Common Name: Snail, aquatic snail
Scientific Names: Too numerous to mention

I'll bet if you lined up 100 fly anglers at random, you'd probably find only one (at most) that had ever successfully fished a snail imitation. Day-in and day-out, imitating snails is not the most productive fly fishing strategy. But there are times when it works; indeed, times when it's the only thing that works well.

Streams and lakes with a high calcium carbonate level are good for snail populations: the little critters need the calcium to grow their shells. Usually they are attached to rocks, and that makes it tough to present a passable imitation. But sometimes the snails end up floating around on the surface. When that happens, you might see trout cruising along and scarfing them down. At that time, a floating snail imitation with a chuck-and-sit presentation can be effective.

It's also possible to sight-fish with snail patterns: you see a cruising trout picking up snails off the bottom; cast well ahead of it and hope it comes your way. It's another chuck-and-sit, but this time the fly is weighted and sits on the bottom.

Snails are rarely imitated, however you might check out the article listed in the sidebar.


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COLOR: Browns, but may have plant material attached


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