It is the Year of the Rio! So, with that in mind, lets talk about flies for catching a few Rio Grande Cichlid. So, before I tell you my personal favorite Rio Grande Cichlid flies, here are a few things to understand about Rio's and their eating habits.
1) Rio flies should be small. Even the monster Rio Grande Cichlids have small mouths.
|Monster of a Rio Grande Cichlid caught by Odom Wu
2) "Match the Hatch." Haha, mimic what you fish to what Rios eat. As discussed, in Fish Spotlight: Rio Grande Cichlid, Rios eat insects (and their larvae), small crustaceans, and small fish.
|Small Crawfish from South Texas
4) Black, Olive, Dark Browns, and Cream. Those are the colors I have had the most success with (in order.)
5) Keep the extremities short. Rios tend to grab flies by the legs and tails, so if you want to increase your hook-up rate, keep those extremities on your flies short. The slower you fish your fly, the shorter the legs and tails!
Alright, now the list. Here are my Five Must Have Flies for Rio Grande Cichlids, the flies I stock my Rio Boxes with, listed in no particular order.
Pat's Hot Tail Mini-Craw in Olive and Black
|Pat's Hot Tail Mini-Craw
The Hot Tail Mini-Craw is tied on a size 10 hook (small) and is usually tied in either olive and black (seen here), solid black, and Two-Tone Rootbeer, all with chartreus tail still. Bounce it along the bottom near cover and be ready for a strike. You can order Pat's Hot Tail Mini-Craw here.
|Selection of Rio Getters from Fly Geek
Jigged Foxy Clouser
|Jigged Foxy Clouser.
Deer Hair Ant
|Deer Hair Ant