September is tomorrow and many of Maine's small streams close at the end of that month. We've responded to a few emails the last few weeks about fly patterns for smaller waters. Many of our clients tie and want to be prepared by filling boxes with the good stuff. Here is the basic small stream box we use guiding or out playing on our own.
Nymphs: Whitlock's Squirrel Nymph 14-16, Hare's Ear 14-16, Pheasant Tail 14-16, Prince CDC 12-16, Copper John 14-16 copper,black and red, Smoot's Bloody Mary 16, Green Rockworm 14-16 (a very prevalent caddis), Shop Vac 14-16. Kaufman's CDC Wired Caddis 14-16 amber and olive. We carry four to six of these patterns. Most have bead heads.
Wets: Partridge and orange, yellow, red, purple and dun 12-16. Flymphs 14-16, Bird's Nest 14-16, natural and black, Pheasant Tail and Hare's Ear Soft Hackle 14-16.
Streamers: Woolly Buggers 12 black, brown, olive, chartreuse, white and purple. Mini Muddler 14-16.
Dries: Parachute Adams 14-16, Parachute Hare's Ear 14-16, Mr. Rapidan 14, Ausable and Royal Wulffs 12-14, Ausable Bomber 12-14, X Caddis 14-16 olive and tan, Chubby Chernobyl 12 red, purple, orange and yellow, Rubber Leg Cricket 12, black, Lawson's Beetle 14-16, Steeves Firefly 12, Foam Ant 12 black, red. We carry four to eight of these.
All these flies fit into a C&F Designs 12 compartment (for dries)/eight row waterproof box. When we are fishing the really small brooks for natives we carry a sparse selection of dries in a six compartment box.
Even with all of these patterns listed, one could cut the selection in half and still be very successful. Half the fun is seeing what works and what doesn't. All of these work very well, every season, every time.