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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Go-to fly patterns for trout?

    I'm curious what flies people use the most and why.

    I'm fishing mostly medium and small rivers and streams in the Northern Front Range in CO.

    Dries:

    Parachute Adams - Rides low, but is fairly buoyant and easy to see. Can pass as a spinner. Catches picky fish but is more user friendly than, say, a Comparadun.
    PMX - It's a caddis and hopper wearing a big white top hat. Good combo of natural fibers and jiggly rubber. My go to search pattern for summer/ early fall.
    Chubby Chernobyl - Floats like a boat. Great for heavy droppers in rough water. Ugly and wind resistant though. Prefer the PMX if it isn't getting dragged under, but the chubby beats using a bobber.
    Griffith's gnat - Less annoying to use than other midge patterns and I see lots of midges. Don't use it a ton, but when I need it I need it.

    Emergers:

    Mole fly - Catches fish that would otherwise ignore me. No replacement for this one. When I'm stumped I turn to the mole.
    Film critic - Has a mohawk like Glenn Plake. Not sure it's any better than, say, an RS2, but it looks awesomel.

    Nymphs:

    Frenchie or similar - In general I seem to do better with simple, buggy nymphs with a hot spot. I prefer them over more the more muted/realistic patterns or the bright shiny ones. Unless they aren't working. I could switch this out for any number of similar patterns.
    Blowtorch - Same as above but with a slower sink rate and added texture.
    Zebra Midge - The fish I catch eat lots of midges. Boring but extremely effective.
    Juju Baetis - Seems to out-catch other tiny mayfly patterns. Little bit of shine, some buggy texture, and sinks faster than a pheasant tail.

    Streamers:

    Sculpzilla - significantly more "alive" than a bugger when dead drifted.
    Meyers Leech - jig jig jig bam.

    Out of all of these I'd say the Parachute Adams, Mole Fly, and maybe Juju Baetis are the ones I'm most attached to. I think those three actually help me catch more fish. The others I could replace with something fairly different without much change in success. I think. Maybe. Or not.

    What about you?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    2,264
    My go to streamer is my own spinoff of a sculpin pattern I saw a few years ago. Trevor's Sculpin https://youtu.be/AUQFVNPJXvU . Works great for trout and is plenty easy to cast with a 5 or 6 weight. It's pretty light so I typically fish it with a 6wt and a full sink streamer line.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    In a van... down by the river
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    Royal Wulff. No reason, really, other than that's what my uncle mostly used...

    And I'm a creature of habit.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2008
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    Go-to fly patterns for trout?

    You and I are similar re: the mole. Fish it as dry/emerger/nymph. Fish have ate it after ignoring everything else.

    I’d throw caddis in that list. Dries and nymphs. Especially for certain N Front Range creeks.

    San Juan worms purple, pink, red, natural. No shame.

    RS2 can be killer.
    It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. –Ernest Hemingway

  5. #5
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    Go-to fly patterns for trout?

    Great thread btw. I keep thinking of stuff.

    Lime trude is nice for higher country.

    Big stoneflies whenever possible.
    It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. –Ernest Hemingway

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    O+Positive
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    I lean heavy on the EHC- parachutes, dancing, hi-vis variants. Mix in some Royal Wulfs and Purple Haze for good measure.

    Tan chubbys are my go-to during hopper season, also mix in some Double Fat Alberts

    Still dialing in my streamer game, but Mini dungeons and black & olive woolies seem to produce the best

    I don't throw nymphs a whole lot anymore, but BWO poxys (ogden) & rainbow sow bugs (weber) respectively are very effective on the two in-town rivers. Red copper johns are another killer in the right situations.
    Montani Semper Liberi

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    GNARvada
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    I spend 80%+ of my time at CO high lakes, and almost always open with a hippy stomper + green scud combo.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    inpdx
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    Dry: Elk hair caddis & BWO

    Wet: PT nymph unweighted as a dropper to a tungsten jig black stonefly

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    Behind the Zion Curtain
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    For the first few years of my fly fishing career I pretty much exclusively threw big junk, articulated dungeons, sculpins, and feathery stuff.

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    The last couple years I’ve been throwing more dry flies. I can’t see tiny shit anymore so my go to has been a Hippy Stomper paired with a Triple Double. I can’t see the Triple Double very well so the Hippy Stomper acts as an indicator that also takes fish.

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    Although, usually what I’m throwing is whatever Lumpy or SFB ties on for me. Heh.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    I live smack dab in Troutlandia (walking distance to the lower Gallatin) and know a lot of really good/old fly fisherman. What I have noticed is the really good fisherman have a few (12 or so) patterns but in many different sizes.

    I am a bit of a hack so my go-to's are Para- Adams, Para-Wulffs, EHCs or Goddards, Griffiths for the small stuff but I have trouble seeing them and some type of a Stone Fly for the early season (orange simulators usually) and Para-Hoppers for later season.

    Nymphs are Princes, Hares Ears and a bug a long time Gallatin guide showed me called a Swallow that seems to work year round for different critters.

    Just getting into streamers and so far nothing but frustration. Bullet Head Buggers are the go to there but this winter I plan to tie some bigger baitfish imitations. I have pretty much quit tying dries cause they all seem to turn out the same size no what the hook size is.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

    "Happiest years of my life were earning < $8.00 and hour, collecting unemployment every spring and fall, no car, no debt and no responsibilities. 1984-1990 Park City UT"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Wasatch Back: 7000'
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    Follow the hatch charts.
    For most of the mountain west, it begins with midges, blue winged olives, and caddis, then mix in some sort of PMDs (nymphs and emerges). In fall, it's October caddis, BWO, sculpin and wolly bugger streamers.
    I just bought a shitload of flies, and look forward to getting into it next season.
    “How does it feel to be the greatest guitarist in the world? I don’t know, go ask Rory Gallagher”. — Jimi Hendrix

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Gallatin County
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    1,421
    Caveat: Do not use what fly, nymph or steamer I am flinging if you want to catch trout.

    A few suicidal fish will whack something that resembles the hatch in my fly box.

    I like to start with Copper Johns and Hare's Ears if there is no hatch to match.

    Hoppers in various sizes in colors when they are around.

    When the trout are fussy with my flailed offerings above: San Juan worms, marabou muddler minnows, clouser minnows or Mickey Finns (not the cheap ones where the dye washes out in 6 casts) usually do the trick.

  13. #13
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    Sep 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunion 2020 View Post
    I live smack dab in Troutlandia (walking distance to the lower Gallatin) and know a lot of really good/old fly fisherman. What I have noticed is the really good fisherman have a few (12 or so) patterns but in many different sizes....
    Best fly fisherman I know is like this. He always says if they aren't hitting it, go smaller.

    Last couple of years of been I've using a lot of beetles. They've work EVERYWHERE. Mostly caddis and BWO otherwise.

    We use egg patterns almost all winter on western Sierra tailwaters. Pink San Juans too. Usually drop black zebras, pupas or wd40's.

  14. #14
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    I hadn’t noticed this thread before.

    For dries Elk Hair Caddis are my usual go-to in NM and southern CO, but Parachute Adams are a close second. During stonefly season, Orange Stimulators work around here. In meadows, Dave’s Hoppers later on in the summer are fun-makers. Bead-head Hare’s Ears and Copper John’s for nymphs.

    All this goes out the window if I see a certain hatch going on that I can match or if I’m somewhere that something like San Juan Worms or streamers are called for. And there’s one stream nearby where the Coachman (not the Royal) work great…usually.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Greater Drictor Wydaho
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    I prefer dry flies that ride low or are partially suspended under the film. I prefer nymphs that sink fast enough that you don't need split shot. In general, I favor impressionism over realism.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Just wanna say I am also a big fan of the blowtorch and bumps with a lot of hackle

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    13,152
    Quote Originally Posted by BobMc View Post




    Although, usually what I’m throwing is whatever Lumpy or SFB ties on for me. Heh.
    whatevers i tie on im gonna recomend you present it in a manner that gits eaten
    and
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -ski on in eternal peace
    "I have posted in here but haven't read it carefully with my trusty PoliAsshat antenna on."-DipshitDanno

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Where the sheets have no stains
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    How about a hopper/dropper?
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

    "Happiest years of my life were earning < $8.00 and hour, collecting unemployment every spring and fall, no car, no debt and no responsibilities. 1984-1990 Park City UT"

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    50 miles E of Paradise
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    13,913
    I’m generally fishing the Metolius or Upper McKenzie in Central OR
    lots of brush and not much room for backcast

    So I generally go with a dropper rig and water haul
    Stonefly nymph to get deep fast
    Otherwise, Stonefly, big-ass Drake or chubby Chernobyl for dry
    Hares ear or Prince on the end

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Maine
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    812
    Well I do pick up the flyrod now & then, especially in the spring & summer in northern Maine. Cold spring temps have me reaching for Copper Johns, Hare's Ear nymph, Caddis pupa & beaten up Muddler. Once the water warms up a little...throw on a Madam-X. Also have a few Hex nymphs, Hornberg & spinner patterns left but I'll usually hang around a brook/stream/river for a short while these days, or longer if with someone else.. Haven't visited a choice bog or two in a few...when I do those chubby chernobyls look nice(if I can find em' small enough;-)).

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Eagle River Alaska
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    10,961
    I basically use like 6 things

    Beads (ugh)
    Size 10 purple haze
    Size 10 thunder creek
    Size 10 Battle creek
    Dirty Hoh
    Size 14 chartruse copper john

    Fishing in AK is pretty simple. I do use a variety of other things too, but if fish don't eat those they probably aren't hungry.
    Its not that I suck at spelling, its that I just don't care

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    910
    frenchies
    perdigons
    perdigons
    perdigons

    with trout-big hook=small fish, small hook=big fish
    however, if nothing is happening, mop fly ftw

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