Sunday Classic / 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 “Sunday Classic / Fast Pocket Water & Big Attractor Dry Flies

  1. I too am a convert to fishing big attractors. I was first turned on to this technique while monitoring a beat during a Team USA Regional on my home water, the Kings river in Central California. The fly of choice was a #6 Royal PMX. The competitor used it to suspend a couple of bead head nymphs and was very successful. I would much rather cast a big dry fly then a bobber whenever I can get away with it. Watching fish come up to the big dry never gets old.

  2. I’ll be working with Atlantic Salmon restoration this summer, specifically parrs and smolts. Definitely going to be trying out some small traditional bombers to see if I can connect. Tons of pocket water in our field sites.

  3. funny, maybe i fish too many cutthroats… but when the conditions are right, go big or go home. *they love protein*.

    That being said, i have seen browns in New Zealand (lets be honest the most picky fish in the entire F-ing planet eat giant cicadas, not in season).

    Further during muddy runoff in CO, fast water, i have thrown simulators in pools, like size 8, and have had success…fish have to feed, and how many size 22 nymphs can they see in pure mud? contrary i know, but they can see a large buggy shadow : ) Maybe im nuts (likely, but i catch walleye and blue gill on the same patters in muddy water??)

    tho, on a side note, i always remove the white indicator from all simulator patterns (or tie my own that way) as for some reason it fishes better (also tie a knot in longer legs, it looks more buggy).

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