Most of the flies in your box can be trimmed, colored, and adjusted to imitate practically any
hatch. Bringing a Sharpie or two and your handy clippers is all you need to take an Adams and
craft it into a spinner.
Your ability to match the hatch depends on your creativity and knowledge of fly design. Let’s say
you’re out on the water and all you have are parachute dry flies and the trout aren’t biting. You
may have a hunch that a darker fly that hangs before the surface, an emerger, with be exactly
what you need.
So what can you do with what you have? Simple, snip the tail off and color the dubbing / hackle
a bit with a sharpie. Now that you’ve cut the tail clean off, your hook bend will sit deeper in
the water column. With a darker body from coloring you can no match the hatch a bit more
Adams Parachute > Snip tail. > Emerging Mayfly
Adams Catskill-Style > Snip hackle flat on the underside. > Low Seated Dun
BWO Catskill-Style > Snip hackle flat on the underside and top. > BWO Spinner
Copper John > Take black permanent marker to the wire. > Black Stonefly Nymph