I'm old-school, so I like to have books. To me, it's easier to have a book handy when I'm tying flies or rod building. Occasionally, the iPad and a video is a big help. I'd suggest buying a couple of books like the ones I've got listed below:

All of the above are available on Amazon.com. Any fly tying book by Dave Hughes will be a must-read.

I probably have over 1400 flies in 12-15 boxes - no, I'm not a guide. When going to the Eastern Sierras, I take most of my nymphs, wets, some dries & streamers. For the streams/rivers, most of the flies are in the 14-20 sizes and typically I use 16s.....depending. On the Upper Owens, north and east of Mammoth, I've even used size 10 Muddlers and done well. Sometimes it's a dry fly with a tiny, weighted nymph dropper 18" below it.

As I learned early on in the Eastern Sierras, watch what's going on! I've started with nymphs and done well, then see a hatch starting and switch to emergers or dries and just killed 'em. Even in the winter on the Lower Owens, we started with nymphs and did well. A hatch started and we switched to dries; an hour later, the hatch was done and we went back to nymphing.

I have boxes just for specific areas with specific flies. For example, for the famed North Umpqua when fishing for trout, they like large humpies, but most of all #6 Stimulators in yellow and green. These are giant flies for what I'm used to. OR.....When the dries are on fire on the Green River in southwest Wyoming, giant rubber leg terrestrials (#6) are the ticket.

Don't let the size of the stream fool you. Surprisingly enough, on the Upper UM Creek near Loa, Utah; large rubber leg terrestrials work, as well (#8-#10). The surprising part - you can jump across the stream it's so small. Again, don't be fooled, there are decent sized cuts are in that stream.

There are 1000s of dries, nymphs, wets, streamers, larvae, pupae and variations of them for certain areas and types that aren't covered here. The ones here are just some basic, good "out west" fly patterns. Every fly pictured below, I've used in the western Sierras, eastern Sierras, the local mountains or even Walker Lake, Nevada, so I know they work.

As you go along in your fly tying hobby (career?), you'll find out that you'll want to try a variation of a pattern. Take fly tying gear with you if you're hoteling it or in a cabin or lodge. Then when you have time before breakfast or after dinner - TIE A FEW UP!
Many years ago, I went with a cousin to his cousin's cabin on June Lake (with a dock on the lake - we were spoiled). His cousin took his fly tying gear up to the cabin. After dinner the first night we talked about how the trout in the eastern Sierras seem to like the colors of the peacock hurl. I showed him a fly that I'd dreamed up with peacock hurl that worked well, so he tied several up that night and used them the next day with success.



Dry flies are probably the most fun of the flies to use (included are terrestrials and hoppers). They sit on top of the water and you can see the fish take the fly. There is nothing more exciting than watching a 5 pound rainbow come up and grab the fly as you watch it happen! The big challenge is NOT trying to set the hook too early.

The Components of the dry fly and essential techniques are from 'The Art of Tying the Dry Fly' by Skip Morris. I've read the book cover-to-cover several times and it's always helpful. Techniques

Here's some good dry fly patterns. I've used all of these. Since I only fish out west, these are good western patterns. Basic instructions & pics supplied by 'Essential Trout Flies' by Dave Hughes. Dries

I fish mostly the Eastern Sierras, as well as the Western Sierras occasionally. These flies work in the Sierras - both eastern and western. From using a #14 Sofa Pillow on North Lake out of Bishop with decent success to trying a #10 muddler minnow on a small stream in the western Sierras, dries are always a blast. It's funny that everyone raves about the Royal Coachman. I've NEVER caught anything on one. Go figure!

I also didn't include the entire Adams Family (da-da-da-da snap snap). You'll see the Adams and parachute Adams, but not the female Adams or the Adams Irresistible (deer hair fly).

Tying videos from YouTube.com - Adams        Hairwing Dunn       Yellow Humpy       Parachute Adams       Elk Hair Caddis       Stimulator Stone Fly



Nymphs are probably what trout feed on the most, thus you should probably have more nymphs with you than dries or streamers (depending, of course).   Nymphs

Tying videos from YouTube.com - Hare's Ear      Caddis Emerger       Beadhead Prince       Pink Scud      Kaufman Stone fly       Brassie       


Wets & Streamers:

Wet flies typically imitate pupae - going from a nymph to an emerger/dry fly. Streamers imitate baitfish/minnows like the muddler minnow imitating a sculpin. Woolly Buggers resemble everything from tadpoles to dgraonfly & damselfly nymphs although they were originally tied to represent leeches.       Wets        Streamers        I didn't include Matukas or Zonkers.

Tying videos from YouTube.com -    Soft Hackle Peacock       Hare's Ear Flymph        Light Cahill       Muddler Minnow       Little Rainbow Trout       Brown Woolly Bugger

Nearly all nymphs and streamers can be either normal or beadhead, just by adding the beadhead. You'll see larger streamers tied with a large conical bead for added weight.

Again, many thanks to 'Essential Trout Flies' by Dave Hughes for the pages/pictures and explanations.  Thanks to The Fly Shack for most of the fly pics.


*** If you have 2 black flying ants, would you have the ET? Extra terrestrial. I know, bad. ***


Have fun with your tying. If you're starting out, like any new hobby, buying all the stuff will be a big first-time cost, but then you'll be good to go for a while.

Any questions, comments or otherwise, shoot me an email - scott@scottsshots.com