If you are serious about catching trout and warm water fish, then think about this - 90 percent of fish netted are caught by 10 percent of anglers who pay attention to what the water is trying to tell them.
That's a big statement, but if you are playing the percentages then you have to understand that each body of water produces the basic ingredients for sustaining life, relative to that particular lake or stream.
In this case, it's all about fooling fish.
To begin, we should understand that fish are opportunistic. That's very important because it separates those anglers who chuck attractive chunks of metal, wood or plastic devices to entice the aquatic vertebrates into thinking it's something to digest. There is nothing wrong with that, because everything has its merits.
A good example of what our streams have to offer in the northeastern U.S. are the basic vertebrates and invertebrates that fish live with every day. The highly regarded vertebrates and great protein producers at the top of the list are minnows, stonecats and sculpins.
Next on the list is the common crayfish, beetle larva and the popular dobson flies referred to as hellgrammites in their larvae stage of development.
To bass and trout fishermen who enjoy dead-drifting a well-tied larvae imitation, hellgrammites are fantastic fish getters.
Remember, hellgrammites are insects and have the characteristics of that group important to fly tyers.
Hellgrammites belong to a group known as Megaloptera. They should not be confused with the heavy-winged fish flies so common in the eastern U.S.
There are many fly patterns floating around out there, such as buggers and clousers, that represent the group.
But since we enjoy casting and fooling fish with artificials, we always are looking for good fly patterns. I would like to share with fly fishermen who love to drift nymph imitations, the DD hellgrammite larvae imitation that has been good to me.
To begin with, your artificial hellgrammite or larvae imitation should be relatively easy to tie and be constructed so it looks like the larvae and not the adult winged fly because that stage has the typical two pairs of wings.
An imitation that I developed to represent the group has the characteristics of the larvae stage. I like the fly tied in smaller sizes for trout during the early season runoffs common in northeastern U.S. The abdomen should be flat and elongated from the anterior end throughout the length of the fly.
The larvae has paired antennae, ceri (tails), is poorly segmented and very small eyes. The recipe for tying is:
Weighted with lead tied alongside of the hook shank, covered;
Antennae: Goose biots dyed black
Appendages: Medium dun stiff hackle palmered from biots to behind the thorax;
Abdomen: At the back, tie in a strip of plastic recording tape at the bend of the hook;
Body: Dirty gray fine fur dubbing;
Tie in fine gold wire at the bend of the hook and back wrap it to behind the thorax
Hook: Tiemco 5262, Size 8, 2XL or your choice of hook.
Dead drift the fly in rapids.