Chasing brook trout in little mountain streams becomes a full-fledged addiction for many.
The colors are usually what draws people in first, from the blue halo to the brilliant orange underbelly. Those who pursue brookies find the scenery stunning and the fish willing to take most flies so long as they aren’t spooked first! Despite the notion that these trout will hit anything, there are definitely a few favorite patterns that are sure to catch brook trout everywhere.
The Green Weenie is a classic brook trout fly. It can imitate an inchworm, caddis pupa, or it could be just a generic attractor that the fish find irresistible. Either way, no brook trout angler worth a lick would leave home without a handful of these classic flies! The easily visible green coloration is fantastic for sight fishing to a brookie, and there is usually no hesitation in the fish to come over and smack this fly once they see it.
While still a relatively new fly, the Squirmy Worm has quickly become a favorite of anglers everywhere. The movement of the legs in the water is unmatched and that motion drives brook trout crazy! It’s the perfect choice for getting deep into a favorite plunge pool or trailing behind a dry fly. Most experienced brook trout anglers carry a variety of colors with them, including purple, pink, red, and orange.
While nymphs catch a lot of fish, one of the main draws to this type of fishing is the willingness of a brook trout to smack a dry fly on the surface. Hitting mayfly hatches is still productive here, but terrestrial season is really when these streams shine. The Parachute Flying Ant is a fantastic small-stream dry fly and works great in a dry-dropper setup for brook trout. When fishing solo it can ride high enough to properly fish the riffles and heavier water that often exists in these steep streams.
When it comes to general attractor dry flies, few catch more brook trout than the Rubber Legged Stimulator. It rides high in the water and the rubber legs create enough of a disturbance to capture the attention of nearby fish without spooking them. This fly works well fished by itself in the small pockets and runs that litter brook trout streams, and it’s also big enough and buoyant enough to trail a nymph behind it. Be sure not to go too large on the sizing, stick to a size #12 and smaller.
In smaller sizes (#16 or #18) the Prince nymph is an absolutely stunning dropper fly off the back of a buoyant dry fly to complete an amazing dry-dropper rig duo. Using a 10 to 12-inch section of 5x tippet for the dropper rig is plenty as brook trout will leave their hiding places to take the suspended Prince nymph. If you’re looking for something a little more bright you can try the Pink Princess variation of the Prince nymph.
Brook trout aren’t shy to hi-vis patterns, which allows greater visibility in bright or low light conditions. We love this pattern for its versatility in imitating a large variety of insects but also it’s visibility in high-mountain streams with dark canopies. Go as small as you like, but our pro staff tends to stick within the size range of #12 – #16 just because we are always using the Indicator Adams Parachute as the dry fly in a dropper rig.
Creeping along a mountain stream in search of brookies is one of the greatest pleasures in fly fishing. The fish are stunning, the scenery breathtaking, and the entire experience is borderline unforgettable. Those who bring these four patterns with them on their next adventure will set themselves up for plenty of success!
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