Fly Fishers' Republic


April 19, 2006

by Raif Killips




The Adams is a well-known fly tied in a wide range of sizes. Used primarily to target trout, the fly is used in its smaller sizes to cover midge hatches and mayfly hatches. In the right size it makes a reasonable impression of a blue winged olive or other small grey/olive bodied ephemerid. Larger versions are serviceable in a drake hatch. The Adams is considered by many, a “go to” fly, and a very useful searching pattern.

How to fish:

Fished using standard dry fly presentation techniques. When no specific insect predominates on the water and it is not clear what the fish are feeding on, a well presented Adams is a good way to hedge your bets.


This pattern originated from the vice of Leonard Halladay, Michigan, U.S.A. and takes it's name from Charles F. Adams who fished the pattern on the Boardman River.


Two variations include an 'Irish Adams'(olive body) and an 'Egg Laying Adams' (yellow butt). The Parachute Adams is another variation, having a polyester/antron wool or hair wing post and a parachute rather than collar hackle. You'll also find an 'Adams Irresistible'...

Further reading:

Fly Patterns and Their Origins, 1943, Harold Hinsdill Smedley, Westshore Publications. Trout and Salmon Fly Index, Dick Surette, Stackpole Books. These books are usually available from Amazon.