What each fly imitates
Let’s go over the flies and I’ll share what kind of insect each fly imitates. We want to cover midges, mayflies, caddis, stoneflies, scuds, sowbugs, damsels, dragons, hoppers, ants, beetles, and water boatman in all common sizes and stages. We even threw in some streamers.
As you can see below we have every type of fly you’re going to ned on the water put into an assortment. The upside is you will always have a fly you can throw that works, the downside is when the fish get super picky, this assortment can struggle. For example, if they are eating PMD spinners, a smokejumper can catch fish in that scenario, but a yellow mayfly spinner is not really an option in this assortment because it only imitates yellow spinner mayflies and it wasn’t worth a dozen of that fly. If you really need a dozen of this and dozen of that, you can add a couple more onto your order and you’re ready to rock.
For all midge nymphs, your beadhead zebra midge will handle all occasions. For all emergers and dries, your smokejumper midge covers those perfectly.
Mayfly nymphs are easily imitated by the pheasant tails, mayfly emergers can be imitated by the caddis emerger, though we admit it’s not a perfect fit, it does a good job on most fish. When the mayflies get small a smokejumper covers them as well. Lastly, mayfly adults can being imitated by a good ole’ parachute adams. The mayfly spinners can be imitated by the smokejumpers size #18 though it’s not a perfect fit, it does the job.
We made caddis easy. The caddis larva imitates a nymph and the cdc caddis emerger imitates the pupa. The caddis adults are imitated well by the missing link. When there are small black caddis, the smokejumper is your friend and when the caddis are small and tan, a parachute adams with a clipped tail works well too.
Pat’s rubber legs takes care of the stonefly nymphs and the rubberleg stimulator takes care of the stonefly adult imitations.
Scuds and Sowbugs
Th caddis larva in size 16 and 20 imitate scuds and the sowbug is imitated by the ray charles. Ray charles also imitates a scud too.
Damsel and dragon nymphs are imitated by the wooly bugger. If needed you can trim the tail and it will work even better. For the dry adult versions, the stimulator does pretty well. The adults are rarely imitated because they spend little time on the water and when fish do eat them they quickly attack it without giving it much thought.
Rubberleg stimulator in the bigger sizes imitates hoppers really well.
Ant patterns are imitated best by the parachute adams and clipping the tail, or the beetle patterns and trimming the sides down. You get 12 beetle patterns, so if you fish ants often, you can trim the tails down and bodies down to imitate ants.
Beetles are tough so we included a specific pattern just for them. As mentioned above you can trim them down if you don’t need a full dozen. It all works well.
Though rare, water boatman are best imitated by trimming the tail off a pheasant tail, or a ray charles or even a drowned smokejumper. Because they are rare we didn’t include a specific pattern, but if you need something in a pinch, we have options as part of this assortment.