We previously discussed attractor patterns in general, and touched briefly on the dry fly attractor. Here we will discuss it more thoroughly.
Dry fly attractors are any in a series of dry flies that are meant to be impressionistic of food, more than being imitative of a specific insect. They are not designed to 'match the hatch' but instead induce a strike under any circumstances.
Dry fly attractors tend to be dressed more fully, they are easier to see, and float extremely well. In addition, they can possess the qualities we discussed earlier in our 'Attractors' article. Including color contrasts, using flash, and other attractive qualities. The Royal Wulff represents the classic Dry Fly attractor. Full of color contrasts, rides high, durable and can represent anything imaginable to both the fish and angler.
Lee Wulff invented his series of flies in the winter of 1929/30 when he grew tired of what he considered anemic flies of British descent. He reasoned that hair wing flies were more realistic and allowed for more robust flies due to its superior flotation.
As Dry fly attractors tend to be fished in faster, rougher water the extra floatation qualities are a must. Hair wings also are more durable, and can withstand many strikes, and casts into trees etc.
Dry fly attractors are suggestive of many food sources like Stimulators , Wulffs and the Humpy series of flies. They are designed to be seen as a tasty morsel to the feeding trout, who will take them for anything from a mayfly to a cricket.
For those new to dry fly fishing or fly fishing in general, attractors are a good place to start. They are easier to see, and because of their bulk they are easier to cast. The beginner doesn't have to be as concerned about reading the hatch, and they can be presented less delicately as other dry flies as they are generally fished in broken water, where fish aren't as easily spooked.Don't get the impression that dry fly attractors are for only the novice, however. Lee Wulff and Randall Kauffman were far from novices when they introduced their series of flies to the fly fishing public. Many experienced anglers reach daily for a classic attractor pattern that will entice fish again and again.