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Thread: What is an Adams?

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    What is an Adams?

    I was fishing a small Morris County WTS last week and the stoneflies were everywhere, crawling on rocks and buzzing the surface. Trout were definitely on them. My previously successful stonefly patterns weren't working out. I sat back and watched the stones for while, falling or flying down to the surface and buzzing along, riding very high and showing a lot of wing area. I looked in my limited dry fly box for something dark-bodied, high-riding, with a decent sized wing profile. I ended up with a traditional Adams -- 16, maybe? I kept it as dry as possible, skated it a little when passive drifts in likely seams didn't draw attention. The fish mauled it.

    What is an Adams?-rb1.jpgWhat is an Adams?-br1.jpgWhat is an Adams?-rb2.jpgWhat is an Adams?-rb3.jpgWhat is an Adams?-rb4.jpg

    I have read a couple of stories about the origin of the Adams. It is rumored to have been invented as a mayfly, originally fished by someone who may or may not have designed it, but certainly didn't tie it. It can be tied in a variety of styles, maybe is defined better as a color scheme now, rather than a pattern. It can be trimmed or singed to ride in the film as an emerger. Last week I used it in a haze of stoneflies. Yesterday evening, I was on a stream with caddis and stones, and caught a few wild brown trout on an Adams as well. Is it just an attractor, some universal trout food? Searching pattern? It seems to have very broad appeal.

    Is it a first choice fly? Can't match the hatch bail-out? Last-ditch, try it before I pack up choice? Most of us probably have them in our packs. How to you use it?

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    Re: What is an Adams?

    Hmmm. I thought it was originally meant to imitate a caddis? Maybe the ever-knowledgeable beetle can enlighten us with a video to explain it.

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    Re: What is an Adams?

    Quote Originally Posted by eddavidson9 View Post
    Hmmm. I thought it was originally meant to imitate a caddis? Maybe the ever-knowledgeable beetle can enlighten us with a video to explain it.
    I have heard that it is a caddis pattern as well, but I couldn't find any good reference to confirm. It certainly can be productive on caddis streams. The tail and tall wing look like other mayfly imitations. I haven't seen a mayfly yet this year, but the Adams is still getting attention.


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    Re: What is an Adams?

    What is the bid deal? It is like a hares ear it imitates nothing in particular and imitates everything.

    ""Unless one can enjoy himself fishing with the fly, even when his efforts are unrewarded, he loses much real pleasure. More than half the intense enjoyment of fly-fishing is derived from the beautiful surroundings, the satisfaction felt from being in the open air, the new lease of life secured thereby, and the many, many pleasant recollections of all one has seen, heard and done." Charles F. Orvis, 1886

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    Re: What is an Adams?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomfly View Post
    What is the bid deal? It is like a hares ear it imitates nothing in particular and imitates everything.
    I agree....
    But, I've known a few people who use it specifically for caddis.


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    Re: What is an Adams?

    Quote Originally Posted by eddavidson9 View Post
    Hmmm. I thought it was originally meant to imitate a caddis? Maybe the ever-knowledgeable beetle can enlighten us with a video to explain it.

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    I remember reading somewhere that it was first tied somewhere out in the mid-west (Michegan or Minnesota), for a dude named Adams by a local tier (many, many moons ago). And as with all of these old patterns, the modern version supposedly bears little resemblance to the original. I could give you the exacts, but I don't feel like using the interweb right now.

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    Re: What is an Adams?


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    Re: What is an Adams?

    It was first tied as a caddis imitation but has become a go-to generic mayfly imitation over the years. With the obvious exceptions of sulphurs and white flies, it more or less imitates a lot of mayflies.

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    Re: What is an Adams?

    Leonard Halliday from Michigan invented it to fish the trout streams near Traverse City. There is a good article here:

    The Adams: History Revisited by Tom Deschaine | Hatches Fly Tying Magazine

    Like peacock, muskrat is one of those magic ingredients that all fly tiers should use more of. I use it for thoraxes on my sulphers and even my rusty spinners.

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    Re: What is an Adams?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agust View Post
    Like peacock, muskrat is one of those magic ingredients that all fly tiers should use more of. I use it for thoraxes on my sulphers and even my rusty spinners.
    But never for your famous EMBTs

    Wild rivers are earth's renegades, defying gravity, dancing to their own tunes, resisting the authority of humans, always chipping away, and eventually always winning. — Richard Bangs & Christian Kallen, River Gods

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    Re: What is an Adams?

    You spelled it wrong...It's Addams!!!!!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	addams.jpg 
Views:	94 
Size:	12.0 KB 
ID:	10490

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    Re: What is an Adams?

    Quote Originally Posted by lightenup View Post
    You spelled it wrong...It's Addams!!!!!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	addams.jpg 
Views:	94 
Size:	12.0 KB 
ID:	10490
    You left Grobert to man the drive through booth alone all day to post this???

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