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Trout flies make up the majority of all fly patterns that exist in the world today. Almost all fly fisherman solely pursue trout, and therefore their fly boxes consist of nothing but trout flies. A fly angler can have hundreds, even thousands of trout flies in his box, as he or she needs to be prepared for a variety of different hatches that occur on a typical trout stream. There are trout fly patterns meant for every river, lake and stream that you fish! Just click over to our Discount Flies Page and start your search… Check out our Hatch Guide for each state if you need some help narrowing down your selection.
As you go through our pages some of the classic trout fly patterns are Adams Dry Flies, Royal Wulffs, Blue Wing Olive Dry, Woolly Bugger Streamer, Hares Ear Nymph, Elk Hair Caddis, Griffiths Gnat, Muddler Minnow, Stimulator, Sparkle Dun, Spinner Rusty, Rs-2, Soft-Hackle, Copper John Nymph, Pheasant Tail Nymph, Ants, Daves Hopper, and Eggs.
Three main styles of fly fishing flies for trout:
+Dry flies for trout - They are designed to float on the surface of the water to imitate an insect landing on the water. Most anglers fly fish with dry flies for trout and it’s by far the most entertaining way of catching a trout on the fly.
+Nymphs for trout – They imitate insects that live under the water in streams, rivers and Lakes. Fun fact, most insects live 99% of their life under the water. They only hatch and leave the water when they are ready to breed and die. So, most of the insects on the water came from the river that day. This is why nymphs for trout are the most productive way to catch a trout on the fly.
+Trout streamers – If you are looking to catch the biggest fish possible then trout streamers are the best option. Usually you’re trying to imitate a leech or baitfish that moves around the bottom.
The early months of spring start the beginning of what most anglers consider the start of fly fishing season. Hungry trout come to the surface to gorge themselves on mayflies like Blue Wing Olives, and dry stoneflies like Early Black Stones. These provide their first real protein of the year, and signify the start of fly fishing season. The insects start growing on the river bottom as nymphs, then work their way to the surface where they become adults, going thru a variety of insect stages along the way. Because of this, a fly angler has to have a variety of trout flies in order to mimic these different stages.
There are many species of trout throughout the US and we’ll just give you a quick description of three: Brook Trout, Brown Trout, and Rainbow Trout.
Brook trout (the only native of the three) thrive in smaller streams of good water quality, occupying pools and riffles that seem quite shallow when compared to the pools brown trout frequent. In-stream vegetation provides adequate cover for the brookie. They are very aggressive and relatively easy to catch with trout flies. They are typically smaller than browns and rainbows – a 14-inch brook trout is a trophy. In large and medium -sized, streams you will find them near the headwaters and in major springs.
Brown trout (from Europe) are the most abundant and most sought-after trout. They are wary and must be stalked with patience – these guys will put even your trustiest trout fly patterns to the test. Your shadow on the water will "put them down" for an hour or two. They require overhanging cover like undercut banks or fallen trees. They will be found in the deepest pools, moving into the shallows (riffles) to feed in early morning and late afternoon. Brown trout actively feed on emergent insects like caddisflies and mayflies. They usually get larger than rainbows and brookies; 14 to 18 -inch fish are common, and browns over 25 inches have been taken in the southeast.
Rainbow trout (a west coast native) do not commonly reproduce in many places where they are fishable nowadays, and thus must be maintained by stocking. They occupy the fast, big water of the whitewater streams (and others), utilizing different habitat than the brown trout. Famous for their acrobatics like “tail-walking”, rainbows will give any angler quite a thrill.
Many good trout anglers make fishing more of a challenge by using a fly rod or fishing wild trout in crystal clear streams. Some anglers spend many days trying to catch a trophy with their best trout flies. You may want to get into this type of trout fishing, but for now we are going to stick with basics.
Before heading to your favorite fly fishing destination or just buying whatever trout flies for sale you come across, check with a local guide to see what hatches are occurring. They should also be able to recommend the appropriate dry flies, wet flies and other trout flies to cover those hatches.
Also, don’t forget a map – a good map – of the area you are going to fish so you can make sure that you are actually fishing in trout water. It is usually available free at local fisheries, parks, and wildlife management offices.