#5 – The Wulff
The last fly in our series counting down the top flies for Summer trout fishing in Pennsylvania is yet another versatile favorite. This fly can be tied in a variety of colors and as such is an amazingly effective imitation for a wide range of larger mayfly presentations. Fishing late into the evening and into the night you will encounter the various large mayflies of Pennsylvania including Light Cahills, Isonychia, Hexegenia (Hex), and the legendary White Fly. These flies are large and often land heavily on the water where the fish take notice.
The Wulff was invented by the man himself, Lee Wulff who seemingly by all accounts in the fly-fishing world was an institution unto himself. We enjoy many of his inventions to this day including weight forward triangle taper line, palm-able fly reels, and perhaps his most important and enduring invention: the Wulff pattern.
Lee invented the flies over the winter of 1929/30 after lamenting the “anemic and delicate” fragility of traditional British/English style flies. Convinced he could build a tougher, longer lasting fly he began to experiment with various materials including bucktail and calf tail. His efforts over the winter would result in one of the most effective and lasting dry fly patterns of all time.
Wulffs are great because they are bulky and float high. This makes them useful in fast water where we often find our most willing trout over the summer months. Wulffs can be used as a great choice for a top fly in a dry/dropper rig. Often I will tie an unweighted pheasant tail nymph 12 to 24 inches off of the bend of my wulff. I always keep am Ausable Wulff and a White Wulff on hand for stealth indicators. The Ausable Wulff is a great variation of the Wulff invented and tied by Fran Betters from Wilmington, NY.
So there you have it. I know I didn’t include any Hoppers or crickets and if the list was longer I would have but these are the 5 flies I always have with me over the summer. Hope it helped and look for our upcoming post on how to fish dry/dropper tandem rigs.