These are the flies that I depend on to catch fish reliably in freshwater. Below is a brief description of each.
- This is my go-to fly in most warm-water top-water action. A lot of insects fit the general body shape of this fly. It has caught bluegill, crappie, bass, catfish, and cichlids. I tie it in yellow for me to be able to see it.
- Sam’s One Bug
- This popper makes a lot of noise, and is very easy to tie. I strip this fly quickly as soon as it lands in the water. Others let it sit, and slowly pop it back.
- Use this like a jig. Light tippet, 4-6 lb test, will let it sink deeper.
- Let it sink, then twitch it. This fly gets swallowed.
- Bully spider
- This fly sinks bend down. Sometimes I use this as a dropper.
- A small minnow imitator. It rides hook point up, and the dry fly hook bends out when it rarely gets snagged.
- Throw this into the grass, the trees, and rocks. Then slowly drag if out. It rides hook point up, so there is nothing to hang up. Black and purple are my favorite colors for this fly.
- Pete’s Gurgle Pop Popper.
- Base off of Gartside’s popper, it makes plenty of noise, and is easy to tie.
- Simple shad
- When the shad are in the shallows, this is the fly to throw.
- Cypert’s Minnow, modified
- The body shape can easily be modified from thick to thin, based on the forage in the waters fished. I use this one most of the time for white bass.
- This is my go-to largemouth bass fly. It sinks slow and pushes water well.
- This classic should be included in every fly collection.
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Dan Espinoza actually won this at a game similar to “Dirty Santa” game at the PTR Christmas party, 2016-12-13-1900.