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There is not only one fly that is best for trout. There are a variety of flies that could be termed as the best source of food for trout. It's not that trout only feed on flies; they also feed on nymphs and streamers. Basically, nymphs are insects while streamers are the likes of leech and baitfish. For our case, let's be more specific about flies. You can use natural flies or artificial flies. When using artificial flies, you must ensure that the pattern of the artificial fly resembles that of the natural fly.
So, what flies are best for trout?
The caddis fly is a top choice or many anglers because it is found in almost all waterways- both flowing waters and still waters. There are different caddis fly patterns that typically imitate the life stages of the caddis fly. We have patterns at the larva, pupa, and adult stage. Often, trout feed on a caddis at the larval and pupa stage but this doesn't mean that they completely don't feed on adult caddis.
- Common patterns in the larval stage include:
- The Green Caddis Larvae- http://www.littlejuniata.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/P3152229.jpg
Green Caddis Nymph- https://www.flytying.ro/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Swimming-green-caddis-nymph-tied-by-Lucian-Vasies.jpg
Tungsten Brown Caddis- http://www.dreamdriftflies.com/popup_image.php?pID=10649
- The common pattern in the pupa stage (available in different colors; olive, orange, tan):
Caddis pupa- https://flyfisherpro.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019-05-14-Fly_Fisher_Pro-caddis-pupa-1024x1024.jpg
- The common pattern of the adult caddis:
Dry caddis fly- https://flyfisherpro.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019-05-14-Fly_Fisher_Pro-elk-hair-caddis.png
Goddard caddis- https://www.bigyflyco.com/images/1-Dry%20Flies/Goddard_Caddis_Brown.jpg
Stoneflies are absolutely delicious to trout hence they make a great portion of trout diet. Although available throughout the year, these flies are mostly found in clean water, and not in low-quality water. However, the flies have a tendency to hatch during the early spring, a pattern that the trout are familiar with, and so you can use them effectively during this season. They are large in size when compared to other trout flies and maybe that's why they are not good at flying. Some nymphs of these flies could even be longer than 5cm.
Common stonefly patterns:
There are various stonefly patterns but the common are four- yellow sally, skwala, large golden stone, and salmon fly. All have the uniform appearance but size and color varies
- Yellow Sally- https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/31b--LfIrML.jpg
- Skwala- https://www.lostcreekflies.com/shop/images/275_th.jpg
- Large Golden Stone- https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0318/7101/products/golden-stone-fly_lg_large.jpg?v=1482951264
- Salmon fly- https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d0/ParksSalmonFly.jpg
Midge flies can be intimidating at times but they are great options when fishing spring creeks, tailwaters, as well still waters. Anglers with experience fishing in a variety of watersheds will agree that midge flies make up more than 50% of all trout flies found in some watersheds. Perhaps their small size is responsible for their huge population and thus they are available all year round. Midges are excellent during the spring although they can be used for fishing during all seasons.
Common midge flies patterns
You can never go wrong when fishing with the midges. Therefore, it's not even important to understand the life stages of midges because you can pick any midge that appeals to you. As long as it's a midge, go for what attracts you in terms of shape, color, and size. Below are just some few examples of midge fly patterns
- Zebra Midge- https://flyfisherpro.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019-05-14-Fly_Fisher_Pro-bead-head-zebra-midge.png
- The Northern Midge- https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/9ptiL-HfcD48HI4qImIhONx58lYrPw6gSr1nJneu699SQ59CH6aIrW9l5Z3Sx4iGP-XWrw=s151
- Black Midge- https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/31fg7cCgfYL.jpg
Although mayflies do to appear like ideal flies, these flies make trout go wild due to their unique tasty features.
- There are no many patterns for the mayfly. The single most pattern is available in different colors- olive, brown, and black - https://flyfisherpro.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019-05-14-Fly_Fisher_Pro-paycho-prince.jpg
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