Summer is in full swing and we couldn’t be happier. Being a Massachusetts-based company, we are used to the cold winter weather, and truly appreciate every day we can walk outside now with a t-shirt, flip-flips, and a fly rod. Right now, while we are not in the office, you can find us on the water, throwing some of our favorite flies.
Voted on by the Wingo Team, here are our three top fly picks for summer fishing in fresh and salt water.
- The Chubby Chernobyl. For starters, who doesn’t love the name of this fly? Chubbies really seem to have a personality and embrace their name. They are big and meaty, always hold their ground on top of the water, and cause explosive strikes. Nothing is delicate about a Chubby Chernobyl and we love fishing them for their combination of effectiveness and excitement.
- The Elk Hair Caddis. Elk Haired Caddis flies sit on the other end of the dry fly spectrum from Chubbies, yet they always have a place in our summer box. We love them for their extreme versatility. With a selection of sizes to match the hatch, a trout nearly anywhere in the world will not think twice about an Elk Haired Caddis. They are cheap, simple, and quick flies to tie, and hold up well fish after fish. When there is no specific hatch occurring, but we are fishing dries, we usually tie on an Elk Haired Caddis before anything else.
- A giant E.P. Minnow (pictured above). These flies are bomb proof and somehow seem to work better and better the more beat up they get. If you have caught big bass, pike, or muskie on the fly you know exactly what we are talking about. If you haven’t, we suggest taking a weekend to go target some of these monsters. There is nothing more exciting than stripping an eight inch E.P. Minnow below the surface and seeing a monstrous wake materialize inches behind your fly.
- The Surf Candy. This fly will catch any fish that eats small fish, which is basically any fish worth catching. A great option when juvenile baitfish are around, Surf Candies can be downsized to size 8 hooks, without losing their function. When bonito or false albacore show up, we tie on a surf candy. When stripers are feeding on top, we tie on a surf candy. When bluefish are around, we tie on a surf candy and do not have to worry about our flies getting shredded. Olive over white, tan over white, and pink over white are the three colors you need to match light conditions.
- The Half-and-Half. When Clouser Minnows are bred with Deceivers, you get the Half-and-Half, a wonderful fly that takes the best traits from both of its parents. With dumbbell eyes, the fly gets down into the strike zone and can be retrieved with an enticing jigging motion. And with both bucktail and saddle hackles, the fly comes alive in the current.
- The Bulkhead Hollow Fly. When the big fish are around, we break out a big Bulkhead and throw the 10 wt. These flies are great imitations of bunker (pogies), herring, shad, and other big baitfish. Since the flies are tied with natural materials and are hollow, they are surprisingly easy to cast and really breathe in the water. All of the trophy stripers we have caught were on variations of this fly when big bait was present.