How to fish a emerger style dry fly

How to fish a emerger style dry fly
How to fish a emerger style dry fly

Emerger Flies like the white wulff represent insects as they transform from the nymph stage into adult hood. While an insect emerges and attempts to leave the surface it is vulnerable to trout presenting a easy meal.

For the purpose of this post we will talk dragonflies and damselflies when we talk  emergers because the things are every where in these parts littering the brooks and simplifying the hatch. Also they are a multi species food source feeding Atlantic salmon as well as hungry brook trout. If you have ever heard fly fisherman talking about matching the hatch that may have been the point where you decided to stick to your spinning rod.

 I want you to know that you don't need to intimately examine all the insects in the area or have studied entomology to become a effective dry fly fisherman. dragonfly and damselflies nymphs are plentiful  in most water bodies across  eastern Canada and it is a fact that trout love to fill up on them.

Instructors teach people to fish emergers with a dead drift or just subtle twitches implying that after your drift you simply recast. Although you will catch plenty of trout or salmon during the dead drift a little trick showed to me years ago will most certainly increase your rate of hook ups.

When you are near the end of the drift gently take up any slack in your float line and slowly drag the fly back toward yourself and sometimes even roll cast. I know your told that emergers against the current don't look natural but I beg to differ. That gentle pulling of your line looks like the adult insect is freeing itself from the shuck and taking flight this is the point where big trout and salmon nail it like they know it's there last chance to get that easy meal before it is gone.

As for twitching your emerger I suggest you keep it to a minimum. There is no large amount of struggle when nymphs float up and change to adults so a little rolling of the line between your fingers will do the job.

Other dry flies like the white blue charm for example are meant to imitate small dragonflies fresh from the nymph stage so really it is a emerger or a least half of one. Emergers imitating dragon flies are best fished over rocky bottoms simply because that is where the nymphs are attempting to avoid predation from trout but they work basically everywhere. Along the weeded edges of a brook or amongst the outer edges of lily pads white emergers will always get slammed.

Some anglers will tend to switch out for a new fly when their emerger gets wet or they may start to glob floating liquid  every where. This is a mistake and looking at how trout appear while rising can correct it.

Think about trout rising for a moment...how often do you see the trout break the water  while it feeds off insects from the surface.  Fact is most times you don't see the trout above the water because the fish is feeding on emerging insects that have not yet reached the waters surface so when your emerger gets a couple of inches below the surface relax your in the perfect spot for a strike.


The last thing to touch on is the color of emergers. Usually emergers have brown to black bodies as do most insects and white wings are fairly general. But if you tie your own wulffs or any type of emerger don't be afraid to experiment with different colors for tails and heads. Dragon and damselflies come in a variety of colors so anything from a red, blue or yellow will work and I have seen damselflies with color similar to chartreuse around their heads and eyes so experiment.

The topic of today's three tips is catch and release.

1 After thirty seconds a trout can begin to suffer unrepairable damage so be quick getting those trophy photo's.

2  Use a rubber net and keep your hands wet to give the trout the best chance of retaining it's protective coating.

3 Selective harvest can enhance a fishery and should go hand and hand with catch and release fishing.

Hope you enjoyed this post on emergers a important tool to catch more fish on the fly....FishinDan

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