Deep into the Fly Box I Went
This past summer, I got the chance to guide a couple of great clients for two days. It was a father who had a lot of fly fishing experience and his son who was a bit newer to the sport. It was the perfect chance for me to show them some great local water, as well as get a young fly fisherman “hooked.” The day started out pretty well with a few hook ups and a few small fish to hand. As the morning wore on and the sun got brighter and higher in the sky, the fishing got a little tougher.
The water on Spring Creek that time of year was gin-clear and low. The fish were spooky and there were not many bugs on or in the water. We had seen a few PMD mayflies and the occasional Blue Winged Olive and were fishing patterns to mimic what we found, but the strikes were few. We approached one spot that was in the shade with a submerged log, which created a deeper channel right through the middle of the stream. This was classic trout holding water and with the day almost over, I knew we had to take advantage. At this point I was working with Graham, the son, and the first drift through the slot revealed a very nice rainbow. It was only a look; however, so I quickly changed the fly. Another look followed but not a strike. As I cut the second fly off and went to my box, I was searching for answers.
There it was, the Royal Wulff. This is a pattern that I fished heavily myself when I first started fly fishing, but one that I had not gone to in years. For those who might not be familiar, the Royal Wulff is known as an “attractor” pattern not meant to look like anything in particular but a fly that floats well, is easy to see and just looks buggy. I thought that maybe I was over-thinking what the trout was looking for, so I grabbed a size-12 and tied it to the end of the leader. I told Graham to land it five feet upstream of the trout and drift it right over where we saw it. That was it, the rainbow took it willingly on the first drift and after a real strong fight we had a beautiful 14-inch rainbow in the net! This one fly and one fish had turned a good day into a great day and one that I know I will not soon forget. Thank you, Royal Wulff.