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Surefire Late Summer Flies That Always Work

Late summer is usually a time dreaded by fly-fishermen.


The water is warm, the fish aren’t as active, and after cicada and Drake’s are done hatching, the fish seem to stop biting.

For the dedicated fly fisherman, however, a few late summer tricks exist, and choosing the right fly is one of them.

These are five flies which have done me, and countless other fly-fishermen, well during the summer doldrums before fall fishing picks up. Enjoy the slideshow to see which flies will always catch fish, even late into the summer!

View the slideshow to see the fly patterns.

1. Elk Hair Caddis

The caddis is the most abundant fly on trout rivers in the nation (and perhaps the world) and as such, usually works amazingly well all year long. However, fishing a caddis hatch in late summer right at dusk with smaller size flies, and perhaps an emerging caddis pattern as a dropper, can be a deadly approach to catching trout.

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2. Chernobyl Hopper

The hopper pattern might just be the biggest ‘money’ fly on this list, and for good reason. Grasshoppers usually cloak any tall grass near streams, and the bigger fish love a shot at a high-protein snack like a grasshopper. Tying a size 10-12 hopper on your line will consistently produce hits all day long.

3. Parachute Adams

Fly-fishermen the world over love the Adams fly because of its propensity to passingly mimic almost any other dry fly on the water. These flies are phenomenal later in the summer when an abundance of flies is present on the water. However, matching size and color is incredibly important with the Adams fly. Remember that, and you’ll be set!

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4. Zebra Midge

I wasn’t about to leave out nymphs on this list! A zebra midge is a killer pattern to use in later summer, and works especially well when fished as the bottom nymph on a two-nymph rig, or the bottom fly on a dry-dropper rig as well. Using smaller patterns, like sizes 18-22, is your best bet when it comes to using these zebra midges.

5. Yellow Sallie

The Green River, below Flaming Gorge Dam in Utah, has one of the most prolific yellow sallie hatches in the nation. However, the yellow sallie’s magic isn’t limited to only the Green. This fly imitates a smaller stonefly, and works wonderfully if you see any stoneflies just starting to hatch, or even larger caddis flies.

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Surefire Late Summer Flies That Always Work