We all have them, they're the flies we reach for first. They're the flies that keep us from using that new pattern we just picked up from the fly shop. I've developed my list of confidence flies from experiences on the river. My number one go-to fly (Thanks Hogan Brown!) has saved me from bad days on the Truckee River, landed huge browns in Montana, and gets fish to bite on nearly every river I fish. It's hard to not fish with the S&M Mayfly. Whatever your confidence flies are, they make you fish differently.
I have a handful of nymphs that are always tied to the end of my tippet, no matter where I'm fishing. Some of the patterns are general attractors that mimic a number of different aquatic insects, while others are more specific. With so many different patterns and variations of old classics on the market, it's easy to get overwhelmed with "pattern overload". Here are my top five "go-to" flies.
The advantages of having a short list of confidence flies is that it keeps you from over thinking your fly selection while on the water. This lack of indecision keeps your flies fishing longer. Any way you work it, the longer your flies are drifting, the sooner you'll bring "Hog-Johnson" to the net.
What are some of your confidence flies?