There are millions of different dry flies that exist today.  They are designed to mimic insects like mayflies, caddisflies, stoneflies and various terrestrials.  Dry flies can be tied with natural materials such as deer hair and hackle feathers, and synthetic materials like foam and rubber legs.  No matter which you choose, it must do two things:  Float, and be durable.


  The most common mayflies you will encounter while out on a trout stream are: Blue Wing Olives, Blue Quills, Pale Morning Duns, Green Drakes, and Tricos.  While these are only a small sampling of all the different mayflies that exist, there’s a good chance you will encounter these on the stream at some point while dry fly-fishing. If you had to pick one to mimic all of these, choose an Adams fly.


For Caddisflies, no question you will want to have a dry fly pattern called an Elk Hair Caddis.  It is the quintessential dry caddis fly. It is tied out of Elk Hair (hence the name), which is very hollow and helps the fly float very well.  The makeup of this hair is also what gives Elk the insulation they need in order to survive the winter months. Make sure to have different colors and sizes of this dry fly pattern because they can vary greatly depending on the region.


  Stoneflies are very large in size and provide trout with a huge protein boost.  It’s like giving them a steak!  These dry flies are typically in the size #2-#6 range, and are often constructed out of foam to ensure that they float.  Stimi-Stones and Floating Stoneflies are perfect dry flies for fly fishing over these hatches.

Terrestrials can be a bit more complex since this insect group consists of many ants, beetles, crickets and grasshoppers.  There’s a multitude of ways to tie the best terrestrial dry flies, from very small like ants and beetles, to very large to mimic crickets and grasshoppers.  In either case, Stimulators in a variety of colors will do the trick.

All in all, don’t be afraid to carry more dry fly patterns with you than what you think you’ll need.  If the fish are in a picky mood on that particular day, you’ll be glad to have a wide selection to choose from.