There's nothing more fun over the hotter summer months than prospecting a sexy piece of water with a big dry fly in the back-country. Even If fish are not obviously taking dries off the surface, casting a big dry fly into a likely piece of water and watching a large head break the surface and engulf your fly is something special. As for fly choices when prospecting I like to use larger Attractor style patterns ,these patterns do not always accurately represent any particular insect but they incorporate proven fishy features that will attract fish to the fly. Patterns such as Stimulators, Royal Wulfs and rubber legged Deer Hair cicada patterns just to name a few, something that floats well and is highly visible to both the angler and trout. The technique in it self is very simple but knowing where fish lie is sometimes the tricky part , places such as behind a large boulder, along a submerged tree trunk, in a shaded boisterous run or along a deep bank with a foam line under overhanging trees-all these spots should be covered. Normally Attractor dries work best in boisterous faster flowing water where fish holding deeper will see them more easily , pocket water and riffles anywhere from knee to hip deep are classic places to fish Attractor dries also. Normally a couple of casts are made systematically to likely looking spots and then you move on, there isn’t much use in spending a lot of time in one place keep moving and cover all the likely holding water. Usually a trout will either eat an Attractor type fly or it wont.
Below are few of my favorite patterns for prospecting in the back country, they all float well are highly visible and are able to hold a well weighted beaded nymph suspended below them if required.