Trout Fly Pattern Basics

One type of trout fly is the dry fly. These are designed to imitate a huge variety of insects. As the name suggests, they are meant for fishing on the surface of water. The insects they impersonate are known as terrestrials, and form an important element in the trout’s diet. Grasshoppers, beetles, ants and flies like the black gnat are included in this category, as well as aquatic insects and many others that end up on the water by accident rather than design. But some dry fly patterns are pure invention, made with no particular insect in mind. These are referred to as “fancy” or attractor flies.

Early angling literature refers to the correct presentation of the fly, but in reality this meant the wet fly. Wet flies, many writers observed, landed delicately on the surface of the water, and trout took them before they had time to sink. But there is a difference between fishing with a wet fly dry and tying up a feathered lure for surface fishing. It is claimed that the creator of the first dry fly as we know it today was Englishman, James Ogden, in 1839. Ogden is also accredited with the first detached-body dry fly and the modern method of dry fly winging using slips of feather from a right and left wing-feather quill. But it was the eminent Victorian fly-dressers and fishermen Frederic Halford and G.S.Marryat who set the benchmark and whose dictates are still followed today. Halford’s book, Floating Flies and How to Dress Them, is considered one of the classics of dry fly pattern literature. Visit our site for a huge range of trout fly equipment.

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