Fly Size - How Much Does it Matter? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Fly Size - How Much Does it Matter?

A friend of mine typically fishes a size or two smaller fly than me, and most other anglers. If I'm throwing a size 1.5 AJ hook he is fishing a size 2 or 4. Similarly with tubes if my fly is 3 inches long; his is 1.5 inches. All this regardless of water clarity. He out fishes me even in stained/dirty water; but typically he changes flys lot - mostly experimenting with colors.

I recently downsized fly size for fun. A few advantages I experienced are:
-the smaller the fly; the nicer most rigs cast.
-because of the smaller hook gape; the fly seems less likely to snag up

Seems mostly the trend is to go to larger flys. Anyone else have a philosophy of smaller fly size.

Last edited by waynev; 10-21-2014 at 04:56 PM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 04:49 PM
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I fished bigger flies for a number of years and now fish mostly size 2 or smaller (usually smaller). Smaller flies seem to move tough fish as well as the aggressive ones, but best thing is the smaller hooks hold better and I lose less fish.

"Perhaps fishing is, for me, only an excuse to be near rivers." - Roderick Haig-Brown
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 06:05 PM
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I guess I never put much thought into this, big in winter and small in summer!

Maybe I should experiment a little more. I like fishing both sizes but I would say that the smaller ones are easier to deal with. I would miss making my big intruder style flies.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 06:31 PM
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Fly Size - How Much Does it Matter?

for atlantic salmon, anyway, my answer is "A LOT!"
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 06:51 PM
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Does for me

Most of my flies are tied sparse on a #4 limerick or O'shaughnessy and arent traditional style, rather intruder like. My intruders are all #10 trailers about a half inch behind the shank. Any longer and they tend to get hooked up under the chin rather than the mouth.

Size di matter on a recent trip into the upper Skagit on the Canadian side. I worked a #10 beadhead that was good for me in past trips, but nothing in the first 3 hours. My partner was nailing 5-8 pound dollies and 2-3 pound bows on the same fly. But he forgot to mention he was using 12 and 14 size. Luckily l ran out of 10's after too many taps on the bottom, so over to a 12; and Bang. First cast laned me a good 28 incher. Nice size fish to arguecwith on a 4/5 Beulah switch.

Size did matter on this trip

Hey, who put the turd in Saturday?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-02-2014, 11:15 AM
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far from a expert but my first number is seasons I was all about big intruders and other flies 4-6" long last couple years I've bin fishing mostly 1-3" stuff most being 1&1/2"-2" and I think my numbers have gone up somewhat. I have a buddy who has changed my ways always tossing small wooly bugger type flies and he consistently find em and that is what has made me change my ways! I will say tho for summer runs unless its raining or there are tons of leaves I wake things

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-02-2014, 05:49 PM
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I don't think it matters most of the time for steelhead. They will hit flies as small as size 14 (and maybe smaller) up to 8" long half-chickens. When visibility in the water is low, large flies are more easily seen. When the water is air clear, steelhead are sometimes put off by large flies. In the PNW a steelheader could carry only size 6 and size 2 fly patterns and be well equipped for more than 95% of the conditions he encounters.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-02-2014, 07:36 PM
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I carry all sizes of intruders and just normal steelhead flies (wets, speys, and soon Dees). I usually start with something I have confidence in or choose a fly just to please myself. But if I do decide to change, 95% of the time I go smaller and switch from dark to light (or vice-versa).
I just don't run into enough steelhead these days to test theories. So I please myself. My fishing partner is much more skilled than I am .... and I'm confident that does make a difference. He just gets more fish because he knows how to work a run.

"There will always be days when the fishing is better than ones most optimistic forecast, others when it is far worse. *Either is a gain over just staying home."

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-02-2014, 10:31 PM
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My trout box which is also the steelhead box is full of size 4 Dee & Spey flies. Lately I have been fishing large sculpin patterns and catching fish but whether or not I'm taking more fish than I would with a small Dee is questionable.

One other reply stated how much easier it is to cast small flies and I must agree on that for sure. When I fish the little flies you may mistake me for someone who knows what he's doing

The big flies have their place in the lineup and I have plenty of them but unless I know the water I'm fishing real well I reach for a little Jock O' Dee or something else in the small box to get the day started. I've had occasions where I raised a good fish on a small pattern then changed to the huge sculpin and brought that fish onto the hook. Would it have hit the big fly first? I don't know but it had a go at both flies so I will never know. It all comes down to we have to choose what to tie on after we string up the rods, and you can't bet on what I'll chose on most days.................

What was the question anyway


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2014, 09:52 PM
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its doesn't matter at all, so long as its a size 6
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