I like dry flies. Not really going to apologize for that. I do understand that most of the time a fish is actively feeding, it is somewhere lower in the water column and not on the surface. I understand that in order to catch more fish, I need to embrace nymph fishing. I get it. I really do.
But I still prefer dry flies.
There is a hell of a lot to be said for that moment when shadow turns into a flash of buttery brown and streaks to the surface like a minute man missile. The splash that is a result of a violent and wildly efficient predatory attack on a hapless bug is simply.......delicious.
It is even better when that "bug" is a fly you have tied. Whether an original fly, or a pattern you've picked up off of YouTube or out of a magazine; doesn't matter. What matters is that the fly is currently tethered to a fish, and was taken in a blaze of broken water. Despite the fact that you watched the whole thing go down, you are slightly rattled, and fully jazzed.
Grinning from ear to ear, you ease the fish in. Admire it for a short time, then carefully unhook the fish as if it is a delicate flower. Never-mind the act of savagery this cold blooded killer just delivered on your tackle, you are tender with it. Almost loving, in a "manly" sort of way.
With that, I occasionally read the question, or have even contemplated it myself: If you could only fish with ONE fly, which would it be?
My answer is the Elk Hair Caddis. Perhaps the quintessential dry fly.
Fortunately for me, I was turned on to a new way to tie these guys this summer by a friend of mine. Thanks Tim! I owe you.
With CDC as the body, and underwing. Trust me when I tell you that when the trout are "looking up", if there is one of these guys coming down the current, you'd better have your game face on, cause it's bout to break loose.
Wanna learn how to tie one? Click Here