CMC's Denver Fly Fishing Section
 
Favorite Colorado Subsurface Flies

Page Two

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Tying Instructions
Kaufmann Stonefly: Salmonflies (Pteronarcys Californica) provide terrific nymph fishing, especially in spring and fall. The Kaufmann Stonefly is a realistic imitation of salmonfly nymphs. The pattern has a heavily-weighted wire underbody which sinks the fly in the fast currents that stoneflies inhabit. Some tiers add a beadhead and rubber legs.

Salmonfly nymphs are black or brown and grow to two inches in size. They are common in the cold, clean streams of the Rockies. Salmonfly nymphs live on stream bottoms, crawling on and between rocks. They thrive in fast, turbulent water. Stonefly nymphs are highly vulnerable to currents.

This vulnerability occurs throughout their three-year life, but is most prevalent in spring when mature nymphs migrate. If lucky they reach shore, climb out and emerge into adults. But many tumble downstream and are eagerly consumed by trout.
 


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Tying Instructions
March Brown Soft Hackle: Soft hackled wet flies are old-fashioned, successful patterns. Hackle responds to current and suggest life. They represent the wings and legs of moving insects. The color and movement of the March Brown Soft Hackle pattern is akin to that of emerging or diving caddis and darker-colored duns.

Soft hackle flies are gaining popularity due to the revival of the down-and-across drifting style. Many adherents are tired of "short-line, high-stick" nymphing routines. They prefer the greater range and activity of wet fly technique.
 


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Tying Instructions
Mercury Blood Midge: Colorado fishing guide Pat Dorsey originated the pattern. His signature ingredient is a small glass bead that adds weight and flash. Mercury-style flies are typically small because of what they mimic in the cold South Platte tailwaters. The peacock herl collar is an effective variation.

The Mercury Blood Midge imitate free-swimming red larva (bloodworms) that store oxygen in their blood, Bloodworms generally hide under rocks and debris or live in mud tubes. When evolving as pupa, they abandon their homes, fill air sacks and wiggle to the surface to hatch. The pattern is best dead-drifted on the bottom or as the trailing nymph in a two-fly rig.
 


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Tying Instructions
Muddler Minnow: The Muddler is a popular streamer attractor pattern. It can be fished weighted or unweighted. An unweighted muddler can float and simulates a stonefly, hopper, moth or rodent. With weight, the muddler can be fished over weedbeds and shallows. With more weight, the muddler can be stripped with gusto or allowed to settle in depths where lunkers lie.

The muddler is designed to disrupt a lot of water and create a disturbance to attract predators. It is a great pattern to fish at dusk for prowling browns.
 


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Tying Instructions
Prince Nymph: The green peacock herl and white wing makes the Prince Nymph successful. This forked- tail nymph originated in Minnesota, but was made popular by Doug Prince of California. Fished dead-drifted off the bottom, the Prince Nymph is an effective, universal pattern that imitates mayflies and stoneflies.

In faster waters, this pattern is designed to sink quickly, especially with a bead head. The white biot wings contrast well with the body and give the appearance of an emerging insect. The down-and-across wet fly technique is also effective in fishing this fly. Most takes taken this way are on the upswing.
 


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Tying Instructions
RS2 Emerger: The RS2, Rim's Semblance #2, is an emerger pattern that imitates a variety of mayflies and midges. It should be fished as a nymph, however. If the fly is not where fish are feeding, it will not be effective.

The RS2 comes in various sizes and colors, but the shape is the same. Loop wings and efflorescent materials are variations that give the fly sparkle. Commonly fished on two-fly rigs, the RS2 excels as a dropper under an Elk Hair Caddis or Stimulator.
 


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Tying Instructions
San Juan Worm: San Juan worms actually exist. They live in the silt-laden bottoms of rivers and lakes where dense populations can occur. San Juan worms feed on decaying organic matter and occur in a variety of colors. Red is most effective during turbid conditions.

During floods or bottom disturbances, San Juan worms are often dislodged. During these periods a slow-drifted worm can be deadly. The pattern is effective world-wide.
 


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Tying Instructions
Woolly Bugger Streamer: Woolly Buggers simulate large nymphs, leeches and baitfish. Leeches, along with aquatic worms hide or burrow in vegetated bottoms. During low light, they forage and are exposed to predators.

The ancestral Woolly Bugger was tied by early English anglers as a caterpillar imitation. Our modern version emerged in the 1960's with a marabou tail. Black, brown and olive are popular colors to use. Shiny strips tied to the marabou for flash are effective additions.

Woolly Buggers should be weighted in deep holes and strong currents. Count-down-and-retrieve or slow retrieve methods work well . Vary the retrieve until you find what works best. Quick, short strips or strip-and-pause techniques are also productive.

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