Editor’s note: The following is excerpted from TU’s book, “Trout Tips,” available online for overnight delivery.
Guide Pete Cardinal reminded me of this one as we fished the Missouri River in Montana in early fall. It’s hard to beat a Parachute Adams as an all-around, do-anything dry fly. With a good cast, and a better drift, the Adams will fool most trout.
I’ll fish that pattern during almost any mayfly hatch, an the only real consideration is adjusting the size to match the naturals But there’s one other consideration that can make a huge difference when the trout are subtly sipping.
Depending on where the sun is over the run, the water surface will either have a “flat” muted finish, or a “glossy” metallic sheen. If you are targeting fish in that flat gray water, use a Parachute Adams with a standard white calf-tail (or synthetic) post. But, if you’re casting into the shiny glare, use a fly with a black post. Most of those calf tails for fly tying come in black and white. Use the whole tail, and tie equal numbers of black and white posts (Non-tiers can buy black-post patterns from many fly shops, including Dan Baily’s in Livingston, Mont.).
Switching post colors will help you see your fly better, detect strikes better and improve your hookup ratio by at least 50 percent.