WTB Eastern Trout Assortment

MillertimeWV

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I’m looking to get a quote or suggestions on where to get a large assortment of flies that would work on the waters I’m fishing. Little brown (black in color) stoneflies, Caddis, BWO’s, and mayfly’s make up the main hatches so I’d need some of them at stages of their life cycle and then some randoms that do well anywhere. I’m fairly new to fly fishing so I don’t want to be without something I could end up needing one day. I bought a few from my local shop but the quality was pretty bad or else I would continue buying from there.


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silver creek

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I’m looking to get a quote or suggestions on where to get a large assortment of flies that would work on the waters I’m fishing. Little brown (black in color) stoneflies, Caddis, BWO’s, and mayfly’s make up the main hatches so I’d need some of them at stages of their life cycle and then some randoms that do well anywhere. I’m fairly new to fly fishing so I don’t want to be without something I could end up needing one day. I bought a few from my local shop but the quality was pretty bad or else I would continue buying from there.
Since you are new to fly fishing you may not realize that

It would help to

1. Identify the actual flies in the color and sizes you need OR
2. Identify the actual hatches you fish. Even then some hatches like the caddis vary in both size and color and BWOs vary in size so it is best to go back to #1.

Look at the sizes of BWO that Orvis offers. The size range is from size 14 to 22 which is a huge range.

Blue Winged Olive Trout Dry Fly - Orvis

See:

Baetis Nymphs - Blue Wing Olives | Fly Fishing Entomology

"There is really not a single pattern that will cover a Baetis or blue-winged olive hatch. I now realize it’s important to carry an emerger pattern, two or three dun patterns, and a spinner pattern–all tied in a narrow range of sizes. Trout might take one for a while, and suddenly turn off until you try another."

If you want an easy read on aquatic insects, Dave Whitlock's book is good beginners book to start with.

GUIDE TO AQUATIC TROUT FOODS by DAVE WHITLOCK | eBay

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ED7DKTS/
 

MillertimeWV

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Since you are new to fly fishing you may not realize that

It would help to

1. Identify the actual flies in the color and sizes you need OR
2. Identify the actual hatches you fish. Even then some hatches like the caddis vary in both size and color and BWOs vary in size so it is best to go back to #1.
Thanks! That’s helpful. You’re correct thinking I didn’t realize that lol. I’ll do my research and talk to some guys locally. I appreciate the tip!


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MillertimeWV

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Since you are new to fly fishing you may not realize that

It would help to

1. Identify the actual flies in the color and sizes you need OR
2. Identify the actual hatches you fish. Even then some hatches like the caddis vary in both size and color and BWOs vary in size so it is best to go back to #1.

Look at the sizes of BWO that Orvis offers. The size range is from size 14 to 22 which is a huge range.

Blue Winged Olive Trout Dry Fly - Orvis

See:

Baetis Nymphs - Blue Wing Olives | Fly Fishing Entomology

"There is really not a single pattern that will cover a Baetis or blue-winged olive hatch. I now realize it’s important to carry an emerger pattern, two or three dun patterns, and a spinner pattern–all tied in a narrow range of sizes. Trout might take one for a while, and suddenly turn off until you try another."

If you want an easy read on aquatic insects, Dave Whitlock's book is good beginners book to start with.

GUIDE TO AQUATIC TROUT FOODS by DAVE WHITLOCK | eBay

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ED7DKTS/
& I’m definitely going to get a copy of that book to read. It looks like it could help me out a ton!


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silver creek

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Try your library first for Whitlock’s Guide to Aquatic Trout Foods.

Most libraries are regional and cooperate so you may be able to get Whitlock's book sent to your local library.

Basically aquatic insects are composed of two main groups - those with a complete metamorphic life cycle of egg-larva-pupa-adult and an incomplete cycle of egg-nymph-adult.

Caddis and midges have a complete metamorphic life cycle just like a terrestrial butterfly has a complete life cycle. So caddis and midges =egg-larva-pupa-adult.

Mayflies and stoneflies have an incomplete cycle. So mayflies and stoneflies = egg-nymph-adult. But the adult stages of these two are different. Mayflies have two adult stage known to fly fishers as duns and spinners but to scientists as subimago and imago. So Dun=Subimago=sexually immature adult. Spinner=Imago=sexually mature adult. So stoneflies have 3 life stages = egg-nymph-adult. Mayflies have 4 life stages = egg-nymph-dun-spinner.

All of these life stages have fly patterns except the egg stage. In addition both mayflies and caddis undergo a transition from nymph/pupa to adult in the surface film, so there are mayfly and caddis emerger patterns to imitate this transitional phase. Then there are patterns also for emergers that are trapped and unable to fly off and these are called "stillborn" patterns.

Eventually, the adults will mate and then the females lay their eggs. For mayflies, the spinners will fly upstream and then mate in the air. Some fly fishers will mistakenly call this a "hatch" but the insects are not hatching at all. They will begin fishing a dry fly but until the adults mate and begin to lay eggs, there are no flies on the water.

A similar process occurs for midges and caddis. Don't mistake a mating flight for an actual hatch. When the mating occurs and the females start to lay eggs, the fish will begin to rise. Eventually the both the male and female adults will die and fall into the water. There are patterns for the dead adult caddis and mayflies called "spent" patterns.

As to what specific pattern imitates a certain stage of a specific hatch, there is no certain answer because there is no rigid naming system and there are literally thousands of patterns,

The fly patterns names can sometimes be generic such as the elk hair caddis which is a pattern type which can be tied in a size and color to match a specific hatch or they can be very specific such as Art Flick's Grey Fox Variant which is a specific fly for a specific stage of a specific hatch.

So to summarize:

Mayflies patterns are nymphs, emergers, stillborn, duns, spinners, and spent spinners.

Caddis patterns are larva, pupa, emergent pupa, adult caddis and spent caddis.

Midge patterns are larva, pupa and adult.

Stoneflies patterns are nymphs and adults.

Patterns can be general or specific to each of these insect stages.

Take a look at this article. It has some of Dave Whitlock's illustrations.

What Trout Eat
 

Bent Undergrowth

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Try your library first for Whitlock’s Guide to Aquatic Trout Foods.

Most libraries are regional and cooperate so you may be able to get Whitlock's book sent to your local library.

Basically aquatic insects are composed of two main groups - those with a complete metamorphic life cycle of egg-larva-pupa-adult and an incomplete cycle of egg-nymph-adult.

Caddis and midges have a complete metamorphic life cycle just like a terrestrial butterfly has a complete life cycle. So caddis and midges =egg-larva-pupa-adult.

Mayflies and stoneflies have an incomplete cycle. So mayflies and stoneflies = egg-nymph-adult. But the adult stages of these two are different. Mayflies have two adult stage known to fly fishers as duns and spinners but to scientists as subimago and imago. So Dun=Subimago=sexually immature adult. Spinner=Imago=sexually mature adult. So stoneflies have 3 life stages = egg-nymph-adult. Mayflies have 4 life stages = egg-nymph-dun-spinner.

All of these life stages have fly patterns except the egg stage. In addition both mayflies and caddis undergo a transition from nymph/pupa to adult in the surface film, so there are mayfly and caddis emerger patterns to imitate this transitional phase. Then there are patterns also for emergers that are trapped and unable to fly off and these are called "stillborn" patterns.

Eventually, the adults will mate and then the females lay their eggs. For mayflies, the spinners will fly upstream and then mate in the air. Some fly fishers will mistakenly call this a "hatch" but the insects are not hatching at all. They will begin fishing a dry fly but until the adults mate and begin to lay eggs, there are no flies on the water.

A similar process occurs for midges and caddis. Don't mistake a mating flight for an actual hatch. When the mating occurs and the females start to lay eggs, the fish will begin to rise. Eventually the both the male and female adults will die and fall into the water. There are patterns for the dead adult caddis and mayflies called "spent" patterns.

As to what specific pattern imitates a certain stage of a specific hatch, there is no certain answer because there is no rigid naming system and there are literally thousands of patterns,

The fly patterns names can sometimes be generic such as the elk hair caddis which is a pattern type which can be tied in a size and color to match a specific hatch or they can be very specific such as Art Flick's Grey Fox Variant which is a specific fly for a specific stage of a specific hatch.

So to summarize:

Mayflies patterns are nymphs, emergers, stillborn, duns, spinners, and spent spinners.

Caddis patterns are larva, pupa, emergent pupa, adult caddis and spent caddis.

Midge patterns are larva, pupa and adult.

Stoneflies patterns are nymphs and adults.

Patterns can be general or specific to each of these insect stages.

Take a look at this article. It has some of Dave Whitlock's illustrations.

What Trout Eat
Wonderful post.

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scotty macfly

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I second tcorfey. Give Hairwing530 (aka Jerry) a pm, and he will set you up with some beautifully tied flies at a price you'll never beat.
 

jayr

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I’m looking to get a quote or suggestions on where to get a large assortment of flies that would work on the waters I’m fishing. Little brown (black in color) stoneflies, Caddis, BWO’s, and mayfly’s make up the main hatches so I’d need some of them at stages of their life cycle and then some randoms that do well anywhere. I’m fairly new to fly fishing so I don’t want to be without something I could end up needing one day. I bought a few from my local shop but the quality was pretty bad or else I would continue buying from there.


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Google for hatch charts for the area/rivers you primarily fish. I will just about guarantee that someone has put one out there on the internet.
 

MillertimeWV

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Try your library first for Whitlock’s Guide to Aquatic Trout Foods.

Most libraries are regional and cooperate so you may be able to get Whitlock's book sent to your local library.

Basically aquatic insects are composed of two main groups - those with a complete metamorphic life cycle of egg-larva-pupa-adult and an incomplete cycle of egg-nymph-adult.

Caddis and midges have a complete metamorphic life cycle just like a terrestrial butterfly has a complete life cycle. So caddis and midges =egg-larva-pupa-adult.

Mayflies and stoneflies have an incomplete cycle. So mayflies and stoneflies = egg-nymph-adult. But the adult stages of these two are different. Mayflies have two adult stage known to fly fishers as duns and spinners but to scientists as subimago and imago. So Dun=Subimago=sexually immature adult. Spinner=Imago=sexually mature adult. So stoneflies have 3 life stages = egg-nymph-adult. Mayflies have 4 life stages = egg-nymph-dun-spinner.

All of these life stages have fly patterns except the egg stage. In addition both mayflies and caddis undergo a transition from nymph/pupa to adult in the surface film, so there are mayfly and caddis emerger patterns to imitate this transitional phase. Then there are patterns also for emergers that are trapped and unable to fly off and these are called "stillborn" patterns.

Eventually, the adults will mate and then the females lay their eggs. For mayflies, the spinners will fly upstream and then mate in the air. Some fly fishers will mistakenly call this a "hatch" but the insects are not hatching at all. They will begin fishing a dry fly but until the adults mate and begin to lay eggs, there are no flies on the water.

A similar process occurs for midges and caddis. Don't mistake a mating flight for an actual hatch. When the mating occurs and the females start to lay eggs, the fish will begin to rise. Eventually the both the male and female adults will die and fall into the water. There are patterns for the dead adult caddis and mayflies called "spent" patterns.

As to what specific pattern imitates a certain stage of a specific hatch, there is no certain answer because there is no rigid naming system and there are literally thousands of patterns,

The fly patterns names can sometimes be generic such as the elk hair caddis which is a pattern type which can be tied in a size and color to match a specific hatch or they can be very specific such as Art Flick's Grey Fox Variant which is a specific fly for a specific stage of a specific hatch.

So to summarize:

Mayflies patterns are nymphs, emergers, stillborn, duns, spinners, and spent spinners.

Caddis patterns are larva, pupa, emergent pupa, adult caddis and spent caddis.

Midge patterns are larva, pupa and adult.

Stoneflies patterns are nymphs and adults.

Patterns can be general or specific to each of these insect stages.

Take a look at this article. It has some of Dave Whitlock's illustrations.

What Trout Eat
Thanks for this wealth of knowledge! I learned so much just from reading this and I’m sure I’ll have a better understanding as I continue to learn because of this. I appreciate it so much!!


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silver creek

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Millertime,

You may be wondering WHY the aquatic insects fly UPSTREAM to mate and lay eggs. But maybe not.....

Anyway it is a neat example of how organisms adapt their behavior to favor survival, or survival of the fittest. Think about what would happen if mayflies did NOT fly upstream to mate. River flows would gradually push the immature aquatic stage downstream. After the adults mate and lay eggs, the eggs would drift downstream before coming to rest on the river bottom and hatching. Over time, the insects would end up at the ocean and they would become extinct.

So upstream mating flights are an adaptation that corrects for downstream drift AND spreads the eggs over a stretch of river to distribute the future populations.

The more you study the life cycle of these small bugs, I hope that these little previously unknown facts will instill you with a sense of wonder on how our natural world works to preserve and distribute life.
 

MillertimeWV

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Millertime,

You may be wondering WHY the aquatic insects fly UPSTREAM to mate and lay eggs. But maybe not.....

Anyway it is a neat example of how organisms adapt their behavior to favor survival, or survival of the fittest. Think about what would happen if mayflies did NOT fly upstream to mate. River flows would gradually push the immature aquatic stage downstream. After the adults mate and lay eggs, the eggs would drift downstream before coming to rest on the river bottom and hatching. Over time, the insects would end up at the ocean and they would become extinct.

So upstream mating flights are an adaptation that corrects for downstream drift AND spreads the eggs over a stretch of river to distribute the future populations.

The more you study the life cycle of these small bugs, I hope that these little previously unknown facts will instill you with a sense of wonder on how our natural world works to preserve and distribute life.
I never would’ve imagined I could learn so much from one post. Even though I created the post without the information needed to get what I intended (flies). This helped me waaay more than getting a few good flies. Thanks for your help! This stuff will help me out through my entire fly fishing adventure. You’re awesome for taking the time to help the new guy!!


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silver creek

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I never would’ve imagined I could learn so much from one post. Even though I created the post without the information needed to get what I intended (flies). This helped me waaay more than getting a few good flies. Thanks for your help! This stuff will help me out through my entire fly fishing adventure. You’re awesome for taking the time to help the new guy!!
Another phenomena that you should be aware of are the 3 types of insect drift. Drift can be seen as performing the opposite function of the upstream egg laying behavior of aquatic insects. We already mentioned that upstream mating flights "correct" for the downstream drift of the immature aquatic phase of mayflies, caddis flies, and stoneflies to reposition the nymphs and larva back upstream.

Drift does the opposite. It re-postions the insects downstream.

"Drift" is when aquatic insects either voluntary let go and drift downstream or are "forcibly" removed from their location on, in, or under the stream rocks and vegetation and are carried downstream by the river flow. This is called "drift" because the insects drift downstream. Drift does the opposite of the upstream migration of the egg laying adults. Drift "distributes" the insects downstream.

Why do insects drift? It would seem to be against common sense for insects to expose themselves to feeding fish when they are surviving and hiding in place. When nature does something that seems on the surface to be illogical, there must be a hidden purpose. That purpose is to repopulate the entire river. If insects did not drift, downstream aquatic insects that were wiped out by a manure spill; a chemical spill or some other catastrophe would take many many years to repopulate the entire river system. Both egg laying behavior and drift behavior is nature's way of assuring that the entire stream is populated by the insects so that if one area of the stream has a ecologic catastrophe, a method of recovery is "baked into" the insect behavior.

With that in mind, there are two "natural" forms of drift = behavioral and nocturnal.

Behavior drift occurs all the time during the day. Insects let go and drift downstream.

Nocturnal drift is thought to be an adaptation and a survival advantage compared to behavioral drift. The drift occurs after dark and most often right after dark. Since it is more difficult for fish to see the drifting insects, more of them are thought to survive the drift. We can sue nocturnal drift to our advantage and many fly fishers do. Time your nymphing forays right after dark when nocturnal drift is at its peak and the fish are feeding are the drifting nymphs and pupae.

The third form of drift is catastrophic drift and this happens during flooding when high water flows pull the insects free from their safe places and the flood waters take the insects and even some rocks and small boulders downstream.

Here are some references on aquatic insect drift:

http://www.ephemeroptera-galactica.com/pubs/pub_w/pubwaterst1972p253.pdf

Diel epibenthic activity of mayfly nymphs

Effects of trout on the diel periodicity of drifting in baetid mayflies | SpringerLink

Nymphs, Stoneflies, Caddisflies, and Other Important Insects: Including The ... - Ernest Schwiebert - Google Books

Orvis Podcast on emergers and drift.

Classic Podcast: Six Advanced Tips on Fishing Emergers - Orvis News
 

mike_r

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After you digest all of that suggested reading, maybe give a thought to learning how to tie your own flies! Once you learn the basics, then you can really dial in the colors and proportions to imitate you local bugs.


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