How to Pick the Right Size Fly

Choosing the right fly size is crucial for successful fly fishing, as different sizes and types of flies can significantly impact your catch rate. Here’s a concise guide to selecting the perfect fly size for nymphs, dry flies, and streamers:


Nymphs are typically smaller flies that mimic the immature stage of aquatic insects. For nymph fishing, using a bead head pattern can be particularly effective. The weight of the bead helps the fly sink quickly to the desired depth. Common nymph sizes range from 10 to 20, with smaller sizes often being more effective in clear water or when fish are particularly selective. It’s also important to match the color and size to the local insect population for the best results​.

Dry Flies

Dry flies are designed to float on the water’s surface, imitating adult insects. Popular patterns include the Parachute Adams and Elk Hair Caddis. The size of dry flies can vary widely, but common sizes range from 12 to 20. Smaller sizes (16-20) are often more effective during hatches of smaller insects, while larger sizes (12-14) can be used when fishing in fast-moving or turbulent waters where visibility is reduced​​.


Streamers mimic baitfish and other larger prey. These flies are generally larger, with sizes ranging from 4 to 12. Streamers are particularly effective for targeting larger fish species. Patterns like the Woolly Bugger and Clouser Minnow are popular choices. When selecting streamer sizes, consider the size of the fish you are targeting and the type of water you are fishing in. Larger streamers are often used in deeper or murkier waters where visibility is low​.

Now that you have a better understanding of selecting the perfect fly size, it’s time to stock up on the right gear. Explore our selection of high-quality flies and gear to ensure your next fishing trip is a success. Visit our shop today and elevate your fly fishing game!

Images/Source: Drifthook

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