Fly fishing is a wonderful experience that combines the beauty of the outdoors with the opportunity to participate in what many anglers consider a form of art. Fly fishing does not use conventional fishing gear and tackle. Instead, it is based on the ability to cast a hand tied fly out to where trout are feeding and present it in a way that looks as natural as possible to incite a strike.
There are many different flies available to fly anglers, but the most common type is the dry fly. Dry flies are called dry flies because they are designed to be drifted on the top of the water. They mimic adult insects that are resting on the water's surface. There are many different trout dry flies available, ranging from mayfly patterns like the Adams, to terrestrial patters like the parahopper. Dry flies that imitate an adult fly insect like the mayfly or Caddis fly come in a large variety of different sizes and color patterns. This allows the angler to match exactly what is hatching on the waters surface to achieve the most success when fishing.
Successful patterns depend on the water you are fishing. If mayflies are common where you fish, mayfly patterns like the Adams, Green Drake, and the pale morning dun are successful on a range of different waters. If Caddis flies are common, the Elk Hair Caddis pattern is one of the best options out there. Stoneflies like the Golden Stone will work well during any stonefly hatch. Small midge patterns basically just need to match the color and size of the midges hatching to be successful. When it comes to terrestrials, Jake's hoppers, foam beatles and ants are also successful on a wide range of waters. It is up to you to determine what is successful where you are casting.
Because dry flies need to float on the surface of the water, the line that you select is very important. It needs to be a floating fly line. This will ensure that if the fly sinks, it is not because the line is pulling it under. Dry flies need to be dried off periodically to maintain their natural look. A properly applied fly floatant will help prolong the ability to stay afloat in swift currents.
If you are just getting into fly fishing, dry flies will become a very common option in your fly fishing vest. There is nothing more exciting than watching a trout rise to your perfectly placed dry fly. If you are planning a trip to go fishing in Alaska for trout, be sure to study up on the right dry fly patterns to bring along. Good luck and happy fishing!