Those of you who know me know that I fish, and tie, some off the wall flies. And once in awhile they become a staple in my fly box. Over this past season, anything pink has been a great producer for me everywhere I’ve fished.
This isn’t a match-the-hatch style of fishing, so purists need not apply. But, for the rest of you who like catching fish, I’d highly suggest having some of these flies in your box. The shade of pink seems to make no difference – Shrimp Pink, Hot Pink, UV, or Fluorescent Pink all catch fish. I tie numerous patterns with a “hot spot” integrated into them somewhere, which usually entails just changing out the traditional thorax on your favorite nymph pattern, and replacing it with pink dubbing of some variety. Works like mad.
One of the statements I hear from people around the shop and guided trip clients quite often is, “Why would that work? There’s nothing bright pink in the water right?”. This is true, but I personally think that hot spot patterns work for a different reason altogether. Imagine your life as a trout – you have an endless array of food coming at you day in and day out, of many different shapes and sizes. It’s comparable to going to your favorite restaurant and having the menu be 40 pages long, and this means the fish are extremely opportunistic, sampling a huge amount of insect life that passes through their feeding lane. As a rule, the vast majority of these aquatic insects are some shade of olive, tan, cream, black, etc. Not fluorescent colored. So it shouldn’t work, right? In theory, hot spots shouldn’t work, but here’s my analogy for it – It’s like you have a big bowl of popcorn in front of you that you’ve been eating all day, and then you find a piece of chocolate in the same area. You’re probably going to give it a shot, right?
There’s a myriad of different pink flies and hot spot patterns that produce fish, but a few of my favorites from this past season are the UV Czech, Amex, Hot Spot PT, and G-String Worm. Take your favorite pattern, swap the thorax out for a pink hot spot, or even an orange one, and catch fish. I guarantee you it will work, and there’s a very good chance it’ll outfish the original pattern.
When the fish are used to popcorn, give them a piece of chocolate – they’ll respond well.