5 Favorite Springtime Patterns
A typical “Top 5” springtime list will, and should, include classics like Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs and Wooly Buggers. So, besides the usual suspects here are a few suggestions to consider.
1 – Smaller Stonefly Nymphs – Ok, so stonefly nymphs work all year, but in the spring the catch rate definitely seems to go up if you avoid the 6’s and 8’s and instead focus on the 10’s, 12’s and even smaller. Stick with the dark colors, but try shrinking your stones during the springtime.
2 – Soft Hackles – Again, nothing super secret here, soft hackles work all year. However, they are particular deadly during spring pre-hatch situations, or just as searching patterns. The fish really seem to be triggered by the extra action added by the oscillating soft hackle. Also, try tying them big (think 10’s and 8’s) and swinging them.
3 – Sprout Fly Series – In the springtime it’s cold, it’s windy, it’s dry fly time baby! Yes, the chilly unpredictable weather of spring holds some of the best hatchs, and therefore dry fly action, of the year. Everything from midges, BWO’s, March Brown’s and Skwala’s hatch during the spring and it’s is a great time to be a dry enthusiast. However, when hatching in the spring the bugs tend to go through the emerging process slower, spending more time on the water. The Sprout series of flies offers a good imitation of the insect emerging on the surface, as well as the adult resting on the surface, while also being very visible due to the prominent white spot. They now come in several variations to match many of the spring hatches.
4 – Mother’s Day Caddis Pupa – Super simple, super effective, what else could you want from fly? The Mother’s Day Caddis hatch tends to be a late spring hatch that is a great way to transition from spring into summer. Just like many hatches, at the beginning of the hatch an unweighted pupa behind a dry really works well. However, when the hatch really kicks into high gear it is a true blanket hatch, and fish begin to refuse the numerous floating adults and feed on pupa again. Therefore, I’m rarely caught without this fly dropped off a dry during Mother’s Day Caddis.
5 – Sculpzilla – During most spring the water temps are slowly rising, and there is really good streamer action toward the end spring. However, many folks ignore the early early streamer season. Once the water temps start pushing over 40 degrees the trout are more than willing to eat a streamer. The only catch is that you need to switch up your technique a little. Go smaller and strip slower than you would in the summer. Try and get the fly to swim slowly just above the bottom. Swinging, whether with a single or two-hand rod, is also a great method to fish streamers during the spring. Also, try more natural colors (black, brown, olive) and less flashy more drab patterns. As the water temps rise toward summer, your retrieve rate can speed up.