Top 10 Dry Flies for Wind River Mountain Range – Wind River Outdoor
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Top 10 Dry Flies for Wind River Mountain Range

Top 10 Dry Flies for Wind River Mountain Range

The Wind River Range in Wyoming conjures up thoughts of large, granite peaks with rugged canyons and harrowing scree fields. However, between all those peaks, canyons, scree fields, and steep grades, one can find countless fly fishing waters that teem with Brook, Cutthroat, and elusive Golden Trout. Catching these species, however, can be anything but simple. Yes, the Brook Trout will generally be slamming your flies left and right, but quality Cutthroat and Golden are going to be harder to get without having the right flies at your disposal.

The window to access the Wind River Range out of Lander, WY (home to Wind River Outdoor Company) is very short, with most lakes and streams not being in fishing shape until late June, and that season runs through September. Because of this short season, one would think that the fish of the Wind River Range would feed with caution thrown to the side; however, that is anything but the case. Here are the top 10 dry flies you will want to have in your arsenal if you are headed into the Wind Rivers.

  1. Parachute Adams - size 14-18 An indispensable pattern from days past that simply produces. Simply put, you cannot have enough of these for success in the Wind River Mountains.
  2. Stimulator - yellow or orange - size 12-16 Another pattern with a long history of success in the Winds. This pattern mimics caddis patterns and is just a great all-around attractor pattern.
  3. Lime Trude - size 14-16 One of the best patterns ever designed for Cutthroats. Slim design but floats great when treated, and a bonus is that it is easy to see in the glare of the high mountain lakes when you are chasing selective Cutthroat and Golden Trout.
  4. Renegade - Size 14-18 There is nothing special about this fly other than it works when nothing else will. The peacock herl works magic when nothing else seems to move the needle, and since you have just walked miles to get where you are, have a bunch of them at your disposal.
  5. Parachute Purple Haze (size 14-20) A variant of the ever-popular Parachute but works really well in small sizes for the black midges that call the high Wind River Range home.
  6. Peacock Caddis (size 14-16) A simple yet highly effective caddis pattern that is durable. The peacock herl is nothing short of a silver bullet on trout, so don't leave home without them.
  7. Parachute Ant (size 10-18) If you venture into the Winds without a handful of black ants, then you need your head examined. There are plenty of ants in the range, and they get big, so don't be afraid to go big.
  8. Hot Spot Beetle (size 12-14) This pattern is one of my best flies for the Winds. It is buggy, and when it hits the water, the "plop" gets the attention of those pesky Cutts and Goldens. It floats low in the water and has probably brought more big Cutts and Goldens to hand than any single fly I have in my box.
  9. Micro Chubby (Size 14-16) A work of art and a deadly pattern for chasing trout in the Wind River Range of Wyoming. Colors - I prefer pink, gold, and orange. For some reason, the Cutts prefer the brighter colors in my experience, but if you go after Goldens, go for a tan or light brown color. This fly floats like a cork and easily holds a small nymph below it if you have to go below the surface for action.
  10. WROC Top Secret Midge There exists a midge in the Wind River Range that is unlike anything I have seen around Lander, WY (our home) and the rest of Wyoming. When all else fails, this is the pattern that saves the day. The pattern is small - size 18 to 22 and has a neon green body with a white wing over the back. Put a strand or two of crystal flash in the poly wing material and one to two wraps of a white or light dun hackle. Big Cutts and Goldens will cruise within feet of the bank on lakes, gulping this pattern down. It takes a long leader, patience, and precise casting with this pattern, but there are days when nothing, and I mean nothing other than dynamite, will work until you put this pattern on. It has saved me countless times, and I simply will not head into the Wind River Mountains without a supply of them.

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  • Ron Hansen
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