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awkwardsportsman 02-21-2013 09:38 AM

Midwest Fly Patterns Question (please dont be too upset)
Hi all!!! So I must admit that I am scared to ask for this advice but I really could use the help here. I am new to fly fishing first of all. I have been spin fishing my entire life in the northwoods of WI, but now at 27 am getting hooked on fly fishing. My problem is I am having a heck of a time deciding what flies to bring with me on my outings. I have been studying the bugs of the rivers, and looking and watching countless different patterns, and it is a bit overwhelming. So here it is:

If you could bring 5 dry flies and 5 nymphs with you to fly fish in MN and WI what would you bring. Targeting brookies, browns and bows.

I will be making a trip to a major fly shop soon and of course will ask advice there, but I like lots of opinions. So far the flash back pheasant nymph is one that I locked in.

Thank you in advance for helping out a very green fly fisherman.

williamhj 02-21-2013 09:58 AM

Re: Midwest Fly Patterns Question (please dont be too upset)
I'm sure folks who fish up there more will jump in but I wanted to say welcome and don't worry about asking for advice!

I've fished up there a few times (in-laws have a cabin) and been successful with bushy dries like humpys as well as parachute adams, and some picky trout hit soft hackles nicely! That said, it's only been July that I've fished there and only a few times for trout (usually went for bass). Depending on where you are in the northwoods of WI, talk to Bill at We Tie It Fly Shop in Boulder Junction. I've stopped in there a few times while we were out that way and he's nice and helpful.

klunker 02-21-2013 10:13 AM

Re: Midwest Fly Patterns Question (please dont be too upset)
Sounds like your going to be chasing stream trout. If I were you I'd ask a local fly shop what they recommend. I don't know what shop your going to go to but I would say this. Go to a shop that specializes in fly fishing. Don't waste your time at a Bass Pro shop or a Cabelas or some similar type place. My experiences at these type of places have been very bad. Rarely will you find an employee that is a hard core fly fisherman at these places. I had a guy at Cabelas "fly Shop" in Richfeild tell me that I need to carry at least 4 or more rods with me when I go fishing. Said he always does when hes out trolling for Walleye in Lake Winnebago.

I started out the same as you about 3 years ago. I went to Tight Lines in DePere, Tim and Charlie gave me lots of help. Helped me pick out some flies, how to fish them and even specific spots on a river to fish. I managed to catch 2 steelhead on my 3rd time out because of their help.

Good Luck!

Where are you in Northern Wisconsin? Anywhere close to the Brule?

awkwardsportsman 02-21-2013 10:38 AM

Midwest Fly Patterns Question (please dont be too upset)
Thanks for the tips! I actually live in Minneapolis now unfortunately. I grew up in Hayward until I was done with high school. I make it back often to hunt and fish with family though. I actually fished the Brule last spring for the first time, and thats what got me into fly fishing. I was using sponning gear for steelhead, and envied the guys with the fly rods. There is a nice fly shop in Hayward I will go to, but for now I plan on visiting Summit fly shop in St. Paul and The Fly Angler in Blaine, MN. Just need to find the time to get there!

mcnerney 02-21-2013 11:28 AM

Re: Midwest Fly Patterns Question (please dont be too upset)
I can't help with WI fly patterns, but if it were me I would go to the fly shop that is closest to where you plan to fish, they will be dialed in on the current conditions and be able to give you better advice than a shop that is say 200 miles away.

alexs 02-21-2013 12:44 PM

Re: Midwest Fly Patterns Question (please dont be too upset)
I strongly recommend you to read some of Rich Oshthoff's books before starting to fill fly boxes with"this week's hot patterns". He lived and fished WI his whole life.
I would suggest "Active nymphing" and "No hatch to match". You might find them in libraries or jut buy them (I did and I am glad I did) and re-read them a couple times. The two books overlap a bit in content; if i'd have to pick only one I'd get the second one. He prefers simple flies custom tailored for his style of fishing (patterns are given). The most important thing is the fisherman's skill/technique ("it's not the arrow, it's the indian") and advice on how to handle various situations is given.
There is lot of info on fly shop websites regarding local water conditions, insect activity (hatches), and so on. You don't whant to fish mayfly immitations when the trout is gorging on caddis pupas.
For people starting out in fly fishing for trout, I strongly recommend Joe Humphrey's book "Trout Tactics". It will shorten the learning curve tremendously!

It looks like I am digressing from the subject, but I believe that fly patterns should be the least of worries for a beginer. Skill and kmowledge of what is going on under the surface of the water is 90% of having a successfull fishing day.

I hope I am not offending anybody, it is not my intention. Tight lines.


ghocevar 02-21-2013 01:44 PM

Midwest Fly Patterns Question (please dont be too upset)
I second klumkers advice on going to Tight Lines Fly shop...the know all the rivers, hatches, etc...throughout the state.

awkwardsportsman 02-21-2013 02:14 PM

Midwest Fly Patterns Question (please dont be too upset)
I agree with needing to learn more tactics without a doubt. I absolutely take no offense to this at all. I'm sure I will never become an expert which makes the sport all the more fun. I guess what I was asking was more of what would be a good staple to have in the fly box. I am assuming that people have a select few flies that always go out with them regardless of the conditions. I could be wrong, but that was more what I was trying to find out.

Thanks for the book titles, I have already flund them cheap online and placed my order :) I definity understand the concept that it is all the fisherman and less the gear. It is much like walleye fishing or crappie fishing in that aspect. Tactics out fish tackle everyday. Thanks!

klunker 02-21-2013 03:42 PM

Re: Midwest Fly Patterns Question (please dont be too upset)
I have fished the Brule for several days each of the last 2 falls. I know several of the people that guide the river and what they like to use. I can maybe steer you in the right direction as far as fishing the Brule for Fall Steelhead. I would assume these would also work for spring Steelhead.

Egg flies and Nymphs are the go to flies. I don't know how close you are to Superior but Matt at the Superior Fly Shop is one guy that guides on the Brule. He can be very help for as far as flies go. Give him a call, He's a great guy, He'll point you in the right direction.

here is a link to Superior fly shop

Superior Fly Angler

Guest1 02-21-2013 04:33 PM

Re: Midwest Fly Patterns Question (please dont be too upset)
There is a very good book for that area. It's called "Fly Fishing the Arrowhead" by Shawn Perich.

One of the best wet flies he mentions is the Professor. I have had a few others that are bigger names mention that fly also. It's about the only fly in the book he does not give a recipe for. I have tied them and have the recipe if you decide to tie them.

I have a list of them here someplace in case you can't find the book, but I don't know where I stuck it right this minute. :confused: I'll look for it.

Hares ear nymph was on the list. The Arrowhead. I would put the Adams on it. He had a mink leech I liked a lot on it. I'll think about it and look for the list. It was a friends book and I copied the fly recipes out of it when I first moved to Minnesota.

In the mean time, the same guy made this list on the web; Northern Wilds: North Country Favorite Flies

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