Best 14 Winter Trout Flies for Fly Fishing Pennsylvania

Best 14 Winter Trout Flies for Fly Fishing Pennsylvania

Updated 12/9/2021

1. Hot Head Nymph (Sizes 12-16)

Something about bright orange beads sets fish off in a certain way. A few years back I was fishing on Beaver Run in Central Pennsylvania and my friend loaned me one of these hot head nymphs. I immediately saw a difference because nearly ever cast hooked up with a native brook trout or wild brown trout. Truly a magical moment that lead me to pursue adding this fly to our shop.

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2. Tungsten Missile (Sizes 14-16)

We can’t recommend this fly fishing nymph enough. I, specifically, fish this fly under a football indicator no matter where I go and it always works. When we’re doing a photography shoot for The Fly Crate and I need to land a trout—I tie this fly one and it never disappoints.

3. Rainbow Warrior Midge (Sizes 16-20)

The Rainbow Warrior midge is one of our favorite searching patterns. We like to throw it in with 1 to 2 other midge patterns on a nymphing rig because it seems to perform better paired with other nymphs.

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4. Zebra Midge (Sizes 16-22)

Midge larvae represent more that 50% of a trout’s diet and that increases during the winter months. While you can’t always find adult Midge hatches in Pennsylvania, larvae are always present.

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5. Woolly Bugger (Sizes 6-12)

Woolly Buggers are an extremely versatile streamer pattern, so much so that you can practically use it anywhere. The trick is to target only deep pools, get the Woolly Bugger deep, and strip slowly.

6. Griffith’s Gnat (Sizes 16-22)

In Pennsylvania, we have many spring fed and tailwater streams that stay a constant temperature nearly year-round. In places like this, you may run into mid-afternoon midge hatches, which will bring trout to rise in slow pools.

7. Jig Squirmy Wormy (Size 12-14)

With Pennsylvania’s vegetation and limestone rich freestone. streams we have a stable supply of aquatic worms. Pair that with stocked and native trout’s eye for flashy, bright patterns and you’ll have a great time with worm flies.

8. Euro Rubber Prince (Sizes 10-16)

Many streams feature high water and fast currents in deep pools, but the only issue is typical nymphs can’t get deep enough to target the trout hugging the bottom before the fly is swept downstream. That’s where the Euro Rubber Prince fly pattern comes in handy. It not only sports a heavy tungsten bead for diving fast but it offers excellent movement with its rubber fibers.

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9. Pheasant Tail (Sizes 12-18)

Can’t deny the classics a spot on this list. Nearly all mayfly and stonefly nymphs have a simple profile and shape that the Pheasant Tail nymph can imitate. Whether you decide to fish the beadless Pheasant Tail nymph, the flashback Pheasant tail, the soft-hackle Pheasant tail, or the beaded version, it won’t likely disappoint.

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10. Hare’s Ear Nymph (Sizes 12-18)

Probably the most natural imitation of mayfly and stonefly nymphs, the Hare’s Ear nymph is great for targeting trout all across the United States and Pennsylvania when you’re not quite sure what’s working.

11. Prince Nymph (Sizes 12-18)

The Prince Nymph is one of the best attractor nymph patterns ever created. I, personally, love to fish one of these in a size #18 in my multi-nymph rigs. While I’ve had great fortune in larger sizes, the majority of the nymphs remaining in the streams during winter are quite small.

12. Newbury’s Dirty Hipster (Sizes 12-18)

A flashy jig pattern designed by a western biologist, this pattern earned its spot on this list. Numerous times have I fished this pattern and landed trout on the first or second drift.

13. Squirmy Wormy (Size 12)

Looking to target large pods of trout in deep pools or even prospecting for trout? Give the Squirmy Wormy a shot. While the material is quite delicate, you can’t discount his naturally rubbery appeal and squirmy nature. Even the slightest disturbance with cause this wormy fly to wiggle and squirm.

14. Egg (Size 14)

Fish eggs are packed with protein and fish know it. During the spawning seasons, trout will go out of their way to swim below spawning beds of other trout, chub, white fish, etc. and feed on eggs that were swept downstream from their nests. Even during the off seasons, trout will opportunistically take egg patterns during the winter season. If you’re into tight-line nymphing, check out this jigged egg.

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