I must ask whats everyone's favorite dry fly? Now we all are going to have different opinions but... What id really like to know is how does your favorite fly work in different states,regions, country?????
Now Unfortunately i'm stilll young , and havent been able to fish all over yet... But I do know washington rivers and streams. And thank God Ive been fortunate enough to fish Montana.
The best flies ive used in washington by far. My first, Royal wulff, extremely consistent. I've had more luck with the wulff than any other in washington state, from the east side, to the west. This fly by far has out performed and caught more fish than any other fly I've used. Now this was my favorite Dry fly until, well last summer 2012.
I moved from Vancouver Washington, to Yakima WA, and well it was different! I went from Beastly rainy weather, to well SUN!! I was so stoked and couldn't wait for June 1st. I live 50 feet from the naches river, and it seemed fishy as hell.
Well June first came i walked out on the river, maybe a lil overconfident. Put my royal wulff on, and nothing. I fished and fished. Nothing okay maybe not today, i tried ever dry fly in my box and couldn't get a hit. Well i came to this fly, and i don't ever remember seeing this fly before and well it looked just like the wulff so i went with it, The red humpy. Wow i couldn't have been on my third cast when a big bow caught wind and hit it like no other bow I've landed before. It was on I was so stoke and happy my first fish of the year. Now the Red Humpy was on my list of flies to use.
Now I began exploring right away and fished everywhere i could find, And always put the wulff on first. Now this fly was still great i guess it just had a bad day, But the Humpy was always on my mind and i had to put her on right when action starter getting slow. And it seemed like it always picked up. No other dry fly in my box has out performed the red humpy in one season.
I've been able to fish many of the famous hatchs' in various regions of the country and there are a few patterns that seem to work everywhere I ever cast them. Adams, Light Cahill, Grey Fox, (you just change dubbing to make the fox into brown drakes and etc. very versatile pattern) Little Blue Quill, are a couple I don't go without if dry fly fishing. The Blue Quill is always #18 or 20, and fished no matter what's on the water. Most places with healthy May Fly populations have the Batis (blue wing olive) the Blue Quill will do for almost all of them.
For caddis; if they have slate or brown wings I like the Heneryville Caddis. It's another that you just change body color and have the game covered. Brook Trout = Elk Hair Caddis & Bi Visible and you're good to go there.
For Montana in late june early July, don't forget your 'Sofa Pillow' (salmon fly patterns)
You may like this thread; A Thread for the Dry Fly Purist; a couple people posted some flies, unfortunately one of them must have deleted them from the host because they are no longer there. I put a few on page #7 and there may be more I forgot about.
One of these days I'll make a new dry fly thread and load it up with the old school patterns.......
Haven't heard anyone use, Henryville in a while.. the old number one tent wing. I love that fly.
If I had to choose only one and I needed to catch fish...BWO.
I kinda lump small dries into a different category though. If a fish will take a caddis, it will maybe take a sally or a drake....if a fish will take a wulf it will maybe eat an elk hair or an irresistible...
But when fish are keying on small dries its a bit of a different game.
I always carry lots of similar looking wulff patterns. I like the calf-tail wings because I can pick them up easier on the water. Here in North Carolina, the body colors can vary from grey, orange, yellow, neon green, etc. to the limit of one's imagination. However, the Royal Wulff.......size 14, (or the Royal Humpy, for that matter), and the Elk Hair Caddis will always have a special place in the flybox.
I would have to say if I had one fly right now in the Rockies it's a "modified sparkling dun". Tied in different sizes and colors. Good low riding mayfly emerger. I like to tie them kinda sloppy but they really seem to work well.
I like to try different patterns, for searching for trout. Big dries are by far the most fun so in the fall its most likely a pink pookie in different colors.
Royal wulff like Lee says "its like cheese cake after a meal" I break out this fly when fish just won't take any thing else when feeding on top. Seems to always land a few fish. Kind of my last resort fly, not cause it's bad it's just that kinda fly for me. I prefer the split wing version over the parachute too. I caught my second ever greyling in a rare location on one.