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5 Best Fly Tying Patterns to Make Now for Spring Trout

Watershed Fly Shop (Corvallis, OR)

Be prepared for targeting trout with these fly tying patterns for spring trout.

Spring has sprung, and along with seasonal cleaning chores, preparation begins as trout streams open for fishing and high lakes begin to thaw. While the seasonal transition takes place, dedicate some time on the vise and stockpile a few of these patterns for spring trout.

1. The Mega Prince

This particular pattern is a favorite among McKenzie and Willamette system fly anglers for targeting big trout. While it performs year round, this pattern is a great imitation for the spring stonefly.

This pattern can be tied a few different ways to give it a slightly varying appearance. Having a few different versions of this pattern could help you match the phase of stonefly nymphs as they continue to grow.

2. Possie Bugger

The possie bugger fishes well as a caddis pupae or cased caddis pattern. The mega prince and possie bugger will often work in the same conditions, but this classic pattern will get hit so hard and so often that it's recommended to wrap the dubbing on the hook with some copper wire to help maintain the structure of the fly after it's been munched on a few times.

3. Salmon Fly

Later in the season, as spring transitions into summer, this particular pattern will match one of the season's quickest, yet most productive hatches. While the hatch can happen at different moments in different areas of the river, you can easily trace the phase of these flies as they tend to become easy prey for birds and fish, providing a temporary feast that they'll often get after while the getting is good.

4. March Brown

This is one of the most common spring trout flies, and the name lends itself to the early spring bite. This dry fly is simple, but effective for a number of species. As various nymphs begin to hatch on the surface, you'll want a few of these in the box to offer them. If the subsurface patterns aren't getting the job done, the fish may have their eyes towards the sky, and you'll want them to see this pattern when they look up.

5. CDC March Brown

While the difference between the March Brown and CDC March Brown is subtle, the minute differences can be a game changer for choosy trout. This pattern imitates an emerging phase of the fly, a favorite for cutthroat. This emerger pattern is slightly smaller, and has a pale appearance.


Matching the phase of the hatch is like finding the spot on the spot. Keeping a few different patterns that mimic multiple phases of the available food sources will draw bites from fish that are finicky as the water begins to clear.

Having variations of those patterns could be the difference between a good day on the water and a great day on the water. Tight lines!


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5 Best Fly Tying Patterns to Make Now for Spring Trout