In early June I fished the very end of the annual Sulphur hatch on one of central Pennsylvania’s top trout waters, the Little Juniata River. At 8:30 p.m. only a very few duns took flight and trout rushed to capture any nearby natural.
This would be an ideal time to fish my Quick Trim ™ pattern. What the devil kind of pattern is that? It’s a totally white fly with a white vernille body, white poly yarn post, white hackle and white thread for the head. All of this is tied on a size14 or 16 hook configured to look like a size 6 fly with the vernille body extending well beyond the bend. How do I copy a size 16 dun with this Quick Trim fly? I shape the fly to size by cutting off part of the body and post (wings), then coloring the body and head yellow with a Bic permanent marking pen. If you want to shade the wings use a gray marker. The final product closely copies the Sulphur and PND To effectively copy the body of a natural I also use closed cell packing foam strips or white foams strips and cut them to size. All three work well.
I hurriedly cut the fly to match the size of the natural emerging, then the wings and then colored it. In the next hour I caught more than 14 trout on that fly trimmed-at-the-stream pattern. More than half of the fish took the pattern so deep I had to use a hemostat to extricate the Sulphur Quick Trim.
That’s not the only time that happened. I fished a Slate Drake (Isonychia) hatch a few days later and experienced the same phenomenon. The Quack Trim fly is tied parachute style but contains no tail. But the fly must be so realistic that when trout see one it strike with a violence and intensity that many of them swallowed the artificial. I’ve experienced similar strikes during the Blue Quill and Hendrickson hatches. Look for the same results with the White Fly that appears in late August.
Why does the fly work so well? I think the superior fly is a combination of several things. It looks realistic, but it lacks a tail. And of course with the ability to trim the body and wings the size is accurate. And since you color the body and head and even the wings with a series of permanent markers you have matched the color of the natural
What about the smaller hatches like the Little Blue-winged Olive Dun? Tie some Quick Trim flies (all white again) on size 16 or 18 hooks and trim and color olive to match the hatch. Cut the wings to match the Little Blue-winged then color then pale gray with a gray permanent marker.
Carry pen colors like cream, yellow, brown, tan, black, gray and olive. Staples sells a Bic Mark It set of 36 colored pens that will cover the color of just about any insect you’ll encounter. On some patterns you might need a combination of colors like olive over black or gray.
You can also tie Quick Trim Spinners. Again, tie the larger ones (sizes 6 to 16) on a size 14 hook. Tie the smaller version (for sizes 18 to 22) on a size 18. Use white poly for the wings, but rather than upright you want them spent. Use one of the same three body materials—all in white
You can get more information about Quick Trim flies in Matching Hatches Made Easy—Ten Steps to Catch More Fish.. The book is a real bargain selling at $9.95 at amazon.com.
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