Fast Pocket Water & Big Attractor Dry Flies

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I love fishing big attractors on steep gradient rivers and streams. Photo By: Louis Cahill

During the spring, summer and fall I often get the itch to forget about catching numbers and instead see how big of an attractor dry fly I can get away with fishing and still fool trout.

For those of you who don’t know, my closest trout waters are North Georgia and Western North Carolina. We don’t regularly fish giant attractor dry fly patterns, like lots of my western friends do, because most of our water just won’t yield much results. That’s whats so cool about the idea of fishing them, when most anglers would chastise you. It gives me a little extra reward fishing patterns out of place and still catching fish. My favorite trout water for doing this on are medium-sized streams, particular in gorge sections that have a steep stream gradient. This type of water generally is loaded up with pocket water, and that’s perfect trout water for fishing big attractor patterns. Most of the trout found in these stretches of water are forced to be opportunistic feeders. The fast and turbulent water don’t give them a lot of time to examine their food before it’s out of their reach.

I’ll never forget an epic day of fishing in western North Carolina last year, fishing a size 6-8 Royal Wulff. I caught some really nice brown and rainbow trout that day, and I chuckled inside as I got weird looks from other locals on the stream, as they watched me drifting unusually large dry flies. They must have thought I was a first-timer. If you’re getting numb and bored with the same old fishing routine, I suggest you mix things up and try catching trout in a different or unusual way. It bring the kid out in you, and I guarantee every fish will put a smile on your face.

Some of my favorite attractor dry flys (from left to right): Royal Wulff, Stimulator, PMX, Double-Humpy

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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4 thoughts on “Fast Pocket Water & Big Attractor Dry Flies

  1. thanks for article, i have been doing the same on some tailwaters in TN, and have had alot of luck and fun. The TN Wulff (just a green band instead of a red one) drives them nuts.

    • Lennon,

      Thanks for commenting. Glad to hear I’m not the only guy who enjoys fishing these big attractors. Everyone has a right to fish how they like even if it seem out of place.


  2. Heading up to your home waters this coming weekend. I am a dry dropper guy about 90% of the time and Humpie’s, Trudes, and this new Snowshoe hare hopper/stone by Kelly Gallop in reasonably large sizes 10-12 are my go to. I have used some of my western stimi’s just to float larger nymphs and have taken about as many on the outsized dry as on the nymph. Nice article and nice to know that as my eyes get worse I can go bigger an still catch fish.

  3. Hi, Kent.

    I did that last August on a pool the size of 6 hot tubs, tied on a size 6 Parachute Chernobyl Ant to see what would happen. The terrestrial pattern was bigger than any of the natural hoppers. The 22-inch Bear River cutthroat slammed it on the second drift. I got a good laugh out of it given that the fly was freakishly huge, brightly colored, and didn’t resemble any insect (maybe a small bird?) in the general vicinity.

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