Your 'go to' patterns for early spring trout

KenBrown

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This year will be my 2nd year fly fishing. Last year I didnt do all that great but I did manage to catch some trout on the fly. My 'go to' patterns here in PA were:
dry fly - Adams
emerger - Sulphur emerger
wet fly - 'wax worm' pattern
nymph - pheasant tail / hare's ear

I am going to try to tie some pink egg patterns along with some 'squirmy wormies' as I have seen those are supposed to be good as well, but i didnt have any luck with them last year. Had no luck whatsoever with wooley buggers but I thought those would produce. That was more probably my inability to fish them corrrectly.
 

TristianSutton

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Dry- i dont fish surface stuff much, a side from mice, wiggle minnows, and poppers to stockers and prespawn smallies
Natural nymphs- Frenchies, france flies, walts worms, latex caddis/waxies/meal worms, thread frenchies, utah killer bugs
Attractor nymphs- pats rubber legs/girdle bug, large stones, yella hammer biot version, red darts, rainbow warrior, tag nymphs
Junk flies- squirmies, eggs, mops
Streamers- jiggy patterns in colder water or around lathergic fish, crank baity/swimbaity patterns in warm water or if aggressive fish are present

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bocianka1

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All of your flies you've been trying are solid choices for PA depending on when and where you fish. That can vary a bit depending on where in PA you are (I'm in the SE near Philly). You probably need to work on your presentation and drift as that can make more of a difference in success than fly choice if you are already using flies that are effective in your area.

Flies like the Adam's will work anytime there are hatches as it is a good dry fly pattern that imitates a lot of spring and summer bugs.

Wooly buggers are a good streamer pattern all year, you just need to work on your techniques and gain confidence with them. Different color choices help, but how you fish them can make a huge difference. Slow and twitchy in the winter, and stop and go in the spring work well for me. Dead drifting is always an option as well.

Squirmy wormies can often get fish year round. They're similar to San Juan worms and have a good natural action when drifted.

The next step is to pay attention to what the bugs are doing and fish flies that might "match the hatch" or at least have a similar color/size to naturals the fish might key in on.

Here's a link to a PA hatch chart that you can use as a rough guide.
Hatches vary by water, and can vary based on the seasonal Temps etc. But this gives you a good rough guide. You can try flies that are designed to imitate the hatches as the season progresses.

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Rip Tide

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Around here, at this time of year, there's only one hatch. Little Brown (or black) Stoneflies, with little being the key word. They're like 16s
The first mayfly hatch of the season is the Quill Gordon, but for whatever reason I don't ever see them where I fish. My "first of the season" mayfly is always the Blue Quill and they're even smaller than the brown stoneflies 16-18
Then of course come the Hendricksons ! My favorite hatch of the year.
If I was just going to tie on a single early season fly straight out of the truck it would be a Hornberg.
An old fly that I'm sure most of you don't even carry
 

KenBrown

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All of your flies you've been trying are solid choices for PA depending on when and where you fish. That can vary a bit depending on where in PA you are (I'm in the SE near Philly). You probably need to work on your presentation and drift as that can make more of a difference in success than fly choice if you are already using flies that are effective in your area.

Flies like the Adam's will work anytime there are hatches as it is a good dry fly pattern that imitates a lot of spring and summer bugs.

Wooly buggers are a good streamer pattern all year, you just need to work on your techniques and gain confidence with them. Different color choices help, but how you fish them can make a huge difference. Slow and twitchy in the winter, and stop and go in the spring work well for me. Dead drifting is always an option as well.

Squirmy wormies can often get fish year round. They're similar to San Juan worms and have a good natural action when drifted.

The next step is to pay attention to what the bugs are doing and fish flies that might "match the hatch" or at least have a similar color/size to naturals the fish might key in on.

Here's a link to a PA hatch chart that you can use as a rough guide.
Hatches vary by water, and can vary based on the seasonal Temps etc. But this gives you a good rough guide. You can try flies that are designed to imitate the hatches as the season progresses.

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The main water i fish is the Little Lehigh. There seemed to be quite a few Sulphur hatches last year. I tried some Sulphur spinners with no luck. I think my flies were off a bit. I plan on tying some Gnats this year. So many times I saw fish on the surface with no takers, hoping the Gnat pattern will help. I also need to get some UV stuff as my head cement breaks off the squirmy wormies.
 

Rip Tide

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The main water i fish is the Little Lehigh. There seemed to be quite a few Sulphur hatches last year. I tried some Sulphur spinners with no luck. I think my flies were off a bit. I plan on tying some Gnats this year. So many times I saw fish on the surface with no takers, hoping the Gnat pattern will help. I also need to get some UV stuff as my head cement breaks off the squirmy wormies.
You'll see light colored mayflies like sulfers come June, but as a rule of thumb, you'll see darker colored bugs in the colder months

April, May, Oct, Nov. Larger and dark
June, July, August, smaller and light colored

"Gnat" is a catch all term for any small winged bug.
Not sure which ones you had in mind
 

KenBrown

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I was looking at the Griffiths Gnat. From what I read, it is used to simulate a group of midges on the surface?

Last year, probably around May, the hatches were going off right around sunset. Prior to the hatches, nothing really going on, then the fish went nuts on the surface. Unable to catch any based on any number of factors...
 

bocianka1

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I also need to get some UV stuff as my head cement breaks off the squirmy wormies.
Head cement dissolves squirmy wormy material. UV coat is the way to go. I use whatver heavy thread i have on hand that is the right color. braided thread works well. A loose wrap around the squirmy material in 2 or three places and the heavier thread won't slice into it. A little uv cement on the bottom of the wraps keeps everything locked in place nicely.


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sasquatch7

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That is one way to do it but I can switch out the worm on the river not losing or wasting any material . I hate wasting hooks .
 

RunNGun

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Dry would be a size 16 black parachute with a chocolate brown dubbed body and a few black fibres for a tail.
Wet is a size 12 dark Montreal
Nymph is a pheasant tail (16)
Streamer would be a smaller size (6) zonker muddler in a natural color
 

TristianSutton

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Head cement dissolves squirmy wormy material. UV coat is the way to go. I use whatver heavy thread i have on hand that is the right color. braided thread works well. A loose wrap around the squirmy material in 2 or three places and the heavier thread won't slice into it. A little uv cement on the bottom of the wraps keeps everything locked in place nicely.


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Try loon soft head as some uv cures will melt the squirmies too

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KenBrown

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Head cement dissolves squirmy wormy material. UV coat is the way to go. I use whatver heavy thread i have on hand that is the right color. braided thread works well. A loose wrap around the squirmy material in 2 or three places and the heavier thread won't slice into it. A little uv cement on the bottom of the wraps keeps everything locked in place nicely.


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I need to pick up some UV coat and a light. Havent used them yet. Is the Loon version the only way, or do the cheaper ones work just as well?
 

fatbillybob

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Had no luck whatsoever with wooley buggers but I thought those would produce. That was more probably my inability to fish them corrrectly.
All those patterns could be all you ever need 90% of the time. You will naturally collect stuff. I happen to love a wooly and have caugth a bizzilion fish on them. I think the reason we don't catch fish with someone elese favorite is exactly as you said. We just aren't fishing them the way the fish want them. They have to look like food and be presented like the dinner bell is rung.

Funny story I was bass fishing with a great bass fishermen. I knew nothing. Fishing with a spinner bait as he instructed me I was just killing them. My partner caught nothing. We broke for lunch and he could not keep it in anymore. He tells me I'm fishing the spinner bait wrong but for some reason the fish are all over my lure! He tried to copy my wrong presentation but it was so odd he could not duplicate and caught no fish. I told him that I did what he told me. He said I'm a bad student but heck just keep fishing your way because it is working. Sometimes there is just soemthing weird about us. We think we are doing it "right" but it is wrong but still it is "right" for us. So keep doing it and learn your own way. It's a great journey...
 

bocianka1

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I need to pick up some UV coat and a light. Havent used them yet. Is the Loon version the only way, or do the cheaper ones work just as well?
I switched over to Silvercreek's UV flex coat. I was using Loon but I found my copper John's would chip, or the UV would turn cloudy. I am very pleased with Silver's product. Send him a PM if you're interested in going that route. There's a few threads out there about choosing a uv coat, just search them out if you want more details about people's experience with other products.

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eastfly66

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If the flows are right and they are rising , these in 24 to 30 in different shades....
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If the water is high and they are deep ...

Headbangers.jpg
hogsnare.jpg
4headbangers.jpg
 
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