It's been raining over the past couple days so I've been doing
some tying. My favorite small stream fly is the Ausable bomber tied by Fran Betters. I've caught brook trout on this fly in NY, CT, and RI. I usually tie this one in a size 12. It always amazes me that even the smallest brook trout can inhale this monster. A friend gave me a tip that these also work on more educated trout and he was definitely right. I've taken some pretty educated brown and rainbow trout using the "bomber". Next up is Fran's other fly referred to as the "usual". Fran "usually" tied this one in a size 16. I haven't fished this pattern too much, but I have taken browns on it during an evening sulfur hatch late last month.
This year I've been learning to fish wet flies and soft-hackles and it's been both fun and productive. I first became interested in wets after reading Dave Hughes' book "Wet flies, tying and fishing soft-hackles, winged and wingless wets and fuzzy nymphs" this past winter. This third pattern is an old classic, the partridge and yellow. Hughes recommends this pattern in a chapter on fishing small streams. I haven't fished the partridge and yellow yet this season but the partridge and green/orange
have caught their share during evening caddis activity earlier this year.