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The Adams


Eugene P. Macri Jr.


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© 2017 E. P. Macri Jr.


The Adams

 The Adams is one of the most versatile dry flies ever invented. But most anglers fail to understand the many ways this fly can be used. The Adams in its many sizes and variations can be used as an attractor or searching pattern. It can also be used to match a number of mayflies, and the fly can also be used as a general imitation when a certain shape rather than color is important

Besides the standard patterns below you should also carry a parachute variety and one other little variation on a Fly Fishing: Adams Dry Flyfew of the patterns. Make the egg sacs sulfur and orange colored
The Adams is both a good pattern for mayflies and caddisflies. It´s a great pattern for early season mayflies in sizes 12-16 especially in rough water. Because the Adams “ on the water looks” like many patterns for some reason. Throw it out there and it´s light pattern seems magically to somehow “match the hatch.” It´s an amazing trick I´ve watched over and over again. A spent parachute female Adams with egg sac is one of the best patterns for returning mayflies. The trick is to use a smaller size even if it doesn´t match the hatch. You may be surprised how well it works.

Once trout begin rising during a prolonged period of time in a stream then they will often take a dry fly that resembles a light pattern of what they´ve seen recently. This is where the Adams comes into its own. Find water where the fish will come such as a shallow area on the opposite bank and you could be in for a great day. Most anglers believe that if the fish are not rising for a hatch that they will not rise. This is not the case. Even in the hardest fished streams if you know where to fish you can find a spot or two where the fish haven´t been hammered recently.

Fly Fishing: Adams Spent Wing Dry FlyOne day on the Yellow Breeches I saw a fellow do just that. It was in the spring and the stream was fished hard. While most anglers took a break for lunch, this fellow carefully fished the opposite bank in the shallows. He popped a number 14 Adams into the slicks, backwaters and pockets. I watched him catch over 30 trout in 2 hours. He landed two fish over 20 inches. Remember, the water was cold, and no fish had been rising that day. But earlier that week the fish had been coming up for a variety of caddisflies. Did the trout have the imprint? Seems so to me!

It´s kind of strange because an old poacher I knew taught me the same trick years ago. What´s the lesson here? Find fish that haven't been hammered. Find a section of stream depth where the fish will respond (notice this angler didn´t try and take fish from the heavy water or deep holes with this technique) to the stimuli and then give them something that they will take. You might just call those the three basic laws of fly fishing and the Adams is the finishing touch

The Adams is good caddisfly imitation also. Try a size 8, 10, or 12 in both the male and female for many dark caddis and the fly works well especially in riffles, rapids and sometimes even on slow water.


Adams Fly Tying Table







Adams Male

Grizzly Tips Tied Spent

Brown and Grizzly

Grey Muskrat dubbing

Brown and Grizzly

Adams Female

Grizzly Tips Tied Spent

Brown and Grizzly

Grey Muskrat dubbing with yellow eggs sac

Brown and Grizzly


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