Emergers and Emerger Fly Fishing

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The emerger fly is considered a dry fly and is used most often during a hatch. Most experienced fly anglers with tell you the emerger is the most important dry fly you should have in your fly box. If the emerger and dry fly are the same then what’s the difference and why should I know this? These are some of the questions we address during this session. Simply put, trout often prefer to eat the emerger over the traditional dry fly.

Knowing how and when to fish an emerger fly to a rising trout is one of the most important skills an angler must possess when fly fishing for trout. This class emphasizes the entomology of aquatic insects, how trout react to emerging insects, and the various fly patterns that best represent them. You will learn various techniques and strategies used to present emerger imitation flies to rising trout.


Most if not all new fly anglers know what a dry fly is. It’s a fly that imitates an adult aquatic insect that has emerged or hatched and is floating on the surface. However most new fly anglers when asked what an emerger fly is will not know. Simply put the emerger fly pattern is the most important dry fly you can have in your fly box and can make the difference between catching some fish and catching a lot of fish. On many streams and rivers trout actually prefer the emerger over the dry fly. You will learn why that is and the science that proves it to be correct.

There is a large majority of aquatic insects that trout rarely eat as adult flies. These insects can make up to half of what a trout eats during the summer fly fishing season and almost all of the winter season. If these trout are not eating the adult dry fly then they must be feeding on the emerger. You will learn specific techniques, set ups, and the patterns that make up emerger fishing. You will be taught how to tell just by the rise form of a feeding trout whether or not the feeding trout are feeding on adult dry flies or emergers.