Attractor Dry Flies Blogpost on MN Trout Forums

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Postby BluffCountryBrian » Mon May 19, 2014 11:06 am

Hello,

I just wrote a post on Randy's homepage. Please take a look and maybe we can get a little conversation going before I post part 2 at the end of the week.

Here's the link: http://mntroutforums.com/

-Brian
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Postby jedwuuba » Mon May 19, 2014 1:29 pm

Attractor dries have worked for me last week. Mostly midge on the water but the fish were taking my white mayfly pretty regularly when I skated it basically as fast as I could. Lots of aggressive strikes which is all I could ask for since I missed the caddis due to a busy work schedule
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Postby TFO5wt » Mon May 19, 2014 2:33 pm

I had a couple pretty killer days last summer fishing big, foamy attractors. Attractors can elicit some pretty violent strikes in the summer once the hatches die down. I've missed more than my fair share of hook sets though. Sometimes they just come out of nowhere.
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Postby BluffCountryBrian » Mon May 19, 2014 3:47 pm

Attractors can elicit some pretty violent strikes in the summer once the hatches die down.


This statement is true, however, it also illustrates the limitations we put on the use of attractor patterns. I was out last night and put a large attractor dry to good use. You don't have to wait for the hatches to die down to use this type of fly. There were fish rising last night, and I even watched a trout go after a caddisfly, but none of my caddis patterns were working. There was lots of "fluff" hatching, but I typically don't tie or fish "fluff"...mainly because my big dries work very well.

The Slurpster caught most of the risers (not all), and also brought fish up that weren't rising. These fish came from all types of habitat: tailouts, lunker structures, deep runs, riffles, large rocks, etc...and this is a common experience for me, not a fluke.

For me, fishing attractors probably started with the yellow humpy. Not sure why I bought them, but they worked and I could see them well. I hated tying them, though, so they fell out of use rather quickly. After that, I discovered the Madam X. I think I got that from reading some reports on the original MNTU board about Mel Haugstad using them. Well, they worked really well and were easier to tie than a humpy. Long story short, that lead to the development of the Slurpster, which is has been my main dry fly for the past 10 or so years.

I also do a lot of searching the water with the Slurpster. I catch a lot of fish that way, and it's much more pleasant than dredging a nymph.
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Postby jrs » Mon May 19, 2014 6:24 pm

I'm one of those guys that leans towards subsurface nymph fishing. I enjoy the challenges of getting a good deep, dead drift with nymphs and detecting strikes in a variety of water. Nymph fishing is generally very productive for me when the water isn't too low and clear.

However when the water is low and clear, I fish large attractor dry flies with a small nymph dropper. And, yes, lots of fish take those large attractor dries even when nothing is hatching and fish aren't rising. The dry flies are generally good floating, good visbility #10 or #12 XL flies. Stimulators in various colors are a favorite, but I also use Clown Shoe Caddis quite a bit. I'll have to tie up a few Slurpsters and give them a try. I also like that spun deer hair body on the Mohawk that you mentioned.
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Postby BluffCountryBrian » Mon May 19, 2014 7:57 pm

Ha! I had to Google the Clown Shoe Caddis. Good lookin' fly. I used to fish stimulators a lot as well. Probably would fish them more if I wasn't such a lazy and cheap fly tyer.

I also wanted to mention another book that helped me down this path of fishing big dry flies, streamers, and all sorts of attractor type flies: "Prospecting For Trout" by Tom Rosenbauer. That book has a lot of great info on fishing when there is no hatch and I highly recommend it for beginners or anyone who is interesting in getting a better understanding of reading water and fishing productively during the non hatch periods of the day/year.
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Postby WhiteGlovedHowdy » Tue May 20, 2014 6:02 pm

Royal caddis. You get the idea, coachman/caddis. Peacock,red,little Kip coastal deer hair. Use this dry in the winter and catch fish.
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Postby BluffCountryBrian » Tue May 20, 2014 7:06 pm

^You can bet that I will be trying that!
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Postby BluffCountryBrian » Thu May 22, 2014 1:42 pm

Anyone else have some good attractor dry fly patterns our stories to share? I've got kind of a funny story:

Me and my good friend Rob had taken another guy out fishing with us. This person is a friend of ours who's been a lifelong bait angler for trout. Even though this guy is a worm fishermen, he had become intrigued with the idea of fishing hopper patterns with the fly rod. Apparently he had watched a giant brown feeding on hoppers one day, but couldn't get it to take a real hopper impaled on a hook. Anyway, this guy was with us, fly rod in hand, loaded with a hopper pattern I'd tied for him...

So, the first action we see is a fish rising right next to a rock in a rather shallow, nondescript area of the stream. Neither of my friends wanted to waste their time with this fish, figuring it was a small one based on where it was in the stream. At that point, it was up to me to find out if this fish was indeed a "dinker". Not bothering with trying to figure out what the fish was eating, I cast out my size 10 yellow Stimulator. The trout snapped it up on the first drift. After a good fight, we netted the fish and took a quick measurement...18 inches of fat brown trout. Turns out the rock had a nice, deep scour hole around it that wasn't really noticeable until we went right up to it to take a look.

Later that evening our bait fishermen caught his first trout on the fly. That was a nice 14 incher. There weren't really any hoppers on the water as far as I could see, but the trout were looking up and my guess is that just about any big, bulky dry fly would have gotten them. It was a great day with big dry flies.
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Postby SubtleSip » Thu May 22, 2014 5:01 pm

After reading this two nights ago I sat at the vise and tied, as I usually do, with no particular recipe in mind. Ended up with this foam bodied and winged size 14 Caddis/hopper pattern. Thought it looked good, so I tied a few more. Gonna see how they fare in Colorado this weekend. Image
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