When to use Dry flies: Dry flies sit on the surface film of the water, unlike wet flies which sit just below the surface. These trout fishing flies are typically used during the spring and summer months when water temperatures start to warm. In these conditions, fish swim closer to the surface and feed regularly on bugs and flies which are either trapped or hatching.
Cul de canard, or CDC, translates from French as 'Duck Ass', and rightly so as these are feathers from the back of a duck around the preen gland; a gland which produces a buoyant preen oil, giving extra buoyancy to any fishing fly which uses CDC feathers.
CDC's superb natural buoyancy allows these trout fishing flies to float beautifully without the need for any artificial floatants. These feathers are known for their soft, fluffy texture and natural movement in the water, making them attractive to fish and an ideal tying material for dry flies that is delicate and insect like.
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Hopper patterns offer real versatility as nymph emerger, dry fly and terrestrials, all tied with mobile tempting knotted legs.
Many Daddy Longlegs or Crane Flies are on the water from June to early October. This fishing fly makes a decent mouthful and will often tempt when small traditional fishing patterns are ignored.
Created for surface fly fishing they also work extremely well as a wet fly on an intermediate or sinking line when fishing larger still waters or reservoirs for trout.
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Hackled fishing flies are meant to float on the water's surface, imitating all sorts of adult aquatic or terrestrial insects that fall into the water. The hackle fibres closely mirroring the imprint a real insect would create on the surface film, which causes distinct shapes which trout spot when looking up.
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Humpies - The Humpy or Goofus Bug is a very buoyant fishing pattern initially created for the swift waters of California and has become the number one rough water dry fly! It sits high on the water and is very visible to the angler in poor conditions. It is used as an all purpose fishing fly by anglers throughout the world on difficult and broken waters because it doesn't just float, it catches fish!
Wulffs - The Wulff series represents a bushy, high floating fishing fly, that remains visible into the evening twilight, and rides well in rough water; and were developed by Lee Wulff in the 1930's. The most popular of the series is probably the Grey Wulff, it takes fish throughout the the spring and summer. Every modern fly angler should have one in their flybox; in larger sizes it makes excellent Mayfly fishing patterns.
Stimulators - Stimulators are used successfully as a great buoyant attractor fishing pattern on fast water, sometimes as representative of a sedge, and often as an imitation of a large stonefly.
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Klinkhammer trout flies are different from many other parachute dry fishing flies. The thorax of the fly is designed to hang down 'through' the surface of the water to imitate an emerging insect.
Because the body pierces through the surface film, it becomes more visible to trout over larger distances, as these fishing flies do not have to rely on the ripple effect happening on the surface.
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The mayfly hatch is a fascinating time of the year for fly fishing, as fish such as trout throw themselves at any fly (artifical fly or not) and feed ferociously.
Hatches are plentiful as spring days become longer and warmer. The fish soon forget their dangers as they feast upon this ample food source.
Adult mayflies have a very short life span, their primary purpose is to reproduce. The shortest of the mayfly species lives under 5 minutes! Because of this they don’t have usable mouths and their digestive systems are filled with air.
After their spectacular hatches, the swarms end their lives on the water. A great opportunity for fisherman to mimic these Mayfly flies while trout are actively feeding upon them, and undoubtedly the high point of the fly fishing season with the chance to see many spectacular catches! Below are a selection of popular Mayfly flies.
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The body of a parachute fly sits temptingly 'in' the surface film, held there by the parachute hackle. Shuttlecock are a modern fishing fly whose body hangs temptingly just under the surface film.
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Caddis flies are quite often referred to as 'Sedge' flies, to describe how an adult Caddis fly tend to attach and cling themselves onto the sedge grass growing along the banks of the water.
While Sedge fishing flies can vary in size, the main characteristics of Sedge flies are its wings and colour. Adult caddis has 2 pairs of wings, a slightly longer set at the front and shorter at the rear. It also has long antennas which extend from the sedge's body, while its body has dull colours such as grey, brown, orange or green so as to help attract less attention from trout. The sedges wings can have patterns with similar colours.
Sedges or Caddis tend to hatch either early or late evening, which is probably the best time to fish this fly. Fish near the banks, and if trout are not biting, try fishing with an attractor pattern which has brighter colours to attract the attention of any trout.
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Spinner is a term referring to the fully grown adult insect. Following the final stage from dun to spinner, the emergent adult dries itself again and reserves strength. Usually at sunset is when you start to see the 'dance' as the bugs gather in clouds of thousands. After the spinners dance for a while the female mayflies will deposit there eggs by either an egg sack or landing on the surface and depositing them. Either way this makes the mayfly females vulnerable and a feast for the trout to gorge on. When all the mating and egg laying is over the mayflies die and fall to the waters surface. These make great trout flies as they will feed heavily on the 'spent' spinners.
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A serious limitation of all imitative fishing flies is the 'unnatural' presence of the hook. Our 'Stealth series' of 'upside down dry flies' has been developed so they rest on the waters film with the bend and point of the hook facing skywards; showing a much more natural silhouette; ideal for the more wary trout. After all, most trout flies have hooks which are clearly visible, something which fish might want to avoid!
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Terrestrials can't be classed as fishing flies, they are land dwelling insects such as beetles that have unfortunately ended up stranded in the water, but never the less they have the ability to outperform even the greatest trout flies in the correct conditions! Think gusts of wind and you can realise how much extra food terrestrials can supplement for trout.
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Traditional winged dry fishing flies use the waters surface tension to float above the surface. These trout flies will ride on the hackle and tail. The wing creates a silhouette taking on the appearance of a natural insect, easily spotted from down below!
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