The Humpy dry fly is an attractor dry fly. There are two types of dry flies: imitative dry flies and attractor dry flies. Imitative dry flies are used mainly in tailwater rivers where trout have narrow search images or are what some anglers call picky. Imitative flies are just what they sound like, they imitate what an aquatic insect looks like that trout may be feeding on. Some call it matching the hatch. Attractor dry flies are dry flies that imitate all adult aquatic insects but none in particular. Instead they are designed to float like corks on the surface and are usually tied with a bright color like red to help attract a strike. Attractor flies like the Humpy are mainly used in freestone rivers where trout that live there have larger search images or as some anglers would call not picky. These trout are actively looking for food on the surface and using an attractor fly fills that role.
The Humpy is considered by many fly anglers as the most successful attractor fly pattern for effectively catching trout in freestone rivers. This fly is used from coast to coast by many anglers because it simply catches trout. Although a great fly to use on freestone rivers, it’s not that effective on tailwater rivers. The strength of the fly is in it’s construction. It’s wing, over body and tail are made of deer hair. Deer hair is hollow which makes the fly float like a cork. The under body is usually made of a bright colored floss such as red, yellow or bright green. Rounding out the fly is a collar of brown hackle which creates space that captures ard further enhanced the flies ability to float.
I for one find the Humpy one of my top producers when I’m fly fishing many of the mountain rivers of the west. There is no one place where the humpy does not reign as king. Trout just seem to love it. It has all the characteristics in a fly that drive a trout crazy. I have had days fly fishing mountain rivers where other flies I’ve tried instead of the Humpy are just plain ineffective. When I tie on the Humpy my luck will immediately change. The Humpy takes up a lot of room in my fly box and it should in yours also.