I always carry one or all of the following flies with me when I go fly fishing.
#1. Bead head Hares-Ear nymph; This would have to be my go to panfish fly. A sunny day, my five weight, and a box of nymphs, sound like a great day at the lake. From a boat I go to the up wind side of a weed bed and drift over it dropping the HE into open pockets in the weeds. This technique is similar to Czech nymphing in that the fly is directly underneath the tip of the rod.
#2. Pink Flash Bugger; I’m not sure this flies real name, but my mom discovered it when on the fly fishing trip to Errol, NH last fall. It is now one of our most successful fly patterns. My mom fishes this fly 90 percent of the time, and has caught smallmouth bass, brook trout, and fallfish.
#3. Goddard Caddis; To be perfectly honest I’ve never been a big fan of dry flies. They get waterlogged, they get chewed into indistinguishable mush after a few fish. Plus most of what a fish eats is under the water’s surface. So I didn’t really give fishing dry flies a second thought until I discovered the Goddard Caddis.The first time I fished the Goddard, I lost track of the number of sunfish and chubs I caught. I even got my first double, a pumpkinseed on the Goddard and a yellow perch on a midge dropper. I fish a brown Goddard as a searching pattern, but I also tie tan and pink patterns. It makes a great strike indicator/top fly.
#4. Matuka; The Matuka is one of those flies that can be tied in many variations and is fun to mess with. Add an articulated shank with some monstrosity tied on, or tie on a pair of dumbbell eyes giving the Matuka a nice jigging motion. I prefer to tie my Matukas in olive with a gold rib. Trolling them for smallmouth bass has worked great, and the trout seem to like them, but can’t get their mouth around the #2 hook I’ve been using!
#5. Sakasa Kebari; When I first got started fly fishing I used a Suntech Kurenai hm30 to swing Sakasa Kebari’s for brook trout and chubs on local streams. The Sakasa Kebari is a great fly for small infertile streams, where most of the food the fish is eating is free-floating in the current.