Fly Fishing Tips

Do Tattered Flies Fish Better?

Chewed Up Mayday Mayfly
There is an age old adage amongst fly anglers that our hook up rate increases proportionate to our fly becoming more and more chewed up. I’m confident many of us have experienced this – as the day goes on, and if we are fortunate enough not to loose that single fly that’s been catching all the fish, our success rate increases. Instead of attributing this to an increase in insect activity, or the rust of our skills haven been shaken off early in the day, we give credit to our tattered fly pattern that continues to catch more and more fish as the day goes on. And once again last Saturday while Euro Nymphing a small stream, whether or not it truly was my fly, I had a magical day on the water catching more and more fish as my fly became more and more mangled.


Warrior Extreme - Brown

Here is what the Mayday Mayfly pattern looks like fresh off the vise.

Mayfly Fly Pattern

Early in the day this particular fly looks and fishes great. However… a few dozen fish later…

Tattered Fly Pattern

…a mangled Mayday Mayfly that can’t seem to keep the fish off. Once again the myth of the tattered fly has proven to be true!

Learn to tie the Mayday Mayfly

Divide and Conquer

Just over a week ago, I had the chance to get out and fish on the middle provo river.  Lucky for me, this river is in my hometown(Heber City, Not Logan :) )and I have had the chance to fish it regularly this winter.  There is one stretch of river that I have fished a couple times this winter, without having as much success as I thought I should have been having.  If you are anything like me when it comes to fishing, it started to really tick me off!  So I decided to go hit the stretch of river that has been haunting me, and try to figure out what I was doing wrong.  My favorite technique to chase trout is euro nymphing, which is what method I was using.  I had even gone as far as reviewing George Daniels dynamic nymphing book to review some technique.


Once I hit the water, I went to work.  I started out by paying attention to my surrounding.  I checked water temperatures and took a long look at the first little stretch of water that I was going to fish.  This is also a stretch of river that is easily accessible and highly pressured by anglers.  As I took things a little slower, focusing on my technique, I was able to start landing fish before I had even left the parking lot area, in a river that is highly pressured.  I was taking fish out of the river in areas that I had been walking right past it to get upstream.  I ended up having a stellar day which included a pretty good sized rainbow (I love the bows!) of which I don’t catch many of in the provo.  I learned on this particular outing that I need to slow it down and focus on what I’m doing, and focus of the river conditions.  It didn’t even matter what fly I was using, I focused on what I was trying to do, that is, catching fish.  I took a small section of a stream and dissected it, catching fish and then I moved onto the next small section of stream.  So the next time you are out, take your time and fish, without worrying about where the fish were the last time you were on the water, because chances are, they are not!  TIGHT LINES!


Fly Fishing a Striper Boil/Blitz

(My timing is off a little since striper boils occur in the summer and fall months, but by reading this you can be prepared for next year)

Here in Utah we have a gem of a striper fishery in Lake Powell. It is a huge lake that is part of the Colorado River system. The stripers thrive there dependent on the health of the threadfin shad. Harvest is highly encouraged and stripers are delicious!

The funnest way to fish for stripers on the fly is during a boil (see video above). When stripers are jumping and flailing all around you it can get so exciting that technique goes out the window. The first few boils of every trip get me so excited I can’t hardly make a decent cast.

A bubble head popper is the most exciting fly as the fish will chase, swipe, and inhale it all right at the surface. Any color of Clouser minnow is super effective as well. Below are my favorite flies for fishing striper boils.

 Clouser Minnow

Bubble Head Popper

Colors on these flies can vary and still do very well. Stripers in a boil are so voracious that fly selection and color aren’t as important as presentation. The most effective method of presentation is to cast into , or slightly on the edge, of the boil and strip as fast as you can. If you slow down your retrieve the fish will follow your fly back to you, but they get too good of a look and realize somethings not right which results in a refusal. Shad in a boils are zipping as fast as they can and so must your fly.

Lake Powell is a great place for a family vacation. Striper fishing from a boat is very family friendly, and if your kids are anything like mine its a memory they won’t soon forget.

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