Tackle Box Takeover

CityScope® Magazine Southern Gentleman®


With the Tennessee River and its many tributaries a short cast away, Chattanooga and the surrounding area is an ideal location for fly fishing. Whether a tranquil hobby or skilled competition, fishing in the South is serious business. And perfectly stocking your tackle box can be a tall task. To make it easier, we have selected six flies that we consider to be ‘tied and true’ for Chattanooga’s fly fishing fanatics.

The Adams Fly

The Adams

Considered to be one of the most essential flies, especially in trout fishing, the Adams is a versatile dry fly. The Adams generally has a gray body and tends to look like anything that could be alluring to a trout. This fly has been adapted over time, so you can find them with a variety of features, but many anglers maintain that the no-frills versions work just fine. These flies exhibit an impressionistic pattern, mimicking a variety of insects at various stages. The Adams is best used in fast-moving water where fish have only seconds to decide whether or not to take the bait.

Woolly Bugger Fly

The Woolly Bugger

The Woolly Bugger, like the Adams, is loved for its versatility. This fly, well-suited for streams, is slightly larger than other flies and is good at imitating baitfish, crayfish, leeches, and large insects. Woolly Buggers get their bulk from fur, and most have a marabou tail, which is typically made from bird feathers and can sometimes feature flashy colors or tinsel. Some fly tiers will elect to use colored beads for a head, providing weight for a jiggly motion and further adding to the imitation of underwater prey.

Elk Hair Caddis Fly

The Elk Hair Caddis

Above the water, the Elk Hair Caddis is a staple for many anglers. The realistic appearance is this fly’s strength. Made with  – you guessed it – elk hair, the Elk Hair Caddis has a little bulk in the body, and the hair serves for added buoyancy. To boost the success of this elite fly, try using a twitching motion followed by letting the fly dead-drift. This mimics an emerging caddis trying to get off of the water’s surface.

Royal Wulff Fly

The Royal Wulff

Falling into the attractor category, the Royal Wulff imitates nothing in particular and works to attract everything. Its characteristic red body makes it easy to see for both anglers and fish. Complete with a tail and hackle, which is a feather often from the neck of a chicken, the Royal Wulff is a dry fly that is highly buoyant. This fly is designed to elicit a strike rather than imitate a specific insect.

The Stimulator

A long-lost cousin of the Caddis, the Stimulator easily sits on the surface of the water. With a longer hook and more hackle and hair for buoyancy, this dry fly imitates a variety of stoneflies. Traditionally, features are yellow and brown in color but can vary. It’s designed to be twitched hard on the surface to elicit strikes from trout – hence the name. For exciting results, try twitching it on the surface before pulling it underwater and twitching it as a wet fly.


The Copper John

With a wire body, this wet nymph-style fly sinks quickly and stays deep in the river where many larger fish tend to camp out. The Copper John typically features a streamlined copper wire body but will sometimes include lead wire as well. A strength of the Copper John is the large brass bead used for its head. This helps the fly sink even more quickly and gives it the ability to move across the river floor with a more natural motion.

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