What make a good fly for trout?  Simple the right silhouette used at the right time.  Below are three examples that WILL put fish in the net. 

What’s even better is that these flies are super easy to tie.  Let’s step through what each fly is, how to tie it and instructions with downloads on how to tie each.

First Up Is the Yellow and Partridge Soft Hackle Fly

It seems like soft hackle (wet flies) have fallen out of favor in resistant years.  This is kind of odd given wet flies were fished for hundreds of years.

Yellow and Partridge Soft Hackle Fly
Yellow and Partridge Soft Hackle Fly

Yellow and Partridge Tying Instructions

Recipe:

  • Hook: Size 14 Nymph
  • Thread: Light Cahill Yellow 8/0
  • Body: Yellow Floss – one strand
  • Thorax: Hare’s Mask Natural Brown
  • Hackle: Hungarian Partridge

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Start thread an eye and a half back from the eye.  Wrap back to barb of hook.
  2. Cut a single strand of yellow floss and wrap forward to the tie in point.  I like three layers of floss for a nice shine.  Tie off at the tie in point.
  3. Cut a pinch of hare’s mask from the face/ear area.  Blend together, with hair blended, spin onto thread forming a light rope.
  4. Wrap onto hook just in front of where the yellow floss ended.  Form a nice bead of hare on the hook.
  5. Finish with a whip finish knot or half hitch.
  6. Apply some head cement.

How to Use a Yellow and Partridge Soft Hackle

I like using this fly as a dropper off a nymph.  The setup is simple.  Tie a 14-inch sections of tippet onto the hook bend of the “Point Fly” .  On the tag end tie the Yellow and Partridge

Soft Hackle used as a Dropper Fly
Soft Hackle used as a Dropper Fly

Fish this on a traditional indicator setup using the point fly to pull the soft hackle down into the strike zone.

Next is the Little Nymph Thing Trout Nymph

This fly is just plain “buggy”.  The contrast between the top and bottom imitates mayfly nymphs.  This fly has caught trout and panfish for me.

Another thing I like is that with some little tweaks like adding a bead or lead will quickly get this nymph into the feeding zone in faster waters.

Little Nymph Thing Fly
Little Nymph Thing Fly

Little Nymph Thing Tying Instructions

Recipe:

  • Hook: Size 14 Nymph
  • Thread: Brown 8/0
  • Tail: Hungarian Partridge Feather
  • Over body: Peacock Herl
  • Rib: Copper wire
  • Body & Thorax: Hare’s Mask Natural Brown
  • Wing case: Peacock Herl

Step by Step instructions

  1. Start the brown thread an eye and a half back from the eye.  Wrap back to barb of hook.
  2. Get a single partridge feather and trim the tip stem out of the feather.  Tie in as the tail, with a hook shank length.
  3. Trim the excess feather and wrap back to the tie bend.
  4. Gather 3 or 4 peacock herls and trim the butt sections even.  Removing the stiff stem material.
  5. Tie the peacock herl down and extend back towards the bend.
  6. Tie in a piece of copper wire at the bend, extending towards the back of the fly.
  7. Cut a pinch of hare’s mask.  I like the light-colored hair usually found by the side of the face.  Blend well by mixing and pinch together repeatedly.
  8. Dub the tapered body forward to a point just past half way on the hook.
  9. Pull the peacock herl over the top of the fly and tie down at the stopping point of the dubbing.
  10. Wrap the copper wire forward forming a segmented body leaving a gap between wraps.  Tie down at the end of the dubbing.  Trim off excess.
  11. Cut a pinch of hare’s mask.  Preferably a darker brown to make the thorax.  I like a nice rounded bead shape.  Tie down and tie off thread.
  12. Pull the peacock herl over the top of the thorax to form a wing case, tie down and trim excess.
  13. Form a small head and whip finish and add head cement.
https://youtu.be/6t8Jb1TxCao

How To Setup and Fish the Little Nymph Thing

Early on in your nymphing career I suggest using a single nymph with an indicator.  The Indicator should be big enough to float the nymph and a couple split shot.

Where to Place Indicator Fly Fishing
Where to Place Indicator Fly Fishing

I like using 9-foot tapered 4X fluorocarbon leaders.  Fluorocarbon isn’t necessary but it does sink easier and is a little bit more abrasion resistant.   Here’s the painful part if you bought an expensive fluorocarbon leader.  Cut the bottom 18 inches off.

Re-tie the 18 inches back on using a double surgeons knot or blood knot.  This knot is where you’ll place your split shot if needed.

On to the end tie on the nymph using a clinch knot.

I like to set the indicator 1.5 X the water depth above the fly.  Then I’ll adjust longer if the fly isn’t occasional ticking on the bottom.

Finally, the Black Gnat Dry Fly

Brook trout LOVE this fly.  What makes this fly so special is that the little wing allows you to see this floating through those bubble lines that brook trout like to eat. 

When ever I see a rising trout, but I can’t make out what the fly is because it’s so small – grab this fly.

Black Gnat Fly
Black Gnat Fly

Black Gnat Tying Instructions

Recipe:

  • Hook: Size 18 Dry Fly
  • Thread: Black 6/0
  • Body: Black Micro Dubbing
  • Wing: White Para Post
  • Hackle: Grizzly Hen Neck

Step by Step Tying Instructions

  1.  Start the thread ¼ of the way back from the eye.  Wrap back to the barb.  Snip the tag.
  2. Using a small pinch of fine black dubbing create a nice cigar shaped body forward ending about two eye lengths back from the eye.
  3. Cut a small pinch of white para post for a wing.  Approximately 15 to 20 fibers will work.  The length should extend slightly rearward behind the hook bend.  With the length measured switch hands at tie in at the dubbing.  Tie in with 3 turns of thread, trim off excess on an angle and wrap forward.
  4. Wrap back to the base of the wing.
  5. With one grizzly hen hackle, hold the tip of the feather and stroke back the feathers for an inch or two.
  6. Trim each side of the quill ¼ inch.
  7. Tie in the hackle at the trimmed stem. Wrap forward towards the eye using hackle pliers.  3 or 4 turns and tie down and trim feather.
  8. Create a small head knot using a whip finish or half hitch.  Add a drop of head cement.
https://youtu.be/Aro_9grnWzU

How to Setup and Fish the Black Gnat

A simple dry fly setup works best with this fly.  With my favorite 8 ½ foot, 4 weight rod matched to a weight forward floating fly line.

I attach a 9-foot tapered nylon leader to the line.  Onto the end of the leader, I attach the black gnat.

This fly is perfect for rising brook trout that are picking microscopic midges off the surface.   Below is a sketch I made of how multiple logs can funnel tiny bugs into a feeding lane.  Always be conscious that trout will hold in a slack current and rise into the faster moving water. 

A well-placed accurate drift in paramount.  

Bubble Line for Drifting a Fly
Bubble Line for Drifting a Fly

Are you looking for some great How To Fly Fish Articles? Checkout this list:


Hi David Humphries Owner of Guide Recommended. I love everything to do with fly fishing. Casting, Tying, YouTube, writing about it and even teaching. I’ve got a FREE video workshop teaching how to dry fly fish at this link How 2 Fly Fish