trumpy

Top 5 Flies for the Current River

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Since a lot of you guys on here flyfish the Current River, I'd like to see what your top 5 go-to flies are. Basically, if you could only take 5 flies, which ones would you take? Please try to be as specific as you can, ie - color, size, etc.

I really don't have a top 5 yet, that's why I'm fishing for some ideas...

BTW - this is specifically for the Blue and White Ribon sections below the park...

_________________

Mike

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The Current is a great place to fish, but it can be humbling (i.e. 2 weeks ago). If I had to pick 5 flies i would take a size 16 tan elk hair caddis, size 16 prince nymph or zug bug, size 16 hares ear, size 18 cream wd-40, and number 5 would be whatever fly in your box you have the most confidence in. It seems like there are always caddis hatching. I didn't expect to see any 2 weeks ago, but there were, and there are generally midges hatching year round wherever you go. It will be interesting to see what other people say.

Mizzouflyfisher

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5 top flies?

At times the Current River can be tough to fish, especially once you get down stream a mile or so below Montauk park. To list just 5 flies would be difficult because a lot depends on the time of year, hatches and the water conditions. If I gave you 5 flies to use on the Current River and you fished them the wrong time of year or in the wrong water conditions, you might not think I knew what I was talking about. I suggest that you narrow down the situation, but I do agree that if you do not go to the Current River without some caddis flies, you are missing the most important insect the river produces. Adult, larva, and pupa in various sizes and colors should be available to match the food source. Caddis will hatch the year around on the Current River. Even during the winter, if the conditions are conducive.

When in doubt, drift larva or pupa below an indicator, because trout feed below the surface a heck of a lot more than they do on top. All of the nymphs suggested by Mizzouflyfisher will work on the Current River and other trout streams in this area.

"A bad day fishing is still a Great Day"

www.TightLine.Biz

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Sure Sam, I agree too. Just 5 flies is hard to come up with. However, I usually always find five or so flies that seem to be my "go-to" flies. I just assumed everyone else was the same.

So, if 5 is too hard to pin down, then how 'bout your favorite 5 per season?

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Everyone has "special flies" that they use, because they have had success with them in the past. When the fishing gets tough, they put on their favorite flies and will fish them longer just because they have confidence in them. The longer your fly is in the water the greater the chances of a hook up. This in turn reassures confidence and the same fly gets to go for another swim.

The following is a list of flies that I use on the Current River

Caddis Dry – CDC #16-20 TMC 100 in brown, black, green, tan

Caddis Emergers #16-20 TMC 2488 in brown, black, green, tan

Caddis Larva #16-20 TMC 2488 in green, cream, brown, black

Trico #28 TMC 518 in black

BWO #18-22 TMC 518 in olive

Brown Drake and Hex in size 8 and 6 TMC 100 in brown, brown/yellow

Ants #19 TMC 102Y in black

Hoppers #8-12 Dai-Riki 280 in tan, brown, green

Yellow Stone #14 Dai-Riki 270 in yellow

Midge #32-30 TMC 518 in tan, black

Sculpins #2-6 TMC 200R or Dai-Riki 899 in brown, tan, olive, olive/blue

Mohair Leech #10 TMC 100 or Dai-Riki 270 in olive, brown, cinnamon, tan, black

I do not fish nymphs very much. I prefer casting a fly, to casting an indicator. If I am using caddis larva, I fish them below a dry fly. There are a ton of fishermen that use nymphs with an indicator and catch a lot of fish with that method, but I enjoy casting too much and the indicator gets in the way. I will use a very small piece of yarn at times for an indicator, but it is not my preferred method of fly fishing. I like the feel of casting a line and fly instead of plopping an indicator. I pride myself on accuracy and presentation. Fly fishing to me ( at this stage of my life ) is more than just catching fish. I have caught thousands over the past 50 years, using just about any method you can think of.... casting a dry fly with the perfect presentation and getting a selective trout to rise and take it, is what I prefer to do. It is the challenge and the reward that I cherish, not the numbers or the size of the fish. I have caught 50+ trout a day on numerous occasions and some huge fish, don't get me wrong I love to catch a lot of fish and BIG fish, but I enjoy making that perfect drift and catching a 12" brown just as much if not more. I have spent entire days just trying to catch one huge fish that I have found somewhere on the stream...That is the type of determination that I have. It is the challenge that drives me. I get the same challenge from a 12" brown that refuses my fly.

"A bad day fishing is still a Great Day"

www.TightLine.Biz"

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Here is a "Current" situation that maybe we can break down. I fished below Montauk over the weekend, and witnessed a pretty nice Caddis hatch (Smallish, tanish, 16ish). In places the trout were slamming the adult caddis skimming across the top. I tried drifting and skipping a 16 Iris Caddis and 16 elk hair caddis, but mostly missed or snubbed me. My color was a little off I think; could that have been the difference? Sam, or anyone, I would really appreciate some advice on emerger/pupa/dryfly immitations for the situation I encountered (I think it is a common winter occurance there).

As for what worked, I had my success (although limited), getting at the deeper fish with a fox squirrel nymph (14). Gosh it is a pretty stream.

Sam--your post popped up as I was writing mine, and you answered a lot of my questions before I asked them. I like your philosophy of the challenge and the cast. When you mentioned the CDC caddis colors, is that the body color or body and wing color? I am going to try a longer hook to decrease misses--good advice thanks.

Edited by Arkamo Traveler

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Arkamo Traveler,

I just found your question. Sorry I have not replied sooner, I have been busy with a basketball tournament.

The colors of the flies, I described, are for the body of the fly. Were the caddis you observed hatching and flying close to the surface or dropping eggs? It makes a difference. Did you notice any activity below the surface? For every bug they take off the surface they are probably taking 8 below the surface, if there is a hatch on. Excellent opportunity for swinging emergers.

I have witnessed, on several occasions, trout catching flying caddis, not on the surface mind you, flying in mid air. Think about all the information that a trout must calculate to catch a bug flying. Force of the water, speed of the insect, windage and distance from the water surface. I would never have witnessed these instances if I had not been looking at the precise fly taken at the time of the jump. I find myself more observant with insects than I did twenty years ago. I use to just concentrate on fishing and missed out on a ton of information, and enjoyement that makes fishing more than just catching fish.

Catching fish during a hatch can be very rewarding, OR it can be very frustrating, if they are keyed in on a specific size and color and you can not replicate what they are looking for, it can be frustrating.

"A bad day fishing is still a Great Day"

www.TightLine.Biz

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What color Caddis Larva/Pupa do people have the most success with. I tying up a bunch and looking for some insight on colors. I've got some greens/peacock colors, but wasn't sure what else is prevalent in the stream. Hopefully Sam has some input on this one. Thanks guys.

Mizzouflyfisher

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I'll start out by saying that I'm far from an expert flyfisherman...Sam would probably outfish me on the Current every day of the week, and he knows more about the hatches on the Current than I'll ever learn, partly because I just don't do enough trout fishing in Missouri.

However, I do always seem to be able to catch a few fish when I get down there. And I do like to keep my fly selection simple, mainly because then I don't have to worry overly much about matching the hatch!

1. Elk hair caddis in several sizes from 12 to 18

2. Tricos, #24

3. Flashback hairs ears, 12-16

4. Scud patterns (these always seem to catch fish for me no matter where I fish)

5. And when I want to do something different and go for a big brown...a simple streamer I make myself by wrapping some crosscut rabbit strips for a bulky "head" and using a red squirrel strip for a "tail". I'm not even sure what the hook size is, but the whole thing should be about three inches long. Gray and white to imitate minnows, olive and brown to imitate sculpins, or basic black. Doesn't always work, but once in a while some torpedo of a brown will investigate it, and once in a great while I'll actually hook one!

Actually, my whole fly selection isn't all that much bigger...I also use a lot of pheasant tail nymphs, occasionally a Prince nymph, a few small emerger patterns that I originally stocked up on for fishing spring creeks out West, some Woolybuggers....

and the venerable Fetal emerger (egg fly).

Edited by Al Agnew

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Fetal emerger--that's funny. That must to in the same box as the carrion clouser.

Back to Caddis: Mizzou, I've seen a lot of caddis larvae in MO, and most fall into two groups. Little and white/cream, or larger and gray/brown. Green is a very popular caddis color--I've seen "hydropsychidae green" marketed out west especially, but I just haven't seen many green caddis in the ozarks.

Sam, thanks again for sharing your Current insight.

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