Now that we’ve entered the world of fly fishing, we asked our friend and fishing expert, JP Ross, to give us some hints on how choose the best lure.

JP says:

Selecting the right fly when fly fishing is not much different than choosing the right golf club for your next shot, or setting the exposure on your camera for the perfect picture. It takes practice, knowledge and understanding of your environment in order to get it right half the time. No matter what any avid fly fisher will tell you, you only have to be close half the time unlike golf and photography.

Choosing the right fly when trout fishing is also a lot different from choosing the right fly when bass fishing or fishing for blue gills and sunfish. The later species are far less selective and are much more opportunistic feeders, in other words, you just need to get a fly near them and they will usually bite it.  Trout however are very tuned in to their environment.  A bad cast or the wrong fly could me your net stays dry.

Fly fishers often refer to their fly selection based on the “hatch.” The hatch is the species or type of bug that is coming off the water at that time. We refer to it as a hatch, because the insects are actually hatching from a nymph or pupa to an adult.  Much like a caterpillar turns into a butter fly.  Sometimes it is two or even three different types of flys hatching and the trout will likely only be keyed into one type. This is called selective feeding and can be difficult to “match the hatch.”

The secret is to watch the water and try to observe you environment the best you can.  When filling your fly box you generally want a variety of flies in various colors and sizes.


In general:

The Adams

Royal Wulff

Elk hair caddis

Emergent sparkle pupa

Rusty spinner

White Wulff

Various colors of compara duns

and ants and grasshoppers will take care of most of your days note water.

You should have all these flies in size 12 to 16


All these flies above are called dry flies, and are used when the fish are fishing or splashing on the surface.  If there is no activity on the surface then you better fish under the surface of the water with a wet fly like:

Hares ear nymphs

Pheasant tail nymph

Bucktail streamers

and wooly buggers.


These flies are good all-around flies to get the angler started.  When you are out on the water and you see bugs hatching try to grab one, hold it up to your fly box and just pick something that is close.  First go by size! Then by color and then by shape.  If you cast your fly and the fish comes up to look at your fly but does not take it, just go a little smaller and that usually fools them every time.

See the B. 1802 Badger Hackle Fly Rod handmade by JP Ross. Click here

JP Ross hand-tied flies (as seen above) using the goat hair from Beekman 1802 Farm.  Click here


by Josh and Brent

Reader Comments

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Adam S. Green

Saltwater flyfishing is typically done with heavier tackle than that which is used for freshwater trout fishing, both to handle the larger, more powerful fish, and to accommodate the casting of larger and heavier flies. Salt water fly fishing typically employs the use of wet flies resembling baitfish, crabs, shrimp and other forage. However, saltwater fish can also be caught with “poppers,” and other surface lure similar to those used for freshwater bass fishing , though much larger. Saltwater species sought and caught with fly tackle include: bonefish , redfish or red drum, permit, snook, spotted sea trout, tuna , dorado ( mahi-mahi ), sailfish , tarpon , striped bass , salmon and marlin . Offshore saltwater species are usually attracted to the fly by “chumming” with small baitfish, or “teasing” the fish to the boat by trolling a large hookless lure ( Billfish are most often caught using this latter method).

Mary Ann Hutchins

Wasn’t that A good idea I suggested you do in your pond I use live bait when I fish for trout and it works every time .I would love to come and fish there and I would love to see A video of you guys fishing and I’ll bet there will be some funny moments you guy’s seem like fun .And Good luck fishing .Mary Ann Hutchins

Kelly V.

Beekman Boys, you’ve just made fly-fishing cool in my eyes! Visiting your farm in Sharon Springs is on my and a few of my girlfriends’ bucket list! One day.