Classic Dry Flies

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Classic Dry Flies
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Our Pick, The Top 22 Classic Dry Flies
These flies originated in many places.  They are offered here as they have evolved in the Pacific Northwest.

Although usually not representing a specific hatch, most of these classic dry flies started out as impressionistic mayfly patterns.  Some patterns are relatively unchanged for over 100-years.  On-stream many have been trimmed to represent caddis and even terrestrial insects.  Some are fished wet as well as dry.
Because of their reliability and versatility, these patterns have survived the test of time and are widely used to fool trout in many parts of the world.

These patterns are of longstanding design criteria.  Classic dry flies must be constructed to exacting proportions. They require the finest dry fly hackle.
Ours offer no compromise of this tradition.

Adams Gray Wulff Light Cahill
Beetle Bug Coachman Hackle Peacock, Brown Mosquito
Black Gnat Gray Hackle Peacock Renegade
 Blue Dun Humpy, Royal Green Royal Coachman 
Blue Quill Humpy, Royal Orange Royal Coachmann Trude
Blue Wing Olive Humpy, Royal Yellow Royal Wulff
Dark Cahill Humpy, Black Super Trude
  Irresistible, Adams  

The term "classic" might lead the reader to conclude that the flies listed below  have not changed at all for a very long time.  While some of the fly patterns appearing on this page are similar to ones several hundred years old, they are not exactly as they were 100-years ago.  While the materials used to tie the fly are much the same, and they are assembled into the fly using the same sequence, advances in technology has made each fly evolve incrementally.  These flies are tied on hooks of a quality that was undreamed of when most

of these patterns first hit the water.  Dyed colors are much brighter and more color-fast.  Threads are smaller in diameter and much stronger.  Glues are more transparent and much glossier.  In many cases our fish are fewer and much wiser.  I have a long personal history with each of these fly patterns and have tied all of them at one time or another.  I have caught trout on all of them.  Where as the craftsmanship involved in the construction of these flies is as good now as during any period during each fly's history, the materials used now are vastly superior to any previous time period.  This is especially true concerning modern dry fly hackle.

Originally tied by Lenard Halladay of Mayfield, Michigan in about 1922, for fishing the Boardman River. The Adams has remained one of the most popular dry flies in the country.  In the Pacific Northwest it is a very effective searching pattern in sizes 12-16 for most freestone streams. The Adams can be an incredibly productive fly for evening fishing on Oregon's Deschutes. Sizes 14-18 are most
popular. Fish your Adams upstream in the conventional manner.  Let it float down stream below you then raise your rod and skitter the fly back upstream with short jerks.  Many strikes will come as the fly is retrieved upstream.  If there is a problem with the Adams pattern, it is very hard to see on the water. Because of that, the Parachute Adams, with its white wing post has become more popular.  However, in our view, for anglers who can see it, the original pattern is still more effective in many situations. The classic Adams is one of the best Callibaetis mayfly patterns for fishing lakes when used in sizes 12-16. A passable Black Drake imitation in sizes 10-12. 
Item Description Size Price To Top
1030-10 Adams 10 3 for $5.25

1030-12 Adams 12 3 for $5.25

1030-14 Adams 14 3 for $5.25

1030-16 Adams 16 3 for $5.25

1030-18 Adams 18 3 for $5.25

Beetle Bug Coachman
The original Beetle Bug was made famous by Audrey Joy, who tied at Meir and Franks Department Store in Portland through the 1940-50 era. It is unclear whether the original Beetle Bug had hair wings & tail or whether that was adapted later. The current popular version of the Beetle Bug is basically a Royal Wulff without the peacock herl at both ends of the body.  Popularity continues primarily
because of Northwest writer Dave Hughes who used it as a kid fishing forested streams in Oregon's Coast Range.  Because of its big white wings, the Beetle Bug floats well in rough water and is easy to see.
Item Description Size Price To Top
1097-12 Beetle Bug Coachman 12 3 for $5.85

1097-14 Beetle Bug Coachman 14 3 for $5.85

Black Gnat
We're not sure who originated the Black Gnat pattern.  It appears to be very old and may have originally been tied in the British Isles.  It is an effective pattern under many situations.  Unknown to many anglers, black can be on of the most easily seen colors in the fading light of evening.  Black offers the sharpest contrast in many situations. Even the sharp edges of the black quill wings make it easier to see.
Item Description Size Price To Top
12893-10 Black Gnat 10 3 for $5.25

12893-12 Black Gnat 12 3 for $5.25

12893-14 Black Gnat 14 3 for $5.25

12893-16 Black Gnat 16 3 for $5.25

12893-18 Black Gnat 18 3 for $5.25

12893-20 Black Gnat 20 3 for $5.25

Blue Dun
An old British pattern who's original maker is unknown.  Was undoubtedly first tied as a wet fly and later adapted as a dry fly pattern. Eventually the dry version became more popular.  Is still very effective as a Baetis or Callibaetis mayfly pattern, even when fish are sophisticated.
Item Description Size Price To Top
12907-12 Blue Dun 12 3 for $5.25

12907-14 Blue Dun 14 3 for $5.25

12907-16 Blue Dun 16 3 for $5.25

12907-18 Blue Dun 18 3 for $5.25

12907-20 Blue Dun 20 3 for $5.25

Blue Quill
Great early season pattern for eastern and mid-western rivers where Paraleptophebia mayfly hatches occur. The origin of the Blue Quill is lost to antiquity.  It was probably an American pattern evolving in the Catskill Mountain streams.  The body which is made from peacock herl, from which all of the fuzz has been removed from the barbual.  This gives the fly a segmented look.
Item Description Size Price To Top
12919-14 Blue Quill 14 3 for $5.25

12919-16 Blue Quill 16 3 for $5.25

Blue Wing Olive
The product of another nameless originator. The Blue Wing Olive is a great pattern for imitating many common species of mayflies which occur in nearly every region of the Northern Hemisphere.  This pattern was undoubtedly first tied as a wet fly with quill wings.  Hackle tip wings have proven to be much more effective on the currently popular dry fly listed here.
Item Description Size Price To Top
12929-12 Blue Wing Olive 12 3 for $5.25

12929-14 Blue Wing Olive 14 3 for $5.25

12929-16 Blue Wing Olive 16 3 for $5.25

12929-18 Blue Wing Olive 18 3 for $5.25

12929-20 Blue Wing Olive 20 3 for $5.25

Dark Cahill
Named after Dan Cahill, who is credited with stocking the first rainbow trout in the Delaware watershed in 1884.  This happened while Dan was a brakeman on the local railroad.  On board his train were some big brood stock rainbow trout, presumably headed for the Caledonia fish hatchery in upstate New York. When his own train was blocked by a derailed work train,
Cahill knew the trout would never make it in the mid-summer heat. They were transported by hand to Calicoon Creek. The trout flourished in the little Catskill stream, a tributary in the Delaware watershed. Dan was a popular angler/fly tiers and his flies were popularized by such angling luminaries as Ray Bergman and Edward Hewitt.
Item Description Size Price To Top
1041-14 Dark Cahill 14 3 for $5.25

1041-16 Dark Cahill 16 3 for $5.25

Gray Wulff
Lee Wulff was the most famous fly angler of the 1960-80 era.  A bush pilot of daring and skill, Lee pioneered much of the Alantic Salmon fishing in Labrador and Nova Scotia.  A highly skilled angler, Lee caught many salmon on tiny rods and tiny flies while being filmed with movie cameras.  Many of his films appeared on the popular TV series, American
Sportsman.  The Gray Wulff is a high floating, durable hair wing fly that has remained very popular for both trout and Atlantic Salmon.
Item Description Size Price To Top
4040-10 Gray Wulff 10 3 for $5.85

4040-12 Gray Wulff 12 3 for $5.85

4040-14 Gray Wulff 14 3 for $5.85

4040-16 Gray Wulff 16 3 for $5.85

Brown Hackle Peacock
This was the fly of my teens.  During the summer months, in the streams in the Idaho Panhandle, this small drab fly accounted for numerous fine trout of all species.  During the 1950's, all the oldtimers used wet flies in size six or four.  My experimentation lead me to believe that many of the local trout fed on smaller insects and preferred smaller flies. It is a belief that has become the norm with most anglers.
The Brown Hackle Peacock is still a very productive pattern, especially on freestone streams.
Item Description Size Price To Top
1095-16 Brown Hackle Peacock 16 3 for $5.25

Gray Hackle Peacock
The old man who taught me how to fly fish for trout when I was a little kid carried a leather fly wallet, which had felt pages.  In it, he carried an assortment of wet flies.  The vast majority of his collection was made up of three patterns; Royal Coachmans, Brown Hackle Peacocks and Gray Hackle Peacocks.  Most of his flies were size-6.  All were fished wet.  He
was a deadly fisherman, and the Gray Hackle Peacock was his favorite pattern.  It stands to reason that I caught my very first trout on a Gray Hackle Peacock fly.  Then as books by east coast authors were read, and sophistication was acquired, matching the hatch became the approach and practice.  Thirty years later a friend who has a reputation for embellishing the truth, purported to have caught an extraordinary number of trout from the Deschutes River on a size-14 Gray Hackle Peacock.  Everyone thought it was another one of his stories, until one evening we observed him catch several dozen nice fish while using his Grey Hackle Peacock fly, fished wet. 
It has now become a standard fly with our group.  Sometimes the old thing becomes the new hot thing.
Item Description Size Price To Top
1096-10 Gray Hackle Peacock 10 3 for $5.25

1096-12 Gray Hackle Peacock 12 3 for $5.25

1096-14 Gray Hackle Peacock 14 3 for $5.25

1096-16 Gray Hackle Peacock 16 3 for $5.25

Humpy, Royal Green
Popularized by Jackson Hole guide & shop owner, Jack Dennis, the Humpy series of flies became the standard dry fly for fishing Montana Cutthroats in moving water.  Jack noted the success of the Royal Wulff and the fact that his clients could easily see them.  He added white wings to the Humpy patterns and the became Royal Humpys.
Item Description Size Price To Top
00210-10 Humpy, Royal Green 10 3 for $5.85

00210-12 Humpy, Royal Green 12 3 for $5.85

00210-14 Humpy, Royal Green 14 3 for $5.85

00210-16 Humpy, Royal Green 16 3 for $5.85

00210-18 Humpy, Royal Green 18 3 for $5.85

Humpy, Royal Orange
Humpys more or less took on caddis colors.  They were Wyoming's version of the Tied Down Caddis.  They also kind of have a terrestrial look to them.  With a lot of imagination they might mimic an ant, beetle, bee or hopper.  One thing that made Humpys so popular is they evolved in cutthroat country.  Unlike rainbows, cutthroats are often non-selective feeders.
Item Description Size Price To Top
00211-10 Humpy, Royal Orange 10 3 for $5.85

00211-12 Humpy, Royal Orange 12 3 for $5.85

00211-14 Humpy, Royal Orange 14 3 for $5.85

00211-16 Humpy, Royal Orange 16 3 for $5.85

Humpy, Royal Yellow
One day while guiding a couple of anglers on The Deschutes River for steelhead, I was anchored next to a shore line thicket of giant aquatic grass. The air was warm and calm, as  I sat lazily in the boat.  Fishing had been slow.  Suddenly there was a violent splash ten feet behind the boat.  I swiveled around to see what had made the commotion, but nothing came to light.  Finally my interest was focused on the unusually tall grass.  It
was obviously in bloom, and was exuding a thin film of sticky resin. Many small caddis flies were stuck to the stalks and blades of grass.  Within the thicket several large elongated Yellow Jacket wasps were capturing the helpless caddis and packing them off.  There was another splash behind me.  Try as I might, I couldn't find the cause.   My attention was drawn back to the drama in the grass.  There was another loud splash, this time to my right.  As I studied the water, a wasp landed to drink.  Evidently caddis are dry like crackers.  The wasp floated for a few feet when suddenly a very large Redside Trout took him with a violent splash.  When one of my clients returned to the boat, I handed him a six-weight outfit with a large Yellow Humpy attached to the end of the leader.  He took a couple of dandy trout with his first two casts.
Item Description Size Price To Top
00213-10 Humpy, Royal Yellow 10 3 for $5.85

00213-12 Humpy, Royal Yellow 12 3 for $5.85

00213-14 Humpy, Royal Yellow 14 3 for $5.85

00213-16 Humpy, Royal Yellow 16 3 for $5.85

Humpy, Black
If you fish mountain streams that are bordered by forest, the trout will be used to seeing a multitude of terrestrial insects that continually rain from the trees.  Ants, beetles and bees are often the staple trout foods in this situation.  The Black Humpy is a great searching pattern, especially during low light conditions.
Item Description Size Price To Top
00117-12 Humpy, Black 12 3 for $5.85

00117-14 Humpy, Black 14 3 for $5.85

Irresistible, Adams
This version of the popular Adams fly has a body made from spun and clipped deer hair. Originated in the 1930s by the famous Catskill's tyer Harry Darbee of Roscoe, New York. Harry and his wife Elsie combined the high-floating clipped deer hair body of a bass bug with hackles and wings of a trout fly.
Item Description Size Price To Top
11924-10 Irresistible, Adams 10 3 for $5.85

11924-12 Irresistible, Adams 12 3 for $5.85

11924-14 Irresistible, Adams 14 3 for $5.85

11924-16 Irresistible, Adams 16 3 for $5.85

Light Cahill
Named after Dan Cahill, who is credited with stocking the first rainbow trout in the Delaware watershed in 1884. Cahill's real claim to fame, though, was his creation of the Cahill fly. Ray Bergman author of the best selling Trout in 1938, said of the Light Cahill, "If it was necessary to confine my assortment of flies to only two or three, this would be one of
them."  The Light Cahill is, after all these years a great PMD/PED imitation on many rivers.
Item Description Size Price To Top
1040-12 Light Cahill 12 3 for $5.25

1040-14 Light Cahill 14 3 for $5.25

1040-16 Light Cahill 16 3 for $5.25

One of the most recognized insects is the blood sucking mosquito.  Of course, mosquitoes are aquatic insects, so they are always around water where people are fishing.  Many anglers would associate mosquitoes as fish food.  Because of their wandering life style, is doubtful that many adult mosquitoes are eaten by trout.  However, the Mosquito fly has been very successful and is very popular
with many anglers today.  It is most successful as a fly for fishing lakes.  This may be because it looks more like a Callibaetis mayfly than a mosquito.
Item Description Size Price To Top
3065-10 Mosquito 10 3 for $5.25

3065-12 Mosquito 12 3 for $5.25

3065-14 Mosquito 14 3 for $5.25

3065-16 Mosquito 16 3 for $5.25

3065-18 Mosquito 18 3 for $5.25

What does this old classic pattern represent?  No one knows, but its effectiveness can be attested too by many.  According to Ernst Hemingway, "Taylor Williams came to work in Sun Valley in 1937 (as hunting and fishing guide). He was an excellent dry fly fisherman. He always said that he was responsible for the renegade fly."
Item Description Size Price To Top
4015-12 Renegade 12 3 for $5.25

4015-14 Renegade 14 3 for $5.25

4015-16 Renegade 16  

Royal Coachman
Popularized by Mary Orvis Marbury in her great American classic Favorite Flies and Their Histories, published in 1892.  It was first dressed by New York shop owner, John Haily in 1885.  It was one of the first "named" flies sold in the U.S.  Prior to this time period, most fly patterns were designated by numbers.
Item Description Size Price To Top
13125-10 Royal Coachman 10 3 for $5.25

13125-12 Royal Coachman 12 3 for $5.25

13125-14 Royal Coachman 14 3 for $5.25

13125-16 Royal Coachman 16 3 for $5.25

Royal Coachman Trude
Also called "Bucktail Royal Coachman", or just plain Bucktail Coachman. In the early 1900s, in Island Park, Idaho, Carter Harrison created the "Trude" fly for his friend A. S. Trude.  Harrison's "down-wing" style, with the hair wing slanted back across the body is now called the "Trude" style. The Royal Coachman Trude is the most popular.
Item Description Size Price To Top
4017-12 Royal Coachman Trude 12 3 for $5.85

4017-14 Royal Coachman Trude 14 3 for $5.85

4017-16 Royal Coachman Trude 16 3 for $5.85

Royal Wulff
Once when asked what the Royal Wulff fly looked like to the trout, Lee Wulff replied, "Strawberry shortcake". Lee Wulff tied all of his flies without a vise, a remarkable achievement, considering how difficult it is to tie a Royal Wulff with a tying vise. The Royal Wulff is one of the most popular dry flies of all time, probably because it floats high and is easy to see on the water.
Item Description Size Price To Top
4110-08 Royal Wulff 8 3 for $5.85

4110-10 Royal Wulff 10 3 for $5.85

4110-12 Royal Wulff 12 3 for $5.85

4110-14 Royal Wulff 14 3 for $5.85

4110-16 Royal Wulff 16 3 for $5.85

Super Trude
A caddis pattern with a highly visible white wing.  Also called the "Lime Trude".  In size-14, it won the 1986 Jackson Hole One Fly contest for Reynolds Pomeroy of West Bank Anglers.  It has been very popular throughout the west ever since.  This fly can be fished effectively either wet or dry.
Item Description Size Price To Top
01104-12 Super Trude 12 3 for $5.85

01104-14 Super Trude 14 3 for $5.85

About This Page.
Taking photographs of flies is fun.  The pictures of the flies above are our latest attempt at graphics that best describe our flies to you.  Digital graphics is a new field.  Digital graphics over the internet is subject to the whims of the technology itself.  We are assuming that different browsers and different  computer screens will render our work with its own personality.  For that reason we have kept our rendition very simple.  Your comments about our presentation would be very much appreciated.  Do you like the pictures? 
Do they give you adequate description? 
Are they fun to look at?

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