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Fly Patterns for Clarity

The gin clear environments common to many stillwaters are perhaps the toughest test facing patterns and presentation. Unencumbered by currents, suspended matter and debris stillwater trout inspect patterns with ruthless scrutiny. Visible, foraging trout storm an offering, flare their pectorals and turn their heads in obvious disapproval. To be successful in clear stillwaters fly patterns must be somber and natural in appearance. Larger morsels including dragon nymphs and leeches should mimic this theme. Bright gaudy attractors are inclined to struggle. Damsel nymphs are pale and translucent. Materials such as marabou, ostrich herl and seal’s fur provide much needed animation and translucence. Keep proportions slim and timid to avoid suspicion. Smaller patterns tend to be more effective, for instance chironomids average size 12 and smaller. Consider internal mass as opposed to flashy beads for weight especially in pressured circumstances when a trout’s judgment climbs to new levels. To fly fisher such as myself the challenge of clear stillwaters is an addiction that is tough to shake.

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