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For reasons that are not entirely clear, trout will sometimes strike a brightly colored May Fly, Caddis Fly, or Stone Fly pattern that does not closely resemble any fly that they are commonly used to seeing. Also, for reasons that are not entirely clear, tout seem to be attracted to and are enticed to strike by certain colors. Therefore, when choosing Attractor fly patterns, I use my "Three-Color Attractor System". As the name implies, this system consists of the three colors trout seem to be most attracted to and which consists of flies that are predominately red, yellow, or green. For instance, the Royal Wulff, the Carolina Wulff, and the Tennessee Wulff fly patterns are quite possibly the most productive attractor dry fly patterns ever designed. Each of these patterns is tied to resemble an adult May Fly in shape but, there are no naturally occurring may flies in existence that actually exhibit the color combinations presented by the dark green, iridescent, peacock hurl and red, yellow, or green floss combined with white wings that these fly patterns present. Yet, each pattern has proven to be absolutely deadly for me on both wild and stocked trout here in western North Carolina. On the other hand, Red Wulffs, Grizzly Wulffs, and Green Wulffs as well as red, yellow, and green Humpies are also effective Attractor patterns for fly fishing here in western North Carolina. Thus, at times when aquatic insect activity appears to be at a lull, such as the mid-morning to late afternoon hours, it is often helpful to use an attractor pattern in one of the above mentioned colors as a “search” pattern in order to find actively feeding trout. Thus, my favorite selection of flies for my "Three-color Attractor System" consists of Stimulators in royal red, yellow, and green (or olive) in size 12, Elk Hair Caddis in orange, yellow, and olive, Royal Wulffs (red), Carolina Wulffs (yellow), and Tennessee Wulffs (green) in size 12, or Red Wulffs, Yellow Wulffs, and Green Wulffs in size 12. In addition, it is helpful to realize that this three-color system can also be applied to nymphs in order to help you locate actively feeding fish that will not respond to a dry fly. For instance, in order to create a three-color attractor system using nymphs, you could choose a Royal Wulff nymph, a Pheasant Tail Sulphur nymph, and a green Golden Ribbed Hair's Ear nymph or, perhaps, a Firebug nymph, a Tellico nymph, and a Prince nymph. Also, if you have Caddis Flies and/or Stone Flies in your local waters, you might want to add a selection of Serendipity nymphs in red, yellow, and olive as well a selection of Copper John nymphs in red, copper, and green.
In addition, while I am aware that there are numerous types of fly boxes available from numerous manufacturers ranging from purely utilitarian to fine works of art, over the years I have developed a particular affection for Myran fly boxes. Not only are they relatively inexpensive, they are lightweight and yet nearly indestructible (I have had mine for over fifteen years). But, I especially like the clear plastic divided into individual compartments because the clear plastic allows me to view my fly selection without having to open the box and the individual compartments allow me to carry more flies in a smaller space. In fact, I can generally fit a dozen of each pattern into each compartment without damaging the hackle which is more flies than I can place in a foam box of the same size. Consequently, I like to use an eighteen-compartment Myran box to house the size 12 dry flies that comprise my "Three-Color Attractor System" and my "Six-Color Imitator System" as well as a twelve-compartment Myran box to house my size 14 & 16 flies in the same patterns. Thus, by carrying the above mentioned patterns in both size 12, 14, and 16, I can generally attract even wary Browns during non-hatch periods and match most any hatch closely enough to fool the trout during prolific hatches.
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