Worm and the Bead Head Crystal Bugger. These are in the first two pictures if I have made a mistake then please feel free to let me know.
The third picture I believe are various sizes of red and green copper johns-- again if I am incorrect then I would love to know. NB: At the bottom of the picture you can see one that is a much darker green-- is this also the same?
All files in the following pictures I am completely unsure of and any help would be greatly appreciated.
The next two pictures are I believe all the same fly but in various sizes, however there are three differences in them: some have distinct white streaks with a beige textured body, while others are different shades of brown with a slim body. The third has the white stripes, with a touch of orange were it is tied and a black tail with a medium sized tan body.
Next we have these, (I apologize for the clarity of the picture, my camera doesn't like taking pictures of flies) the larger flies are in two colors: a yellow body and a green. The latter has a yellow head and orange tip, while the former has an all orange head. I also have a smaller one with a green body and yellow head with an orange top.
The smaller flies have black heads and white bodies and appear almost cocoon like.
This picture is also unclear, mainly because there isn't much for the camera to focus on: the bodies are olive color and the rest is various shades of white and tan. The very top one, as a distinct white point of hair and what appears to be a yellow tail.
Next are these: come in two colors, red and green, the wings appear to be folded on top of the body.
The next five pictures I feel are clear enough not to warrant a description
After some checking, there are: 6 Adams, 2 Adams Humpy, 2 Green Humpy, 3 Red Humpy, 3 Lava Caddies, 4 Bead Head Bread Crusts, 2 Bead Head Tunghead Prince and 2 Bead head Hare's ear in the above pictures.
There are still a few which I am unsure of and better pictures of them are below:
These two appear the same, but the tails are certainly different
Again, the next four two flies are slightly different (2 pictures of each)
-Bead Head Crystal Bugger
-Bead Head Black Wooly Bugger- Buggers are great flies to fish, especially in deeper water stretches of streams like pools, and in off colored and or high water. They’re also a good fly for lakes and ponds when you want to get deep. A good bass pattern as well as trout.
-Foam grasshopper/stonefly- Great summer time pattern for hoppers, and for when large stoneflies are around. Would be a good topwater bass pattern too.
-Copper Johns- various colors. These can be fished by themselves, under an indicator, or a very effective way to fish them is off the bend of a large dry fly like the foam hopper or Stimulator. Just tie a short 12” length of tippet to the bend of a large dry fly with an improved clinch, and the copper John on the end of the tippet. (Hopper/ Copper) Some folks even tie a smaller nymph off the Copper John (Hopper/Copper/Dropper) to fish 3 flies at once.
-Adams, top left with black and white wings (grizzly) This imitates a lot of dull colored mayflies and is a good pattern anywhere in the US.
-Divided White hair wings with lots of hackle are “Wulffs” which is a style of dry fly, they come in a lot of colors, these look like Brown Wulffs, and maybe an Ausable Wulff (with orange thread head). These are very effective fast water patterns.
-Stimulators- As RipTide said, very good stonefly imitation as well as a fast water searching pattern. In slow water stretches you can skitter it across the surface.
-Caddis Larva- these are often good fished in riffles or just below them.
-The pic isn’t too clear, but these look like they’re tied with an extended body, so based on where you are in CO, I’d guess these are Western Green Drakes. WGD’s are a big hatch in CO and go all through the summer on a lot of streams. The one with the white wing post on top is tied “Parachute” style with the hackle wrapped around the single wing post like a helicopter instead of around the shank like an airplane propeller). Parachute patterns lie flush in the film and are a good choice for slow water and come in many flavors: Parachute blue Wing Olives, Parachute Adams etc.
Humpies- good fast water trout pattern, it floats like a cork. Good for panfish like bluegills too.
8th and 9th
Bead Head Nymphs- hard to tell what pattern
Royal Coachman. Interesting factoid – the “Royal” refers to the peacock herl/red floss/peacock herl body, and you’ll find a lot of flies with that color scheme like Royal Wulff, and different wet and streamer flies, as well as “Coachmen” with a body of just peacock herl like a Leadwing Coachman wet (with gray wings and peacock herl Body and brown soft hackle). The “Royal” allegedly refers to the British King/Queen’s coachmen’s green/red/green uniforms.
Bead Head Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear- looks like a lot of mayfly nymphs and cased caddis larva. Another classic, good all over the world for trout.
All Bead head Nymphs
Looks like Black Stonefly Nymphs on left, a good fly for riffles all year, and a great fly for Early Black Brown Stones which hatch in the winter, probably around Jan-March
Prince Nymph- with brown tails and white biot slip wings on upper right
Lower right- not sure, but a close enough to a bead head Gold Ribbed Hares Ear
You have a very good all around assortment. Down the road, if you look to add a few patterns, you might want to pick up some:
-caddis dry flies Elk Hair Caddis, or CDC and Elk if you can find them (Tan 14-16, Black or dark gray 12 and 18) or Hope this helps.
-Green Emergent Sparkle Pupa- a wet fly that you cast down and across and swing in current. A great searching fly and easy to fish, and a good fly to use when you see a caddis hatch but nothing is hitting your dry (That can happen a lot).
-PMD Sparkle Dun (Pale Morning Dun) 16-18 – This is a major hatch in many rivers and streams in CO, and this is a great pattern with a light color body that can double for a lot of other light colored mayflies you my run into.
-Muddler Minnow- a classic sculpin minnow pattern, a great fly to fish, and hard to fish wrong. You can even drop it back downstream and fish by steering it through holding lies by swinging your rod around. (I use this to help kids or newbies that can’t cast). In a pinch you can also add some fly floatant and fish on the surface for a grasshopper. Size 8 would be good choice, but any size you get would be fine
Just read this post for the first time. Dats a lot o flies.
One thing I can say for sure, in pic 2 the flies on the right are Amy's Ant a Jack Dennis concoction and all around great attrator. Mui Bueno for copper dropper rigs on the South Platte.
6th pic Irresistible (it looks like these have a spun and trimmed deer hair body). Like the Wulffs these are great for fast water. A great panfish pattern too.
7th and 8th pic- These look like Parachute Emergers designed to float in the film. By the size, these look like they were tied for Green Drakes? A very effective fly for that hatch. The bushy tail looks like the shuck (nymphal case the dun emerges from) and is designed to imitate the stage where the dun is crawling out of it’s nymph case and the wings are starting to pop out.
9th and 10th pics This is a Western Green Drake "dun" pattern tied with an "extended body" sticking past the bend, and "parachute style" with hackle wound around the wing post. This imitates the stage just after the emerger when the “dun” has emerged, wings are up, and it's riding on top of the water. The extended body is used to imitate the long length of the natural wthout the need for a long shank hook- it's lighter with less wire and floats better than a long shanked hook.
11th and 12th Beadhead stone fly nymph similar to a Copper John. (The 2 biot tails indicate a stonefly nymph)
13th and 14th another stonefly pattern, this could also be used in caddis hatches—Though caddis don’t have tails, it looks like an emerging caddis pupa too and would be good to swing through or just below riffles.
15th - 18th pics black and brown stonefly nymphs. Great all year especially early winter when Early Black and Early Brown Stones are active. These are tied “flash back” style like a Copper John, and are basically the same pattern tied with black and brown instead of copper wire.
19 and 20 -Pheasant Tail Nymphs, (one with bead head) These are a good generic mayfly nymph that imitates the nymphs of Blue Wing Olives and a mess of other small thin mayfly nymphs
Hope this helps, you've got a great fly selection for CO "freestone" streams which tend to have a lot of fast water (you have great dry flies for that like the Wulffs, Irresistibles and Humpies), and lots of stone flies (a good place for your wire Copper John type nymphs and Stimulator dries.)
Thank you Mark and Rip-Tide for all of your help and of course your time. I had no idea that I had accumulated almost a hundred flies and nearly thirty different types-- it was even worse that I had no idea what 90% of them were, thank you guys for setting that straight.
Also, after a bit of research it appears that I do not have any PMDs or Elk Hair Caddis which seem to be two of the major flies for use in Colorado. I know that you, Mark, also mentioned purchasing some Muddler Minnow and Green Emergent Sparkle Pupa above-- are there any more major/important flies which I should consider for general trout fishing here in Colorado?
Thank you once again for you help, it is much appreciated.
You've got a really good box for Colorado. If you wanted to build on it a bit, the best thing to do would be to try and zero in on the hatches in the waters you fish. Here's a link with some hatch charts for a bunch of rivers in CO.
Rivers and streams will have different "profiles", depending on their source of water, and gradient (steepness).
To generalize a bit, in general:
"Freestone" streams are fed by run off and snow melt. They tend to be fast, and not as prolific as other types of streams, especially in headwaters where they tend to be steepest. You'll find a lot of stoneflies and caddis in these streams. A lot of your dry flies like Wulffs, Stimulators and Caddis imitations are good bets, since they're fast water, trout don't get to look them over too long before they zoom by, and since the streams tend not to be as productive, fish are eager to grab what they can as opposed to being super selective. Your heavily weighted nymphs would be good here too.
"Tailraces" fed by dams, at least in the upper sections closest to the dams can be very productive. Midges, and other small flies are often very important, and locally patterns like Mysis Shrimp can be very important.
Spring Creeks, and to some extent larger rivers in lower elevations with flatter gradients can have a lot of slower water stretches where presentation and "hatch specific" flies become more important. Flies that float in the film (Parachutes, Sparkle Duns) and stuff like emerger patterns for hatches like the Western Green Drake become more important as the fish have more time to look them over, and the water is generally more productive. In some stretches you may have large hatches of really small stuff like Tricos, and midges.
But in general, if wanted to add some flies for an all around CO box, I'd add some:
-PMD Sparkle Dun (major hatch in CO)
-Caddis dries (CDC and Elk would be great and are EXTREMELY effective), Fluttering Caddis or Elk Hair Caddis in sizes and colors recommended for your local water and time you plan to fish. Caddis have a more slanted wing profile than the upright wings of the mayfly patterns you have. They are all over the west, and would be good to have.
Lafontaines Emergent Sparkle Pupae, bright green would be a good color choice. This is a great searching fly when nothing is going on on top, and often during caddis hatches as well.
-Red Quills 16-18 (another major mayfly hatch in CO)
-Zebra Midges (or small brassies etc) 20-22 to imitate the many small midge pupae/larvae in many rivers. Often most effective fished as a dropper off a dry fly. These can also be very good in lakes.
-a few more Western Green Drake emergers if the rivers you fish have this hatch.
-Callibaetis dries if you fish lakes a lot. If you only fish them once in awhile use an Adams dry and a pheasant tail nymph dropper. This is a mayfly that hatches out on still or very slow water throughout the West.
Muddlers- Sculpins are a major food source, so it pays to have a couple of patterns that imitate them. They're one of those flies that's tough to fish wrong.
Other streamers for off colored or high water, and big fish like Browns that tend to be carnivorous. Take your pick of big black stuff like Marabou Muddlers, Zonkers etc. Along with your buggers are all very good patterns to have to round out your arsenal. Good for pools, lakes, deep water below dams, and ripped along undercut stream banks. Fished with a sinktip these can be deadly, and can get really slammed by big fish. A great October strategy for big browns moving to spawning grounds in rivers.
There are a bazillion options, and you can go crazy with patterns. I don't mean to suggest that you should buy all of this stuff, but just to give you some suggestions to think about. I would zero in on the water you plan to fish in the next month or so based on hatch charts or better the advice of a local shop, and take it from there. If you took in your fly boxes, they could suggest some stuff to fill in any holes based on water and time of year.