Fly Fishing mythology states that trout right now are packing on the calories to make it thru spawning and the winter. It's true for bears, right? And Muskies? And you also tell yourself that is why you are hitting the IHOP more than normal, eating tall towers of pancakes and washing it down with a fountain of maple syrup. Being so connected to nature can have an effect on your waist line.
So I have started to tie some meaty flies. Flies that are the the equivalent of the Skip's Scramble ("Too many choices? Menu too big to swallow? Let Skip serve you up a scram that has something from every dish in the menu. It will knock you into next week! $47.95 a la carte. $57.95 Egg whites only."...Don't order the Skip's Scramble.).
Now this could have been a post on just meaty streamers. Fly tiers love a 4XL shank to wrap a rabbit around, but in the interest of completeness I have taken what I think are the two meatiest flies in four fly categories: wet fly, dry fly, nymph, and streamer.
Let me just say that it was tough coming up with meaty wet flies. Have you noticed the lack of wet flies with rubber legs and rabbit strip bodies?
The woolly worm is meaty. The longer shank allows you to tie them heavy and bounce them deep along the rocks. Palmered hackle pushes water, and the fly is tied in the round so it doesn't matter how the fly rolls in the current. Just resist the temptation to tie in a marabou tail and keep it classy for once!
March Brown Spider:
What can I say? I will never write a post about wet flies and not mention this fly. It's a bit more elegant looking than the woolly worm, more English with its gold rib and partridge hackle. But you can still tie it heavy and it works in size #10 when the fall rains muddy the water a bit.
Break out the rubber legs.
The Tarantula is a buggy looking attractor that floats higher than a drift boat. The wide body and white wing will attract a lot of attention, and it is highly visible to the angler, making it easy to track as an indicator for a dropper.
Now we are drifting a bit into bass fly land. A trout fly with a foam body? What are you going to tie on next, a Bunyan Bug #2 Yellow Stone Fly? Dame Juliana Berners rolls every time someone ties this monstrosity on their line and crashes the banks out west. But thats cool, the boys in Portland like their chubbies. There's nothing wrong with that.
Add some rubber legs to your pattern and you got some meat!
Crazy Legged Zug Bug:
Good ol' Cliff Zug created this beautiful fly, and then promptly named it after himself. I love this fly, and it always has a place in my flybox and my heart. It almost killed me to add legs to this fly. But I did, and I like the meaty results.
Whaaaaaaaat? A meaty fly with no rubber legs? Doesn't need them. The hear's ear was meaty before the invention of rubber. All those scraggly guard hairs poking out create enough movement to entice the most carnivorous, gut busted, log jammed brown trout. Tie them big, add a bead, and you have a serving of New York Strip Steak that will please every trout that sees it.
Well I had to have some variation of the woolly bugger here. This one, with its yellow/orange color seems to fit the season. There are many styles of this fly too, but i would say Google it, tie it up the way you think it should look, and enjoy the changing of the leaves and spend the day in autumn splendor. How poetic.
Any surprise here? There is no way you can have a meaty list and not include a fly that has "meat" in it's name. This John Barr fly should be in your box. And not some "I just bought this fly and never fished it because I am a vegan" version, but a bit to crap, "I had to retrieve this fly from a log jam last week, and from my guide's neck the week before" version. Fish them low and slow and give the trout some calories.