Fly Patterns

Fly to use for the upcoming trout season?

Hey this spring I will be fishing the cowichan river for some rainbow, a few brown and cutthroat trout, and i want to know what fly patterns i should tie up to catch em. I know all about trout, just not the fly fishing part so what would you recommend, i was thinking some small and a few large woolly buggers, an egg suckling leech, some adams or parachute Adams, maybe some pheasants nymphs, any other suggestions or any sizes i should use? Thanks ahead of time
all spring hah starting in mid feb and forever on after

Well, "this spring" covers a lot of time. For fly anglers, spring starts around the end of February and continues through June. Heh heh. Knowing a month you're planning to fish would help a lot, but...

I've never fished the Cowichan but I'm almost sure you'll see large leeches and rainbow trout eggs in the water early in the spring, so I'd definitely tie eggs, leeches, and egg-sucking leeches. Rainbow eggs start out reddish and turn pale pink. Having a good selection of sizes and shades will help you dial in on the most effective combination.

There will be mayfly hatches throughout the spring. Western march browns are important mayflies in the northwest, so you'll want to find out when/where WMBs hatches occur and how to fish them. I would think other smaller and less conspicuous mayflies will hatch starting around March and continuing through the summer and into fall, and these can likely be imitated with the usual PMD and BWO, and Parachute Adams in sizes 12 down to as small as you can manage (20s). However, local advice will probably result in some local patterns. NOTHING is better than local intel.

Stoneflies will probably be important and very fishable on that river in March through maybe late April (don't quote me on that), but you will almost have to have local advice to fish them effectively. There are a number of "generic" stonefly patterns (Goldenstone, Stimulator, etc.), but you'll want to know the locally preferred patterns -- variations in color and size from region to region can mean a lot. Stonefly hatches can be tough to understand and sometimes they only last a week or so, but they can be shockingly productive. In some waterways, trout get up to half their protein for the year from certain stonefly hatches.

Caddisflies will likewise be your good friend -- a fickle friend, but a friend to be sure. Ordinary Elk Hare Caddis patterns with various body and hackle colors will probably work fine from about Arpil into early summer, but local refinements in color and size will, again, catch you more fish. There may be more caddisfly action even than that, but a good selection of Elk Hare Caddis (with corresponding emergers, like an X-Caddis) will get you started.

You should never be without Woolly Buggers, no matter where or when you're fishing, so, yes, tie up a bunch in various shades and sizes. I'm partial to olive and black with a bit of flash and beadheads or weighted bodies, but I've been told to stop using weighted Buggers because they move more appetizingly when they're unweighted. Up to you.

Nymphs -- yeah, tie as many nymphs as you know how to. I've always got some Hare's Ear Nymphs, Pheasant Tails, and Prince Nymphs. These seem to be suggestive of the basic range of subsurface nymph forage in any given waterway. But once more, you may find that there is some wacky purple or white or red thing in the water that you can imitate with a nymph, so get that local advice.

Hope you have fun and catch a few. Good luck!

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