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Magic Fly (Pale Watery wingless wet variant)
I will be the first to tell you that I don’t believe in magic bullet flies – flies that you tie on and start bailing fish. This pattern is the closest I’ve found to being the exception. The Sulphur hatch is notorious for producing stillborn flies and frustrated anglers. The same could be said of summer stenos, which have left me muttering to myself on more than one occasion. The first time I fished this fly, it was a classic June Sulphur night on the Farmington. I had a whole pool of trout at my command. They rose to the fly with such carelessness and confidence that I couldn’t believe what was happening. It must be magic. I treat this fly with silica floatant (my favorite is Frog’s Fanny) and fish it like a dry, on a long leader on a dead drift. The soft hackles and spikey body create a must-eat-me-now illusion that turns trout stupid. Alter the size and color and you’ve got a fine match for dorotheas and stenos. The Magic Fly is based on the old Pale Watery Wingless wet.