Simple Trout Flies


Some simple, durable, quick ties (size 18 flies) that often get the attention of trout on rivers nearby and afar. Tied on a hook that dangles: trailing shuck; some weight (wire) on body to hopefully tug it below the surface (saliva on shuck and body helps); exaggerated thorax dubbed; wing of polypro or deer hair, sometimes hackle used to keep top half (head) floating and most importantly visible. A white or black wing allows you to see the small fly in most light conditions. If I can see a small fly then I feel I can get it on the nose of a feeding fish, and then I at least have a chance. If I can’t see and follow the drift then I might as well be blindfolded! Deer hair and hackle is often less visible but can be seen if you can get close to a trout. The pattern can be fished as a dry/ emerger (mayfly hatch). I simply change body and thorax color and size depending on the season/hatch. The wing can be tied or clipped real sparse (less wing) for flat water, or CDC used. No fly works in all situations but some flies work in a lot of them.











master fly tyer (abby) taking a break

6 thoughts on “Simple Trout Flies

  1. Nice fly– questions…. 1. what’s the tr. shuck material? 2. body material? 3. Do you ever tie it bigger? say a #16?-thanks–Amos

    • Amos: Thanks for dropping in.
      Shuck material is antron or zelon;colors like rust, amber, yellow/goldish, Lt green, etc.
      Body material on small flies is simply my tying thread so they stay slim. I use thread color to match emerging hatch color…for bwo that is brown, think pheasant tail nymph color,…with thorax the color of bwo adult/dun:grey/greenish. For pmd body also brown but throax yellow/cream like adult pmd. Really, you could probably tie the whole thing grey for bwo or yellow for pmd and catch fish. Yes, I tie this style smaller and bigger. You could tie a large green drake emerger/dry this way, or a tiny trico. You can tie them with hackle around wing: parachute style, etc.
      The key is for the body and tail to dangle below or at least in surface film, especially for rising fish that are not consistently poking thru surface. The ones that are taking duns on top will eat it also. Use a klinkhammer (sp) or scud/ emerger style hook.
      Hope this helpful

  2. Oh yea! Love that “Quigley Cripple” style. The Harrop CDC version is also deadly. Like you wrote, its the way it sits in the film, with a slim body, crippled or emerging, that makes it special. Works for any mayfly in appropriate sizes. Its time!

    • Jim/Lightline: Thanks for dropping in.
      Yes, it is time. In my region I may have to wait a week or two still for dry fly stuff, or to speed things up drop down into Montana. Yes, to similar Quigley style and harrop cdc version….a north Adirondack, NY, tyer named fran betters tied similar flies, 50, 60 yrs ago, with deer hair and called them haystacks…he also used snow shoe rabbit fur tied forward.

  3. Not much to add other than Abby is a cute pup, a chewer too, like our Katie. It’s nice when they outgrow this phase, but then they’re not pups anymore.

    Hope to get out later this week. Seventy degree temps on the horizon. Maybe the fish will find it to their liking too.

  4. Les: Warm here too. My local stream is dirty…early run off already. Few bugs…midges scarce. Few rising fish. I’m waiting on the Mo…waiting for Godot! Thanks for dropping in.

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