Three Men Fishing

Big Fly, Little Fly, Red Fly, Black Fly and Dr. Seuss (part III of III)

So far in this series, we have discussed fishing with more than one nymph and we have talked about the knots to attach multiple flies to the tippet. This month we are going to talk about sizes of flies and the color of flies and Dr. Seuss.

One advantage of fishing multiple flies is the ability to fish a different size flies at different points in the water column. I like to start by fishing three different sizes with the largest and smallest on opposite ends of the tippet sometimes, with the largest fly on top and other times with the largest fly on the bottom. Many times, the fish seem to be keyed into a larger food source that is closer to the stream bed, but sometimes it will be the opposite.  Many days, we have been on the water and after moving the flies several times, we find the fish are keyed in on a certain-sized fly at a certain point in the water column. However, an angler has to be patient and pass those flies over the feeding fish many times. Also, be prepared to move the different-sized flies to positions on the tippet to achieve the proper presentation at the proper position in the water column. 

Brown fly, red fly, black fly too, running through the color chart is they want to do. That wasn’t Dr. Seuss (and Random House is glad of that) but it illustrates the technique we use when there has been a change in season or when we fish a new river (and most notably tailwaters).  When it is time to try a new color, usually I will change the colors of my smaller flies (i.e. midges). Start with a dark color like a black or brown and then move to a white or crème color. Go back to the lighter side of dark then onto the other end of the color wheel until you’ve tried all the different colors. If you begin to use this method and you start picking up fish always go at least one more color on the color wheel. One additional step in color may be the ticket to a day of more fish and/or bigger fish. This is similar to the system we use when fishing streamers. Also, if using bead heads experiment with different-colored beads.

If you’ve been following this series, the idea has been to take the reader through a technique that is good when scouting new water. Also, this method works well when a river or stream changes due to water level or undergoes a seasonal change. There is a lot more information out there on nymph fishing, including thousands of different techniques. Hopefully, something in these articles has been useful or- at the very least- made you think about your own nymph fishing process. Until next time see you on the water.

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