Press ESC to close

ORVIS – Dry Fly Tactics – On Stream Adjustments

As a fly fisherman, you may find yourself carrying numerous boxes of flies, yet never having the exact fly you need. This is a common situation that all anglers experience at some point. While you may have to make do with the flies in your box, there are simple adjustments you can make to match the fish’s feeding preferences. Dave Jensen demonstrates how to remedy the lack of a “right” fly with on-stream adjustments. Once you learn this tactic, you’ll feel confident using the flies you have. To expand your fly fishing skills further, explore our other informative resources. ORVIS – Dry Fly Tactics – On Stream Adjustments is a video presented by The Orvis Company that addresses a common challenge faced by fly fishermen: the lack of the right fly at the right time. This situation often arises when anglers have numerous boxes of flies, yet struggle to find the perfect match for the fish’s feeding preferences. However, the video reassures viewers that there are techniques and adjustments that can be made on the stream to increase their chances of success using the flies they have. By sharing a personal experience and demonstrating various adjustments, the video aims to boost anglers’ confidence in using their existing fly collection effectively. For further guidance and tips on enhancing fly fishing skills, Orvis encourages individuals to explore their comprehensive range of informative resources.

In the captivating video titled ORVIS – Dry Fly Tactics – On Stream Adjustments, The Orvis Company acknowledges the common struggle among fly fishermen of not having the ideal fly in their boxes. Although this situation is often encountered, the video aims to provide solutions through on-the-stream adjustments. By sharing an experience and showcasing techniques for matching the fish’s feeding preferences using existing flies, the video helps anglers feel more confident in utilizing their available resources. The Orvis Company encourages viewers to visit their other informational resources for more ways to improve their fly fishing skills.

ORVIS – Dry Fly Tactics – On Stream Adjustments


In the world of fly fishing, mastering dry fly tactics is essential for a successful day on the water. While understanding the situation and matching the hatch are crucial, making on-stream adjustments can be the difference between an average day and a truly memorable one. By utilizing the flies from your box and tapping into the power of imagination, you can enhance your chances of fooling elusive trout and experiencing the thrill of a perfect dry fly presentation.

Understanding the Situation

Before delving into the nuances of on-stream adjustments, it is imperative to understand the situation you are faced with on the water. Observing the behavior of the fish, identifying the insects they are targeting, and recognizing the prevailing conditions are all key elements in determining the tactics you should employ. By honing your observational skills and developing a deep understanding of the environment, you can make more informed decisions about the adjustments needed for a successful dry fly presentation.

The Importance of Matching the Hatch

Matching the hatch is a fundamental principle in dry fly fishing. It involves selecting a fly pattern that closely resembles the natural insects present in the water at any given time. By doing so, you increase the chances of fooling the fish into believing that your artificial fly is a viable food source. To effectively match the hatch, you must first identify the types of insects present, observe their size, color, and behavior, and select a fly pattern that replicates these characteristics. This attention to detail is crucial for enticing selective trout and achieving a natural drift on the water.

ORVIS - Dry Fly Tactics - On Stream Adjustments

On Stream Adjustments for Fly Fishing

While matching the hatch is important, it is equally essential to make on-stream adjustments to adapt to changing conditions and fish preferences. The ability to assess the situation and modify your strategy accordingly is what sets successful anglers apart. On-stream adjustments may include changing fly patterns, tweaking the presentation, or altering your technique to target a specific area of the water. By adapting to the ever-changing conditions of the stream, you can increase your chances of enticing even the most cautious trout.

Using Flies from Your Box

One of the advantages of fly fishing is the vast assortment of fly patterns available in an angler’s fly box. Having a variety of flies at your disposal allows you to experiment and adapt to the on-stream conditions. When making on-stream adjustments, it is imperative to choose a fly from your box that closely resembles the insects the fish are feeding on. By carefully selecting the right fly pattern, you can present the fish with an irresistible meal and increase your chances of a successful catch.

The Power of Imagination

While having a well-stocked fly box is crucial, it is equally important to harness the power of imagination when making on-stream adjustments. Sometimes, the perfect fly pattern is not readily available in our boxes. In these situations, it is essential to use our creativity and adaptability to mimic the insect hatch. By combining different materials and techniques, we can create effective fly patterns that closely resemble the natural insects. The power of imagination allows us to tailor our flies to the specific conditions on the stream and gives us an edge in fooling even the most discerning trout.

Example: Adjusting a Stimulator Fly

Let’s take a closer look at an example of how we can make on-stream adjustments to a popular dry fly pattern, the Stimulator. The Stimulator is known for its buoyancy and ability to imitate a wide range of stoneflies and caddisflies. However, depending on the situation, we may need to modify the fly to increase its effectiveness.

Massaging the Fly

One adjustment we can make to a Stimulator fly is to massage the body of the fly. By gently squeezing and reshaping the body using our fingertips, we can create a more realistic shape that closely resembles the natural insect. This technique can give the fly a lifelike appearance and make it more enticing to feeding trout. Experiment with different levels of pressure to find the perfect shape for the body of the Stimulator.

Splaying the Wings

Another adjustment that can be made is to splay the wings of the Stimulator fly. In nature, the wings of insects often rest at various angles on the water’s surface. By carefully separating and positioning the wings at different angles, we can create the illusion of an insect in distress, further enticing trout to strike. This technique is particularly effective when fishing during a hatch or when there is increased competition among the fish for food.


Mastering dry fly tactics and making on-stream adjustments are essential skills for successful fly fishing. By understanding the situation, matching the hatch, and using flies from your box, you can increase your chances of fooling elusive trout. Additionally, tapping into the power of imagination allows you to adapt to changing conditions and create effective fly patterns. So next time you find yourself on the water, remember the importance of on-stream adjustments and use them to your advantage. Happy fishing!

I am The Alaskan Creek Sniffer A.K.A SHort Rod, the proud creator of the Short Rod Fishing Pole. Located in the heart of fishing wonderland, Alaska. My mission is to connect you with nature's most elusive catches in even the tightest fishing holes. Engineered with precision and passion, my fishing pole is lightweight, durable, and impeccably balanced, making it a game-changer for adventurous anglers. I also offer expert equipment reviews, keeping our fishing community up-to-date with unbiased information, and guided fishing adventures, customized to your skill level. Join our passionate fishing community and experience the innovation, quality, and sustainability that sets Short Rod apart.