Fly fishing is not only a method of fishing; for most it is a way of practicing and working to master a complete segment of outdoorsman skills. One specific part of fly fishing that draws some of the most adamant, hardcore and strict fisherman is fishing for native trout. The distinction to be made here for those who modestly enjoy the occasional fishing trip all the way to anyone who has never even held a rod is that native trout are the most skittish, wary, quick and remote trout that an angler can chase. Most local waters you might find are stocked, meaning that the fish and game commission will dump farm grown trout into those waters on an annual basis thereby giving fishermen access to larger, and easier trout. To catch wild trout and be truly good at it you need to go where those natives are. You need to find the mountain streams that host these fingerling fish and you need to stalk them like prey.
Now getting to the fish and practicing your fishing is probably the hardest part of being a native trout fisherman, but the other important aspect is knowing what to feed these fish. Native trout haven’t been hand fed corn meal and pellets there whole lives – they’ve lived and survived off of natural food sources like aquatic insects, larva, nymphs and terrestrial bugs that fall into the streams. Knowing what kind of insects are native to your location and how best to imitate them is the real key to zeroing in on a wild fish population.
Some of the most effective flies for natural streams and native fish are those tied in smaller sizes – but flashy patterns. What I mean is that you don’t need to perfectly imitate a natural bug to get a fish to take it, you can tie popular patterns with varying colors and details and these trout will often times find them too irresistible to pass up.
Shown above are two very popular patterns and two of my favorite flies, both how they look and fish. The left image is of the ever so famous Caddis dry fly which is the adult stage of a common and wide ranging bug known as the Caddis. These flies are liquid gold on small native streams and when in doubt, tie one of these on. The right image is that of an equally famous dry fly called the Adams, it is a general imitation of a hatched insect and covers a variety of mayflies.