One Fly for a Year?

Ever thought what it would be like to only use one fly for a whole year?


What would it be? Could you catch fish on it all year long? Would it be effective?

What if limiting yourself to one fly guaranteed you would catch bigger fish all year?

It’s an interesting question… one I’ve asked myself before. There is a guy who lives across the MA?NY border from me, that I bass fish with, from his boat, every now and then. I throw flies for the bass (poppers, sometimes big streamers, crawfish), and he throws giant live bait. Like 9-12 inch big. I know sometimes they are shiners, and I believe he occasionally uses perch or suckers.

I always do alright… I get bass regularly and some decent size from the front of the boat, usually while my friend is sitting at the back of the boat, not catching. In fact, I always catch more fish than him with my fly gear. Just last week I landed a dozen bass between 2 and 4 pounds, with a few dinks thrown in. My friend caught 2 bass. But they were both between 7 and 8 pounds!

Moral of the story? My friend subscribes to the “big bait, big fish” theory. He may not catch a lot, but he catches bigger fish. So why wouldn’t this work with flies? Introducing… “big fly, big fish” theory!

I’m tempted to try this. Throwing nothing but a big streamer for an entire year. I’ve dappled in their use before, but haven’t committed to throwing them enough. But I’ve read enough Fly Fish Food and watched enough Hook Shots that I’m intrigued. I plan to use the “Cheech Leech” (see Fly Fish Food) at least 75% or the time next year for trout, maybe 100%. Probably in a 5 or 6 inch length. The Game Changer is also a nice fly…

Will using one type of fly for most of the year drive me crazy? Will it pay off? We shall have to wait and see! Everyone knows the damage these streamers can do, and I’d like to take next year as an experiment, using them on my regular waters, and seeing if I get more quality fish to the net.

Anyone else up for the challenge?

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6 thoughts on “One Fly for a Year?

  1. I think you should consider using either the Circus Peanut or the Drunk and Disorderly. I fish articulated streamers often and those are my two favorites. I've also landed some nice browns on a Sex Dungeon in the Farmington.

    1. Thanks for the suggestions RM! I do really like the Circus Peanut… it has a very nice action in the current. Never seen the D&D but will surely check it out!

      PS, I love your blog!

  2. Interesting idea, Lance. I remember reading online of one angler fishing one fly for a year, and he picked the Sexy Walt. I also recall a competition at which each angler could use only one fly: the winner used a Turk's Tarantula.

    1. Yeah, I've heard of competitions where only one fly is allowed for the entire competition. Not even duplicates! If you lose it you're done! That's not for me, but I'd imagine the more generic, the better.

  3. I'd say I use a Crystal Bead Head Wooly bugger in size 8 or 6 almost 90% of the time I fish – either brown or olive. I've started to call myself a Wooly Bugger fisherman instead of fly fisherman. Probably not as successful as trying to match the hatch, but it almost always catches fish – Trout, Bass and everything in between.

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