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How To Match The Hatch (5 of 14)

Video Transcript:

The next thing you've got to figure out is well, what fly to use. What fly are those fish eating? And it's often important. Fish sometimes get selective. So, you look on the water. Don't worry about what's flying in the air. There are 's caddisflies flying in the air here, but I don't know if the fish are eating those caddisflies. They might be eating something totally different. You have to think about what's on the water.

You might not be able to see much. Sometimes a pair of binoculars might help you, but often you won't be able to see what they're taking. You may never figure out what they're taking. You may have to change flies a dozen times. I've had days when I never figured out what the fish were taking.

So it's a lot of trial and error. You never know what fly they're going to take. You make some educated guesses, you go out there, and you give them a try.

Quite often, when you have rising fish, there will be bugs over in the current lane where the fish are feeding and no insects where you're standing, and sometimes you have to actually try to wade over to the other side or where the fish is to get in the same current lane to see what kind of bugs they're seeing. So that's what I'm going to do here.

We've got a fish feeding up there in the ripple. I'm going to carefully slide down here in the tail, pick up an insect, see what they're probably eating, and then come over and try to match it.

So what I've got here is a little PMD mayfly. He got a little bugged up when I caught him. He had just emerged, and he's still a little soft. But that's okay because I can see the size and the color of the fly. So all I have to do is, hopefully, poke around in my fly box until I find a mayfly imitation that's about the same size and color.

Most anglers worry too much about what fly pattern to choose. In any given situation, dozens of fly patterns will catch trout in the same pool. Presentation of the fly is just as important if not more important than the correct fly pattern.

And next, we'll get some tips on how to present a dry fly.