11 Best Trout Flies to Cover your Fishing Season

// Updated: Sept. 20, 2022.
// by Matti Härkönen

Last updated on November 6th, 2023.

Every fly fisherman has his own all-star trout flies. He won’t head to the river without those patterns in the box.

Most of these arsenals have been developed over the years by trying countless trout flies on the water. The same goes for me and now I’ll open my box to show you my all-star trout flies. In this guide we’ll cover everything from streamer flies, to stonefly patterns, mayflies, caddies flies and terrestrials.

All-time Favorite Trout Flies

Trout is one of the most exciting species to target on a fly rod. However, there are many ways to do it depending on the conditions and the time of year. In this guide we want to give you an overview of trout flies and which one to choose when. Let’s go.

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Woolly Bugger

If there was only one fly I could use to catch trout it would be this one. And if I could use only one color it would be black. The great thing about the Woolly Bugger is that this pattern catches other fish as well. And often the big ones that tend to eat smaller fish go for the Woolly Bugger. An absolute must in every trout fisherman’s fly box.

Conehead Perch Streamer

The Conehead Perch Streamer is another great option for trout. The conehead gives the streamer a little extra weight which makes it an excellent choice for deeper runs or pools. Big fish love the Conehead Perch Streamer.

Muddler Minnow Trout Streamer

The Muddler Minnow Streamer is another trout favorite. It’s not quite clear if they take if for a small baitfish or maybe a small mouse instead. No matter what – big fish love Muddler Minnows. It is lighter than the conehead streamer and can therefore also be fished in shallower areas without getting stuck in the ground.

Stonefly Nymph Pattern

Stoneflies are a favorite food source of trout no matter whether as grown insects or as nymphs. Even in river where they are not abundant, this nymph pattern often convinces trout to take. You can fish the stonefly nymph very effectively using the Euro Nymphing technique.

Hare’s Ear Mayfly Nymph

The Hare’s Ear Nymph is probably one of the most classic mayfly nymph patterns of all time and is a must in every fly box. Some versions are slimmer and some add a few hackles to give it a little more buoyancy.

Beadhead Prince Nymph

The Beadhead Prince Nymph is another essential nymph fly. It is a great option if you are Euro nymphing and if you are fishing in fast currents. You can play around with different color variations.

Stimulator Trout Flies

The Stimulator can work when nothing else does. It floats exceptionally well on the surface and sometimes seems to provoke a strike out of curiosity. You can try different colors if the first one doesn’t work.

Elk Hair Caddis

Just like with the Woolly Bugger, the Elk Hair Caddis is my #1 dry fly. I prefer the variant with the olive body. I don’t know why but it has caught me fish when other patterns didn’t work. There is something that fish seem to like about the green belly. You can also try a lighter color version like beige.

Adams Parachute

The Parachute fly is a great addition to any trout fisher’s fly box. The parachute as the name suggests makes the fly float deceivingly in the surface film. It’s almost like a mix of a dry and a wet fly and can work wonders on cautious fish.

Tungsten Nymph

Despite its inconspicuous looks, the tungsten nymph is one of the best trout flies out there. The high density of the tungsten head makes it sinks fast and hence a great choice for deeper pools. Don’t be fooled: often the biggest trout take the smallest flies. Give the tungsten nymph a go and you won’t be disappointed.

Wormy Trout Fly

Opinions are divided about using worm flies. The fact is, they catch fish. This Wormy Bead Head Trout Fly is a great choice due to its two tails and the beadhead that makes it sink fast.

Conclusion on the Best Trout Flies

As you can see from our selection there are many different kind of trout flies that can be successful. It really depends on your personal preferences. Some fly fishermen and women prefer to use dry flies only. Other claim that nothing is as catchy as nymphs. Still others believe that the biggest trout are caught on streamers. In order for you to be prepared for all situations we put together a few options that contain flies of all types.

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