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Top Trout Flies

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The question I’m often asked is what are the top trout flies?  At RiverBum, we have over 3,500 fly patterns. That’s a lot for sure. But wherever in the US you fish for trout, these trout flies are must haves for any flybox.

1. Adams

It’s no secret I’m a dry fly fisher. It’s also no secret that this is the most popular dry fly in the world. Why? It catches trout and a whole lot of other fish, of course! 

The odd thing about the Adams fly….it doesn’t represent a specific mayfly. But, that’s also a benefit. I can be used in almost any mayfly hatch situation maybe save a PMD hatch. The subtle color scheme and perfect shape make this dry perfect for catching fish whenever and wherever you decide to tie it on.


2. Elk Hair Caddis

I can’t tell you how many fish I’ve caught on an elk hair caddis. I always have tan, brown, and green in my box, no matter what the season. They simply catch trout. 

Buoyant, visible, and fishy, the Elk Hair Caddis Fly is one of those fishing flies every angler should have in a variety of sizes and colors. Some fly fishing guides and serious fly fishermen dedicate entire dry fly boxes to this one pattern. This is possibly the best caddis fly pattern for grayling and trout fishing around the world. 


3. Stimulator

I love me some stimi’s, especially rubber legged stimi’s. These big bushy bugs can imitate everything from a stonefly to a caddisfly depending on size and color. 

During the Yellow Stonefly had, a rubber leg stimi is killer. It’s also the perfect bug for a hopper/dropper set up. It floats extremely well. Feel free to tie on you pheasant tail as the dropper. A great combination.


4. Pheasant Tail

The vast proportion of a trout’s diet are prey items subsurface, well north of 80%. Going subsurface certainly enhances your ability to catch fish, big fish too. Far more large fish are taken on nymphs and streamers than anything else. 

The Pheasant tail is a fantastic nymph. The peacock thorax on this nymph also gives it a bit of iridescent flash that makes it an effective attractor fly and a great searching pattern. This fly has caught more trout than perhaps any other nymph in the history of fly fishing.

5. Prince Nymph

The Prince Nymph is a proven classic fly that will continue to be an effective fish catcher in most trout waters around the globe. The flashy peacock herl body entices strikes and the split tail and wing give the impression of a stonefly, backswimmer, or dark mayfly nymph. 

This fly may not imitate any particular trout food but it just looks like something tasty. Nymphs catch fish no matter what the conditions are time and time again.

6. Wooly Bugger

You knew it had to make the list. The Wooly Bugger is perhaps the most versatile trout fly in fly fishing. It can imitate or at least suggest any number of trout foods. It’s got the perfect combination of size, wiggle, and movement that drive fish wild.

The unweighted version is especially useful in stillwater situations where sinking lines are used and the bead head varieties can be used where a weighted fly is called for.  

Tight Lines and Screaming Drags

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