There are tons of different patterns that can easily make this list but these are a few of our all-time top producers. They work in a variety of situations, sizes and colors. Adaptability is what makes them so effective. The ability to imitate numerous insects and fish effectively on different types of water is important.
Is the difference between a traditional Adams and a Parchute Adams all that noticeable? To the trout, absolutely.
The parachute style hackle allows the fly to ride low in the surface film. It has the ability to imitate an emerging mayfly, cripple or adult. When we think of this fly, it goes beyond the traditional color although the gray is a favorite.
We also love, cream, orange, olive, black, purple and pink in sizes ranging from 8 to 24.
A size 8 olive will imitate a Green Drake while a 22 black will imitate a midge. Basically, you are set for most mayfly and midge hatches with some variations on this simple pattern.
We almost cheated and lumped a Stimulator and Elk Hair Caddis into one fly choice. If we had to choose between them however, the Stimulator would be the more common choice.
It's a great stonefly imitation but also covers some ground in the general attractor and terrestrial department. Thrown on a small tan or olive variation and you are imitating caddis.
It's one of the more durable hair flies available and you can adjust the way it floats based on your specific needs. Only grease the wing and it rides low for picky fish and slow water. Grease the entire thing and it floats high in dry for pocket water and heavy currents.
We typically stick to the red version of this classic fly but you could use purple, yellow or orange floss as well.
It works in a range of sizes but we usually only carry a 12 to use as a general attractor. It works just about anywhere and will get the job done when more modern flies are failing.
With all the modern options out there, many anglers overlook this very effective option.
The Chubby is a modern combination of foam and synthetic materials. It's incredibly productive as a stonefly, terrestrial or attractor.
Try it in purple, orange and yellow in sizes ranging from 8 to 14.
If the fish are getting on it, try a little twitching action make it look alive. The rubber legs move great and it rides at a nice level in the film.
The visibility for anglers makes it a top choice for fast water and fishing from a boat.
Another modern option, the Morrish Hopper doesn't look like much more than a foam cut-out with legs.
Actually, that's all it really has going but it works wonders. Peach is our favorite color but comes in a few others and they all work.
It's a great pattern through the summer and fall in rivers and lakes. If there is a cutthroat within a mile this fly, you are in luck.