I spoke with a gentleman at the Bass Pro Shops fly fishing section, he says crawdad patterns work the best, but terrestrials (grasshoppers, ants, spiders, etc.) and streamers (minnow patterns) work well too. I don't know much about retrieval yet.
PS - I'm new to flyfishing too and just learned those terms this week
I've just started fly fishing as well. So far, so good, even with smallies.
So far I've caught smallies on clouser minnow, wolly buggers, foam spiders and poppers/sneaky petes.
Clouser minnow was very effective back in somewhat cooler weather, letting it drift some then curl out when it reached the end of the line (this is where I really got some aggressive bites) and then stripping it in fairly aggressively to give it a bit of a swimming look.
Wooly bugger was effective last weekend at my usual spot using the same approach.
Hey guys, glad to here your getting into flyfishing. For smallies, crayfish patterns, clousers, woolly buggers, sneaky petes, leach's, hellgimmites and other baitfish streamer depending on the forage in your waters are all good places to start. Retrieves very from trip to trip so experiment with slow or fast or deaddrift or the swing untill you find what works. It changes so often that you may fish one way for an hour and then have to change it up again later. Rushrun not dumb luck at all, good fly choice and exellent technique. That swing is a deadly way to pick up fish. Cast at a 45 down and accross the current and let it swing back to the slow water directly below you and the strip it in along the current seam. Good luck guys and stick with it the more you get out and do it the better your fishing will become. S
sevenx is right on the money. One general tip I will add is that the warmer the water, the faster the retrieve. Many folks ALWAYS work a sneaky pete or other type popper slowly. At times, letting it sit, then "ripping" it can be extremely effective. Just keep experimenting, & above all, have fun.
I've done well with muddler minnows..in deep pools stripped and paused. ...But I've also done bad with them. Have had no luck with anything else yet though(matukas, clousers, woolys, zonkers). But it will start to pick up...at least thats what I keep telling myself. The crayfish are a big part of where I fish (Rocky River) so I'm working on getting a good imitation that I can work slow along the bottoms. Every place is different but if you keep at it you'll start to figure out what works best...If you see someone fly fishing and doing well don't be afraid to ask what's working for them..
I'm new to the fly rod too and have had good luck recently with a modified clouser minnow tied to look like a sculpin. I let it sink to the bottom and then strip in a foot and let it sink and repeat. This imitates the way the sculpin scoots along the bottom. Any local fly shop will have some version of a sculpin imititation. I prefer one tied with heavy dumbbell eyes so no extra weight is needed and the hook is upsidedown preventing snags.
Heres how I tie my version:
size 8 streamer hook
1/24oz lead eyes, black
tail: 2 large grizzly neck hackle
pectoral fins: 2 brown hungarian partidge feathers
head/collar:brown elk hair or bucktail
optional: flashabou or some flashy synthetic tied behind the collar.
Poppers are common and some people use crayfish imitations, I haven't tried this yet but I imagine you would fish it the same way.
The essence of fly fishing is to look around and see what the fish feed on in the waters you fish and then try to imitate it.
One bit of advice that has helped me is that when you first arrive at an area to fish, like a deep pool or a bend. just sit there on the bank and watch the water see if any fish are jumping decide where you should cast first and just relax. I smoke a cigarette and have a cup of coffee and just watch the water when I first walk up to it..I used to charge in and cast anywhere like a madman..made my arm sore and caught less fish...taking it easy and observing makes it much more enjoyable for me, plus I had a heron land and hunt 4 feet from me which was great to see. And saw what I thought was a dog swim by but was a river otter..or a beaver..I'm going with otter.