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Post 25 Apr 2020, 20:02 • #1 
Sport
Joined: 01/25/20
Posts: 67
Location: US-VA
Can anyone help identify the fly in this photo?

I was on a local SNP stream today and for first couple hours, 1 - 3pm it was pretty slow, had some misses and lost a couple and I changed flies every 30 minutes and even tried dropper, had one run with the dropper but missed it.

I noticed dark bugs in area so tried to find a darker body fly, put this on and wham! three brookies in first pool, next two pools 2 and 3 out of it, all 5 - 7+ inches:) The fish were hitting it hard and one almost inhaled it, several rose from deep pools to hit it. With other flies they were coming up but not eating or striking gently.

Finally lost fly when I hooked into nice sized one and he jumped down small waterfall and when this happened middle of tippet got cut on tree branches. This was in my fly box but I am really bad at identification of my flies.





Thanks,


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Post 25 Apr 2020, 21:01 • #2 
Master Guide
Joined: 12/14/11
Posts: 974
Location: Chicago Western Suburbs
Looks like a purple haze.


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Post 26 Apr 2020, 05:12 • #3 
Sport
Joined: 01/25/20
Posts: 67
Location: US-VA
softhackle wrote:
Looks like a purple haze.


Awesome.....thanks. The fish were crushing this for some reason. Would you say this is a caddis or mayfly imitation and what stage?

The ones I saw online had thin bodies, but I bought locally so I will hit local fly shops when they open to see if they have them with the thicker body like this.


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Post 26 Apr 2020, 08:15 • #4 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 10/18/12
Posts: 1347
Location: Bozeman, MT
softhackle wrote:
Looks like a purple haze.



DITTO!


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Post 26 Apr 2020, 13:32 • #5 
Sport
Joined: 05/07/19
Posts: 65
Location: US-NY
It's not really an imitation, it's an attractor. I think it's an imitation of another Purple Haze, or maybe an impressionist copy of someone in a white shirt and purple pants.


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Post 27 Apr 2020, 23:29 • #6 
Master Guide
Joined: 12/31/15
Posts: 693
Location: Three Forks of the Flathead
Not to get too technical, but I believe it's not a Purple Haze, but the variant called a Purple Craze. The only difference between the two is that the "Haze" uses floss (originally) or dry fly dubbing (later), and the "Craze" uses flash dubbing, usually purple Ice Dub or something similar to give it the extra shimmer in the water, as in the first two pictures.


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Post 27 Apr 2020, 23:58 • #7 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 04/06/15
Posts: 1254
Location: Central Oregon
That is my #1 small stream fly. I buy them from Big Y, where they list it as the Purple Haze Sparkle. I don't know if the sparkle catches more fish than the regular, but it floats better without waterlogging.

It tends to be classified as a basic attractor, but I have seen it outperform the "match the hatch" fly many times, particularly the blue wing olive (baetis) flies as well as the current March Brown mayfly. I have caught everything that swims on those flies. A few years ago I handed them out to fishermen in Patagonia who gave me local advice. This year, they were all using them.


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Post 28 Apr 2020, 06:28 • #8 
Sport
Joined: 01/09/20
Posts: 96
Location: Killeen Texas
The Purple Haze is an awesome fly for the SNP. Another great attractor pattern foe brokkies in the SNP or in the Smokies is Dorsey's Limeaide in #12 or #14.


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Post 28 Apr 2020, 22:11 • #9 
Sport
Joined: 01/25/20
Posts: 67
Location: US-VA
I was able to find two more in my assortment and went back to my records (yes, I keep these things) and discovered I ordered them from Ascent Fly Fishing and they are called Purple Haze so I ordered some more. Prior to discovering this, I ordered some from BIgY as well, they call them Purple Haze also, so once they come in I will post side by side picture.

I went out today on river running on east side of SNP, caught a brookie on Elk Hair Caddis then lost fly after it got sucked under waterfall. Put on a Purple Haze and the brookies were killing it for rest of afternoon. I have only fished two days using a Purple Haze but I did notice it attracted and caught on average much larger fish than I normally get.

Prior to using Purple Haze I will catch a lot of 5"ers, but in last two outings with the purple haze brookies were 6-8" with quite a few at 8" range and and even fought a larger brown that was able to escape. Not sure if just coincidence but fun regardless.



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Post 28 Apr 2020, 22:32 • #10 
Sport
Joined: 01/25/20
Posts: 67
Location: US-VA
Newfydog wrote:
That is my #1 small stream fly. I buy them from Big Y, where they list it as the Purple Haze Sparkle. I don't know if the sparkle catches more fish than the regular, but it floats better without waterlogging.

It tends to be classified as a basic attractor, but I have seen it outperform the "match the hatch" fly many times, particularly the blue wing olive (baetis) flies as well as the current March Brown mayfly. I have caught everything that swims on those flies. A few years ago I handed them out to fishermen in Patagonia who gave me local advice. This year, they were all using them.


BigY does have the "Sparkle" variety, I ordered the regular Purple Haze. Today there was active hatch going on with little yellow bugs (I assume mayflies - correction Stonefly) , I was going to change flies to a yellow drake or light cahill but the Purple Haze was so hot I didn't bother.


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Post 28 Apr 2020, 23:36 • #11 
Sport
Joined: 05/07/19
Posts: 65
Location: US-NY
Gotta learn rudimentary insect ID man. Shape, presentation and behavior are everything, followed by color.


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Post 29 Apr 2020, 10:42 • #12 
Sport
Joined: 01/25/20
Posts: 67
Location: US-VA
samsonboi wrote:
Gotta learn rudimentary insect ID man. Shape, presentation and behavior are everything, followed by color.


Yup, that is big void with me, I am not good at matching hatch. I do pay more attention and look up insects once I get home. For me it's easier with nymphs than flying stage.


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Post 29 Apr 2020, 11:15 • #13 
Sport
Joined: 05/07/19
Posts: 65
Location: US-NY
Hey, here's a simple mnemonic based on wing shape- mayflies are sailboats, caddis are tents, stoneflies are flat.


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Post 29 Apr 2020, 13:53 • #14 
Sport
Joined: 01/25/20
Posts: 67
Location: US-VA
samsonboi wrote:
Hey, here's a simple mnemonic based on wing shape- mayflies are sailboats, caddis are tents, stoneflies are flat.


That’s even simple enough for me to remember.....thanks.


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Post 01 May 2020, 16:27 • #15 
Sport
Joined: 05/07/19
Posts: 65
Location: US-NY
No problem. Honestly, most caddis flies make good stonefly imitations. I don't actually carry even a single stonefly dry most of the year. If there's stones on the water, I use a large caddis fly, or sometimes a grasshopper fly.


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Post 01 May 2020, 19:28 • #16 
New Member
Joined: 12/01/18
Posts: 23
Location: US- Great Smoky Mts of east Tn
While there is a lot to be said for good fly ID, I wouldn't leave a fly that was working well either.


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Post 01 May 2020, 19:52 • #17 
Sport
Joined: 05/07/19
Posts: 65
Location: US-NY
Yeah, sometimes some random generic or attractor dry leaves a perfect (to us) imitation in the dust.

And if you can get close enough or catch one, you don't even need to know what they are called- you can just tie on a dry fly that has similar general characteristics. The trout don't care what a mayfly is called, just what it looks like.

Wing stands up on the natural? Upwinged dry fly. Wing slants back? Slantwing or downwing dry. Body is green? Try a green-bodied fly in a shade close to the real bug.

I don't know all the names of insects- and there's millions! I mostly just rely on color and shape matching, although I do recognize bugs by their common names- green drakes, march brown, Hendrickson, trico, etc. But if you think I know what a bug looks like from it's Latin name, think again.


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Post 03 May 2020, 06:49 • #18 
Sport
Joined: 01/25/20
Posts: 67
Location: US-VA
I received some Purple Hazes from both Ascent Fly Fishing and Big Y Fly company. From each company I bought about 15 - 20 different flies. Below is quick review:

Big Y sent flies all clumped into a single small plastic cup with cap, which made it cumbersome to separate and see what they were. Ascent sent with each fly lined up by type and size stuck to thin styrofoam (pic below).

Below is bad pic for comparison purposes, but the Ascent purple is much shinier with sparkles of some sort and also body is thicker than Big Y's, the Big Y's purple is "matte" like, like a muted purple. I could see Ascent's being a much better attractor.

Ascents parachute is tighter and more refined looking, Big Y's is looks looser and unkept. Ascents tail is little longer and strands have nice separation and flair at end. Big Y's is tighter without natural flair towards end.

Cost - Big difference here, Ascents is 2x cost of Big Y. Big Y is .67 cents down to .63 for quantity, and Ascent is $1.25 and down to $1.00 for 12 or more.

Next time on water I will test both to see if Ascent is worth almost 2x more than Big Y. But overall Ascent's is much better looking fly.




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Post 03 May 2020, 07:31 • #19 
Guide
Joined: 02/02/16
Posts: 121
Location: Georgia
68camaro wrote:
BigY does have the "Sparkle" variety, I ordered the regular Purple Haze. Today there was active hatch going on with little yellow bugs (I assume mayflies - correction Stonefly) , I was going to change flies to a yellow drake or light cahill but the Purple Haze was so hot I didn't bother.



This is a small stonefly called a Yellow Sally. Small yellow caddis dries should work, but you’ll find some more specific imitations by searching for Yellow Sally patterns.


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Post 20 May 2020, 16:00 • #20 
Guide
Joined: 04/17/12
Posts: 108
Location: Blacksburg, VA
I like to use Murray's Little Yellow Stonefly dry or some approximation thereof as my fly tying skills aren't always pretty. Some of these stoneflies are lime green colored but otherwise look identical to me. Whatever color is present the trout seem to take the yellow colored artificials just as well. To my experience this is one of the more common and reliable hatches I've found in Virginia mountain streams.


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