Wild Brook Trout

Brook Trout Fly Patterns


Eugene P. Macri Jr.

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© 2007 E. P. Macri Jr.

Many of the original Brook Trout patterns were attractor flies of colorful creation.  These bright colored wet and dry flies defined fly fishing for Brook Trout in the Northeast United States, Canada and even sections of the Appalachians.  I still like many of those patterns Wet Fly Box for Brook Troutand they do work rather well.  There is a reason for this that many anglers who take up fly fishing now do not understand.  This results from the environment.  You may say there are no such attractor patterns in nature!  Well there actually are but we will save this for another article. Most smaller Brook Trout waters and this includes even some Brook Trout ponds were a relatively sparse environment biologically compared to many streams .

Because of these environmental factors Brook Trout in these streams were rather voracious in attacking anything that floated or drifted reasonably well in there environment.  Therefore, bright flies were easily seen from a distance, worked well and when you had to get one cast in the water without spooking the fish.....these flies made a lot of sense.  Of course, these were mostly for freestone Brookies where as the sophisticated Brook Trout of limestone spring creeks would just ignore many of these patterns.

So here's my list of the best patterns for Brook Trout in most freestone streams and ponds:

  1. Black Gnat Wet Fly sizes 10 -16
  2. Royal Coachman Fanwing Dry sizes 10-16     
  3. Blue Dun Bivisible sizes 10- 20
  4. Brown Bivisible sizes 10-20
  5. Grey Hackle Yellow sizes 10 -20
  6. Brown Hackle Peacock sizes 12-20
  7. Cow Dung Wet Fly sizes 12 -20
  8. Abbey Wet Fly sizes 12-16
  9. Alder Wet Fly sizes 12 -16
  10. Light Cahill Wet Fly sizes 12 -18
  11. Dark Cahill Wet Fly sizes 12 -18
  12. Coachman Lead Wing Wet Fly sizes 12 -18
  13. March Brown English Wet Fly sizes 10-14
  14. March Brown American Wet Fly sizes 10-14
  15. Rio Grande King Wet Fly sizes 10-16
  16. Royal Coachman Wet Fly sizes 10-18
  17. Silver Doctor Wet Fly sizes 12-16
  18. Picket Pin Wet Fly sizes 8-12
  19. Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Wet Fly sizes 8-16
  20. Warden Wet Fly sizes 12-16
  21. Fontinalis Fin Wet Fly sizes 10-16
  22. Black Grizzly Bivisible sizes 12-22
  23. Black Ghost Streamer sizes 10-16
  24. Little Brook Trout Streamer sizes 10-16
  25. White Maribou Streamer sizes 10-14
  26. Black Maribou Streamer sizes 10-14
  27. Mickey Finn Streamer sizes 10-14
  28. Black Wooly Bugger sizes 10-14
  29. Black and Olive Wooly Bugger sizes 10-14
  30. Black and Blue Matuka sizes 10-14
  31. Olive Matuka sizes 10-14
  32. Grizzly Variant Dry Fly sizes 10-18
  33. Brown Variant Dry Fly sizes 10-18
  34. Light Cahill Dry Fly sizes 10-18
  35. Sulfur Dun Dry Fly sizes 12-16
  36. Sawyer Nymph sizes 12-18
  37. Muskrat Nymph sizes 10-18
  38. Light Wulff sizes 10-18
  39. Dark Wulff sizes 10-18
  40. Red midge larva sizes 12-20
  41. San Juan Worm red sizes 10-16
  42. San Juan Worm brown sizes 10-16

Now you obviously don't need every pattern and every size but a few of these in your fly box will allow you to do quite well with Brookies.  Too many fly anglers today have no idea how effective many of these patterns are for Brookies especially in smaller sizes on hard fished streams.  Contrary to what many anglers think even freestone Brookies can be selective!



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