The 16 Best Trout Flies

Trout Flies cover a significant portion of all the different kinds of fly patterns that are present today across the world. The majority of fly fishermen like to catch big trout, because who doesn’t want a picture with a big trout. This is why their fly boxes are bound to have a wide array of trout flies.

Determining the best trout flies has been an extensively debated topic because you will get 20 different answers from 20 different fly fishermen. In our complete guide on the best trout flies, you can find an assortment of trout fly designs and patterns suited for every stream, river, and lake that you fish.

Introduction to Fly Fishing for Trout

Fly Fishing is not an easy sport which makes it a lot more interesting for people who like to challenge themselves. Fly fishing for trout is very popular among fly fishermen because of trout’s availability and also people can find tips for catching trout, which enable a lot of people to go for trout.

You might have seen fly fishermen catching big trout, however, this is not sheer luck; instead, they are well-known precisely how to catch trout.

If you wish to be amongst those fortunate fly Fisher, it is essential to understand the right trout flies and the right way to use them. Before moving on, here are some necessary things you need to know about trout flies. 

Indicators of a Great Trout Fly

Every fisherman has his own preference and exclusive collection of all-time favorite trout flies. And they always make sure to keep those favorite flies with them when they are going for trout.

Still, there are a few critical things that you must look for when choosing an excellent trout fly. Our guide informs you of the aspects that make a superb trout fly and engage you in a seamless trout fishing experience. 


The idea of “Action” applies to nymphs, streamers, and wet flies and determines how your fly will move across the water. The use of moveable elements such as soft feather flue, rabbit fur strips, hare ear fur, etc., can bring your chosen trout fly to life. This makes them more noticeable in the eyes of the trout and considers it worth taking. 


The idea of imitation does not necessarily imply copying. Instead, it refers to the best trout flies to achieve a general shape, impression, size, and appearance of any natural insect. A good trout fly is one that can well imitate the look and feel of a natural insect. The trout usually only has a few seconds to decide whether it wants to catch the fly or not.

Hence, an excellent first impression is all it takes, so make sure you have a trout fly with passable imitation to lure the trout. A choosy trout will take time to examine your fly and often be skeptical about it. Still, we think it is an exception and not the rule. 


The idea of attraction implies the components that will get the trout to notice your fly. This is not a very hard and fast rule and can be easily accomplished. Sometimes, a bit of bright-colored wool (something red or pinkish) can work miraculously when the classic patterns and outline have failed. This does not make the fly look realistic, but it will definitely grab the trout’s attention. 

The 5 Common Types of Trout Flies

The main categories of flies were established a long time back. Although fishermen have been commonly aware of only wet and dry trout flies for over a century, things have changed since then. 

Dry Flies

The dry flies were conventionally patterns supported with feather hackles that enabled them to sit high on the surface. However, they might not incorporate flies that lets them sit in the surface film as well. The dry flies are usually more effective for trout fishing because of the silicone properties that prevent them from sinking in the water.

Wet Flies

In contrast to dry flies, wet flies are specifically designed for below the surface fishing. These flies will sink underneath the water and create a representation of fish fries, nymphs, and sometimes nothing definite. The wet flies are a time-honored trout fishing fly category. 


The nymphs are also best suited for below the surface fishing. However, they are designed to precisely imitate young flies’ lives before they hatch into full flies, with wings. The nymph fishing is one of the best categories of trout flies. 


Emergers typically signify that extremely short phase of a fly’s life between a nymph’s emergence and its transformation into a Dunn. This lasts for some minutes. The emergers brawl across the river surface, shed their skin, dry their wings, and then take off into the air, giving the trout mere seconds to grab its food. 



An under-water trout fly category is the streamer. The streamers are used for fishing underwater, not on the top film or surface. They typically embody fish fries and are built from moveable materials like rabbit fur. These elements will create a wiggling sensation in the water and attract the trout’s attention.

The 16 Best and Must-Have Trout Flies in your Fly Box

Indeed, the Trout fish is one of the most fascinating species you can aim for on a fly rod. However, you will never come across a one-fit-for-all method to experience trout fishing. Most anglers like using only dry flies or believe streamers can score the biggest trout.

Others state that there is nothing better and more catchy than nymphs. Nonetheless, we have compiled a list of all kinds of trout flies to prepare you for various situations. 

Woolly Bugger

The Wooly Bugger is a handy and widely preferred fly for catching trout. A stunning black colored wooly bugger will definitely attract trout fishes from afar. The best thing about it is that the wooly bugger has a unique pattern that is useful for drawing in and catching other fish species.

Usually, the big fishes that like to devour the small-size fishes will end up falling for the wooly bugger. Thus, this makes the wooly bugger an absolute must in your trout fishing fly container. 

Conehead Perch Streamer

Another attractive fly option for trout fishing is to opt for the Conehead Perch Streamer. With a conehead’s assistance, this particular streamer gets that additional weight, making it a superb choice for pools and/or deeper runs.

The big trout love it and will typically fall for the Conehead Perch Streamer because of its red throat and a flashy body that also imitates a distressed minnow.

Muddler Minnow Trout Streamer

The Muddler Minnow Trout Steamer is also a great and favorable option for trout fishing amongst many fishermen. It is unclear whether the trout see the muddler minnow streamer for a tiny mouse or a small baitfish.

Regardless, a massive trout adores Muddler Minnows. In comparison to the Conehead Perch Streamer, it is more lightweight. This enables fishermen to use it in shallow water areas without getting trapped in the ground. 

Hare’s Ear Mayfly Nymph

One of the most classic and all-time favorite mayfly nymph patterns has to be the Hare’s Ear Nymph. This is the kind of fly you will find in every fisherman’s trout fishing fly box. This is also an indicator for you to include one in yours if you still do not. A few versions of the Hare’s Ear Nymph are slimmer, while others have more hackles to add a bit more buoyancy.

Stonefly Nymph Pattern

Without a doubt, the stoneflies are deemed one of the trout’s favorite sources of food, whether they are in the form of nymphs or grown insects. The nymph pattern will usually entice the trout to take even in river sites where they are not commonly found.

If you are a beginner, the stonefly nymph is one of the best trout flies to start with. Moreover, you can enjoy fishing with it very effectively by incorporating the Euro Nymphing technique

Bead Head Prince Nymph

The Bead Head Prince Nymph is the potato and meat trout fly that can replicate various aquatic insects. It is one of the best fly patterns when fishermen are Euro nymphing or are fishing for trout in swift water currents. With a vast assortment of colors, you can experiment with unique and distinctive colors. 

Bead Head Pheasant Tail Nymph

Like the Bead Head Prince Nymph, the Pheasant Tail Nymph is an equally brilliant all-around trout fly and is used in various trout fishing environments. It can replicate many kinds of aquatic insects but is incredibly efficient in streams with abundant stoneflies. It can also imitate smaller sized mayflies.

Stimulator Trout Flies

A Stimulator Trout Fly is the one fly that can work when everything else fails. It can float incredibly smoothly on the water surface; hence, it can instantly provoke a trout to attack out of mere curiosity. You can try another color if the one you have fails to attract. 

Elk Hair Caddis

Like the wooly bugger, the Elk Hair Caddis is another must-include in the fly box that fishermen all over the world swear by. Its green belly is likely to catch the trout’s attention, often when other patterns do not seem to work. You can choose a dark or light color, based on whichever works for you. 

Soft Hackle Caddis

The Soft Hackle Caddis is a bright green colored pupa-esque staple. Its brilliant casing imitation makes it an ideal trout slayer when it is wet. You will love the particular style of the cased caddis fly. The various shades of olive and greens will remarkably increase the chances of seeking a victorious fly on every trip. 

Adams Parachute

The Adams Parachute fly is another impressive addition to your trout fishing fly box. Just like its name suggests, the parachute makes the fly misleadingly float within the water surface film. The Adams Parachute is a combination of a wet and dry fly that seems to work miraculously on overly cautious species. 

Wormy Trout Fly

The Wormy Bead Head Trout Fly is another kind of trout fly you will typically find in the fly box. However, it does have mixed opinions when it comes to catching trout.

The proven fact is that Wormy Trout Flies can catch fish. It serves as a good selection because of its bead head and two tails that enable it to sink quickly.  

Tungsten Nymph

Regardless of having an inconspicuous appearance, a Tungsten Nymph is, hands down, one of the best trout flies you will find in the market. The tungsten head has a high density, which makes it sink in the water much quicker.

This makes it an ideal fly for deep water pools. An experienced fisherman will know better than to get fooled since sometimes the biggest trout will be lured by the tiniest flies. We assure you, the Tungsten Nymph will not disappoint you. 

Copper John

The Copper John is indeed a best-seller and all-time favorite trout-fly. It gets its density from the fly that ties it together with copper wire, epoxy wing case, and a bead. Copper John is a must-have for fishermen who want to experience trout fishing with a nymph. 

Mohair Leech

The Mohair Leech is a fly we definitely recommend you to include in your fly box. Its pattern can be used frequently. The Mohair Leech can be used effectively by wrapping the hook shank a few times with a heavy wire to add weight.

You can also omit the weight and establish a pattern that floats in the water. With a fuzzy body and a few mohair strands, tie it up in purple, olive, or black, and you are good to go for striking some excellent trout. 

Midge Larva

The Midge Larva is an excellent pattern for anglers who like to fish for trout in ponds or lakes. If you choose to fish in rivers, the midge larva pattern is a must-add to your nymph collection.

It is also one of the best fool tactics for trout that overlooks larva and bigger nymphs’ imitations. You can tie red or black wire rib to contrast or match with the body’s color.


As is evident from our guide, these are just a handful of trout flies you will see in your nearest store. The best trout fly truly depends on your own individual preferences. However, it is always preferred to keep a stock of them handy for all kinds of situations. 

Dean Jensen

I started fly fishing in 1972 and I have learned quite a bit about this wonderful sport called fly fishing and I want to share some of the things that I have learned.

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