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When water temps are droping, what fly type do you start with?

  • Big and bright

    Votes: 149 24.9%
  • Big and natural/dark

    Votes: 266 44.5%
  • Small and bright

    Votes: 61 10.2%
  • Small and natural/dark

    Votes: 123 20.6%
  • Other (nymphs, TNT, trolling at the local bar, etc.)

    Votes: 16 2.7%
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The same I use no matter what the conditions - a 5" long black rabbit leech with blue flashabou and a guinea collar. It takes the guesswork out of things.
 

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I haven't answered the poll because it depends on how cold and clear the water is along with the river level.

When the water is cold and clear along with river level being low, I will use smaller, summer sized flies with some color. However, when the river is cold with some color and the river level is moderate or up, I will use large and purple. But if the river is pretty high with lots of color and it is cold, I will use large and black, purple, or claret.
 

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7141-4

Is that a string leech or on a tube? Do you have any pictures? Thanks
 

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Below 40, 36" visability, size 3-5 alec jackson natural color to dark, gin clear I switch to brighter and small (4-6) flys . Above 40, turbid, water dropping or on the rise, big black, purple, bushy spey flys. Of course standing on the right rock at the right time works the best.

Chas
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
water flow and color are key

Flytyer, I agree, but didn't see a good way to set up the poll accounting for water conditions. It would make sense to do separate polls for high/rising and low water as well as colored and clear. I was curious what people would say as I'm fishing Monday in Michigan in a large, crystal clear but relatively low river. After a couple of weeks of Indian summer temps in the 40s and 50s, we just made it to freezing today and are headed for a high air temp on Monday of 25 degrees F. The water temps are dropping a lot.

I do think the bigger morsel helps get fish moving when the lowering temps tell them to slow down their metabolism. Whether bright or natural, the bigger fly does seem to be the emerging consensus.

Carl
 

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Cold water fly

In my area the gear guys do very well using 6 or 8 inch bright pink rubber worms when the water temps are below 42 degs. Taking a page out of their book and tying a fly with bright pink rabbit has resulted in many successful days when faced with cold water temps.


Ian
 

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I'd say clarity/light levels have more to do with my thought process than temps. Also I never really fish anything smaller than 1.5 AJ, so whats your definition of "small". Another thing I've noticed is that in early spring when the water warms the fish start liking more lifelike stuff (buggy) like a lady caroline.
 

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With H2O temps below 40 degrees I tend to go to a bigger/heavier leechy pattern with flash or bright colors regardless of clarity.

My psychology: just piss em' off enough to bite.

But I dont catch fish anyway.:Eyecrazy:
 

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I was swinging in water in the upper 30's last weekend. 3 fish same set up. Black bunny leach with a super small egg pattern dropper. 2 of the three took the small egg pattern. Swinging, weird. Have heard of this for years but didn't think it made sence to swing with a egg patern. It worked.

Low cold and clear water.
 

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slow and low said:
I was swinging in water in the upper 30's last weekend. 3 fish same set up. Black bunny leach with a super small egg pattern dropper. 2 of the three took the small egg pattern. Swinging, weird. Have heard of this for years but didn't think it made sence to swing with a egg patern. It worked.

Low cold and clear water.
Arnt droppers sort of like bait fishing???? Try using one fly. you will like it a lot more.. Cheers!!
 

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I do like one fly better. Heard it tried it done it. From now on it's spey fishing at 100' swinging glo bugs dry or sank. Thanks for the tip I'll let you know how it works for me tomorrow.

???
 

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Cold Water

I primarily use big dark intruders, black or purple. Or Skagit minnow variations. Again large and dark is usually the way to go.
 

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Intruders work well in cold water situations but tying time and cost compared to a rabbit strip worm or string leach pattern makes the latter a better choice.


Ian
 

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Cold water = 4 to 5" black string leach with electric blue(sparse) flashabou swung SLOOOOW. Nil on black equates to a second pass on productive water with a pink 6 to 9" string leach with plenty of mirage flashabou accent, again with a slow swing - the fly does NOT need to be "on the stones"
speydoc
 

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6" to 9" String Leeches

OK. I tied up a 9" purple rabbit strip/black marabou collar string leech last night. The head or front portion was on a 1 1/2" light brass tube. I then crazy-glued and whipped a couple short pieces of junction tube to the under side of the rabbit and ran my line down through and tied on the hook.

How do the rest of you tie these big guys?
 

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I like to tie this one on when its cold, saves me from having to adopt the egg dropper as its built in.




I also really like orange and pink combo....
 

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Flydology, what length?

Flydology, great flies. Are they 3" or so in length?
 
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