I’m beginning preparation for a few upcoming fly fishing road trips. One lesson from prior trips was how effective terrestrial fly patterns helped save our fishing. So I thought I’d share a few of my favorite fly patterns I plan to carry in the next couple of months.
As an added bonus, I’ll provide a little feedback about the non-twist knot I highlighted last week. You’ll find it at the bottom of this post.
It’s kinda funny how I rely on ants and beetles during fly fishing road trips, but seldom use them in my local waters. I must have a match-the-hatch mentality when fishing my home waters.
But if I’m on a river in Idaho or Montana, I’m much more eager to tie on an ant or beetle pattern. Those fly patterns have been very effective on Soda Butte Creek and Lamar River in Yellowstone National Park and most recently the Madison River.
How about flying ants? I’ve seen fish go crazy when flying ants are available on the Metolius River and East Lake. I have a couple of experimental flies I use when that happens.
I’ve written a couple posts in prior years about terrestrials you might have read. Just click on the link to refresh your memory.
- Three Favorite Terrestrial Fly Patterns (7/2016)
- My Favorite Ant Fly Patterns (9/2018)
Here are the fly patterns I plan to carry.
Beetle Bailey – This fly catches fish! It’s my usual go-to fly when I want a terrestrial. I found a fly many years ago at a fly shop in Yellowstone Country and made a few adjustments, a fly tyer’s prerogative. Much later, I found the original was call a Hippie Stomper.
Harrop’s CDC Ant – This is the first ant fly pattern that worked consistently for me. I fish this honey color as well as black. The fly was created by Rene’ Harrop. Any of his flies catch fish! I found this fly pattern several years ago and successfully used it fishing the northeast corner of Yellowstone Park, specifically on Soda Butte Creek and the Lamar River.
Arrick’s Parachute Ant and Galloup’s Ant Acid are two new fly patterns I found last year while preparing to fish the Madison River, MT. To say they found a permanent spot in my terrestrial fly box is an understatement!
Lastly, different variations of a Chernobyl Ant seem to work.
Later this summer, I’ll make sure to carry several hopper fly patterns that have worked well for me in past trips.
Club Sandwich or BLT
(You can find the Morrish Hopper and Club Sandwich or BLT at most fly shops.)
Remember the non-twist knot I mentioned in last week’s post? I used it several times. The first knot I tied was using 10 lb mono with 6X tippet. I found the knot was too large to securely tighten and I experienced the tell-tale sign of twisting because I ended up with a mess on my tippet. The fly continued to twist. I think it was because the knot was too large and didn’t allow the fly to spin during a cast.
Then I tried 8 lb mono and it was the same story. Yesterday, I used a piece of 4X and it worked really well.
I’ve tried the knot on top as well as on the bottom of the hook eye. Most of the flies I tie use a down turned eye and I found threading the tippet from the top and tying a triple surgeon below the hook eye worked well.
Lastly, we have been catching a few fish here and there. Here is an image from last week I wanted to share.