Sunday’s Classic / Nymph Patterns for Dingy Water

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Releasing a nice brown taken in dingy water. Photo By: Louis Cahill

I’ve been on the water many days trout fishing when I’ve had blue bird skies overhead and gin clear water. Then moments later without any warning, an isolated thunderstorm rolls in and dumps a ton of rain, turning that crystal clear water cloudy. When you find yourself trout fishing in dingy or stained water conditions (not referring to blown out conditions) try using nymphs with fluorescent hot beads or patterns with hot spots to increase your number of hookups. They create bright focal points that allow trout to spot them easier when water clarity is subpar. When I’m dealt this hand of cards on the river I’ll tie on a large profile lead fly like a woolly bugger or rubberleg stonefly imitation followed up with one of these flies below as a dropper in my tandem nymph rig. Bright attractor patterns like the San Juan Worm, Y2K and Egg patterns are what I break out next if these patterns below don’t get the job done. They work especially well during extreme dingy water conditions.

1. Dave Hise’s Hetero-Genius Nymph  2. Hot Bead Soft-Hackle  3. Hot Head Pheasant Tail  4. Hot Head Buzzer Midge Attractor  5. Hot Butt Hexagenia Nymph

Another situation when these patterns really shine is fishing them during the colder months of the year. When water temperatures drop into the 30s and 40s, trout can often become lethargic due to their low metabolism rate. Fishing flies that have hot focal points can snap the trout out of their trance and create reaction bites.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline

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2 thoughts on “Sunday’s Classic / Nymph Patterns for Dingy Water

  1. Loving the blog entries… One question: Where can one get hotspot flies like you mentioned… specifically #’s 2, 3 & 4 in your lineup. I don’t tie (yet) and hotspot flies, and tungsten hot spot flies are really hard to find in shops, as well as online. If you know of a source, I’d love to throw some money at them.

    Thanks Kent.


    • Derrick,

      That’s a very good question. Most reputable fly shops should have a decent selection of these. You may have to find a commercial fly tier to get them custom tied for you. I’ll keep an eye out for you and let you know if I find anything out.


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