In this video series ambassador Chris Deen, aka TroutFreak brings you quick and simple tying tutorials to spark your inspiration!
Rusty Emerger variant
Emerger patterns are like the cheese in a stuffed crust pizza. Can't see it, but once you bite into it, it's full of hot, melted, oozy goodness. These patterns are designed to imitate larvae that are just about to turn into flying insects. So you can kind of see why trout love them so much.
HOOK: Size 12 emerger hook
HOTSPOT: Fluor. Fire Orange 70D
ABDOMEN: Rusty Brown 70D thread
RIB: Small orange wire
THORAX: Grey squirrel dub
WING CASE & LEGS: Bleached elk hair
Rainbows, salmon, steelhead, bass, you name it - they love this fly! Golden Stonefly nymphs crawl on the bottom of the river searching for food and they aggressively feed on other smaller insects. Since they live in strong fast water, the current consistently washes them away making them a prime food source.
HOOK: Size 14 nymph hook
BEAD: 3.2mm brown magic
WIRE: Lead free 0.15-inch weighted wire
THREAD: Rusty brown Nano Silk
TAIL: Brown goose biots
ABDOMEN: Stone blend dubbing with mottled oak thin skinRIB: Small gold wire
LEGS: Green/Pumpkin barred sili legs
John Barr's Jumbo John
Very similar to the Copper John, with a few minor changes. Main changes being the addition of rubber legs and the wire body is two toned. Barr’s Jumbo John is a heavy and life like stonefly and works well on great lakes steelhead and western trout!
HOOK: Size 10 Nymph hook
BEAD: 3.2mm fluo.orange
THREAD: Black 70D
TAIL: Brown goose biots
ABDOMEN: Medium gold and copper ultra wire
THORAX: Canadian Orange Arizona semi-seal
LEGS: Speckled hot orange centipede legs
WING CASE: Flash and brown scud-back, topped with UV resin
Blowtorch Euro Nymph
A great fly to use when you need to get into deep water in fast current. It's heavy bead, minimal materials, and slim profile help get this in front of fish that are holding deep in fast pockets of water. Also a great searching pattern as it contains enough natural features of a nymph, with enough attraction via the tail and bead, to drive fish crazy.
HOOK: Size 14 jig hook
BEAD: Hot orange slotted tungsten
THREAD: Olive 70D
TAIL: Orange Antron yarn
ABDOMEN: Goose biot
THORAX: Peacock herl
Hares Ear Variant
The Hares Ear is probably one of the most highly used flies across the globe. It's a "generic" nymph that represents many mayfly and caddis nymphs. The shaggy appearance resembles when they shed their skins or shucks as they progress into their next stages. The most common method of fishing this popular fly is on a dead drift, but like most flies, you'll often get takes on the swing as well.
HOOK: Size 14 emerger hook
BEAD: Gold tungsten
THREAD: Red 70D
TAIL: Feather fibers from a Pheasant skin
ABDOMEN: Light hares maskRIB: Small gold wire
THORAX: Dark hares maskLEGS: Feather fibers from a Pheasant skin
WING CASE: Blue flash or tinsel, topped with UV resin
Skull Head Bunny Leech
Leeches are a vital source of trout food, as they are present throughout the entire season. They are especially active during the late fall & early spring when forage for other insects are scarce, as the main hatches have already run their source, or they are yet to start. The fact that leeches are always present makes them excellent for a searching pattern.
HOOK: Size 2 Up-Eye Salmon/Steelhead hook
THREAD: 140D in colour black
TAIL: Rabbit Zonker strip
ABDOMEN: Cross-cut rabbit zonker strip
FLASH: Red flash (I typically like to match to the colour of eyes used)
HEAD & EYES: Bait Fish Head by Fish Skull
Last Hour Emerger
A struggling fly on top water is an easy meal for hungry trout. Emergers are more enticing than a high floating dry pattern as it requires less energy and can often change your entire day.
HOOK: Size 14 dry hook
THREAD: Yellow 70D by UTC
TAIL: Mallard Flank strands and white yarn
ABDOMEN: Yellow 70D by UTC
RIB: Small gold wireLEGS: March brown grizzly hackle by Whiting Farms
WING CASE: Deer hair, topped with uv resin.
HOOK: Size 12 competition nymph hook
BEAD: Brass black nickle 2.4mm
THREAD: Red 70D
ABDOMEN: Peacock super bright dubbing
SHELL: Small black flash, topped with uv resin
Zuke Nukem Chironomid
This pattern uses new and old materials that put the wits of the fish to the test. Chironomid patterns are in a league of their own, with thousands of sub-species that have the most unique colours, this combo is a safety net.
HOOK: Size 16 curved nymph hook
BEAD: White 2.4mm tungsten
THREAD: 70D in colour black
BREATHERS: Silver/Gray Larva Lace
ABDOMEN: Black Steel Chirony skin
RIB: X-Small red ultra wire
THORAX: Black thread
Topped with UV resin.
This pattern cannot be overlooked as many large sized trout can be directly linked to a healthy diet of scuds. It is another foundational searching pattern that can be tied on with confidence. In lakes, it is very common for trout to swim above the weeds with their mouths wide open just inhaling scuds by the hundreds. This pattern is best worked on a slow sinking line and a slow retrieve. Olive is a sure bet as it can also represent many other aquatic invertebrates.
HOOK: Size 14 scud hook
THREAD: 70D in colour olive
TAIL: Fluor.Green goose biots
ABDOMEN: Green Olive and Fire Orange Super Bright Dubbing
RIB: Extra-small gold wire
LEGS: Fluor.Green goose biots
SHELL: Light-olive sow-scud back, topped with UV resin.
Egg Suckling Leech
Trout seldom pass up a juicy leech pattern. I find the “egg” in egg sucking leech to be more of a hot spot than the actuality of a leech feeding on an egg. Also, I find the pattern is most effective because of the silhouette. It can be tied in dull colours to represent leeches, damsels and dragons or tied with bright colours to be more of a lure. Either under an indicator, slow or fast sink, a go-to searching pattern in both lakes and rivers.
HOOK: Size 12 jig hook - 60 degree
BEAD: Orange slotted tungsten
THREAD: 70D fluor.orange
TAIL: Black Marabou
FLASH: Black Super Flash
ABDOMEN: Golden Brown Ice Dub
RIB: Small gold wire
HACKLE: Indian Rooster Saddle - Black
Rainbow Warrior Variation
A super effective mayfly imitation but again, time and time again, this pattern will put you on fish when all else fails. This pattern can be fished in both lakes and rivers but is most predominantly used in rivers. The heavy bead and thin profile help this fly penetrate the water column as fast as possible to get to the feeding zone. When the trout are keying on a mayfly emergence, throw on a rainbow warrior for good results.
HOOK: Size 12 jig hook
BEAD: Rainbow 3.2mm
THREAD: Fluor.pink 140D
TAIL: Coq de Leon
ABDOMEN: Rainbow Chirony Skin
RIB: Small silver wire
THORAX: Pearl Ice Dub
Translating to “little devil”, this simple pattern holds true to its meaning. It is ideally used during a chironomid or mayfly emergence but when tied in larger sizes it can resemble damsels, dragons and caddis. Whether it is swung in a riffle or retrieved on a clear intermediate, it is hard to compare patterns more versatile than this. Simple and effective.