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All Purpose Flies


Don Baylor conducted The most informative seminar on spring creek and freestone insect life ever conducted at the Little Lehigh Fly Shop. Go to to acquire a video of it.

During one of the five sessions he introduced the following concept, I take no credit for it.

Don carries heavily hackled Adams in various sizes. If confronted with a Mayfly dun he can’t match he substitutes an Adams of the correct size. If the mystery bug is a spinner he trims the hackle top and bottom, WALA instant spinner. Do you wish your Adams was an emerger, trim the bottom of the hackle and smart you, you have a parachute pattern.


Pheasant Tails

If confronted with a Mayfly nymph you can’t match, select a Pheasant Tail Nymph of the correct size.


Pheasant Tails are a fine imposter for many Mayflies and they also work for  selective and opportunistic feeders

They’re a dynamite pattern.


My fly box is populated with sizes 14 through 24.



I use Don’s concept by using Henryville Specials as substitutes for Caddis not represented in my fly box. I tie them down to size #24. Yea, yea I know I could use an Elk hair pattern but I like to use Henrys because they are a traditional pattern, they’re fun to tie and they keep the casual tiers skills honed.



It’s a good idea to always have midge patterns with you when fishing a spring creek Dr. Ernest Schwiebert told me the presence of midge adults tells you is there are pupa in the film. I believe the fish take Al’s Rat for a midge pupa


Whenever I see or suspect midge activity the fly of choice is the "Rat,"


Adult midges on the water means Gnat time.

George A. Griffith’s tied his Gnat with a peacock body palmered with grizzly hackle.

Dr Ernestt Schwiebert popularized the fly believing trout saw it as cluster of resting or mating diptera on the surface film.

When fishing the midge, Rats and Gnats will serve you well.

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