I was asked the other day if I had to pick just six flies to fish with this Spring, which would I choose. Now that is a difficult task. I am not a minimalist when it comes to flies and gear. Anyone that fishes with me knows that I bring enough flies to supply a small fly shop. But since I was asked to pick just six flies I guess I’ll give it a go.
- Woolybugger – Although I don’t fish with woolybuggers a lot, it is one of the all time greatest flies “invented” for catching trout and even other species. If I only get to pick six I must have some buggers in my fly box. They can be fished by swinging, dead drifting and stripping with each way being very effective. They can imitate a leech, baitfish and even a stonefly nymph. I’d carry some black, olive and even white.
- Midge larva – I love fishing midge larva like the P&P midge, zebra midge, etc. in all colors. Midges are around all throughout the year and even though tiny, are a major food source for all trout. I normally dead drift them under an indicator.
- Soft Hackle fly – You did say best flies in the Spring. With many aquatic insects beginning to emerge during this time, the soft hackle can imitate most all the emerging insect species. I love to swing this pattern and when they are hot they are a blast to fish. I’d carry all colors but for sure have light colors and dark colors.
- Elk Hair Caddis – Spring time means caddis, so you must carry this fly. Plus, you need a dry fly on this list. I like to throw anywhere from a size 14-18 with tan being my favorite color. Remember you can change your Elk Hair Caddis into sort of an X-Caddis (minus the shuck) by cutting off the bottom hackle of the fly. Two flies for the price of one!
- Parachute Adams – Ok, for all you dry fly elitists I’ll throw in one more dry fly for good measure. The Parachute Adams can imitate most mayfly patterns and if I can have them in different sizes and colors that will take care of mydry flies for the Spring.
- Pheasant Tail Nymph – Last but not least, I guess I would have to pick some PT nymphs to round out my “sub-surface” aquatic insects. I would even use a two-fly rig along with the midge and PT nymph to dead drift past those deep trout.
So, there is my list of six Spring flies to have in your box. Unfortunately, I’ll be carrying way more than this list, but these flies WILL definitely be in my fly boxes too. What six flies would you carry for the Spring?