Top 10 Streamer & Lure Fly Patterns For Rainbow Trout

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Best Trout Streamer or Lure Fly Patterns - The Top Lures For Your Rainbow Trout Stillwater Fly Fishing

With Hundreds Patterns Available Worldwide What Flies Should You Take For Rainbows On Reservoirs, Lakes and Lochs?

We regularly get asked this question so we thought we'd list our Essential Streamer fly patterns that are always in our fly boxes when we go stillwater fly fishing.

Flies fall into 4 categories for Rainbows, Dries, Nymphs, Buzzers and Lures or Streamers. These are used at different times according to the feeding patterns of the fish. For dry flies and nymphs check our hatch charts available to registered users every month. However streamers fall into 2 styles attractors, bright colourful flies that 'annoy' a trout and trigger this predator into attacking our fly and imitators that look like food found in the nature. In this blog post we will focus just on streamer flies.

What are the Top Streamer Fly Patterns For Rainbow Trout?

It depends on the time of year however our most productive favorite tout ly patterns have been

  1. Cormorants

  2. Marsdens Mohicans

  3. Cats Whiskers variants

  4. Viva variants

  5. Epoxy Minnows

  6. Blob Flies

  7. Egg Flies

  8. Wooly Buggers

  9. Muddlers and Sedgehogs

  10. Biot Fry


Fry Patterns
Biot Fry There are many fry patterns that work however we have personal favorites that are in or fly boxes. Fry are freshly diffetent in their two growth stages, biot / needle fry which are small an almost translucent and fry which are minature adults. The Biot Fry imitates the first stage of the fry development, that of the freshly hatched fry.
Epoxy Minnows

These we love, we have used epoxy minnows suspended under bungs, cast and retrieved with a cast alternating figure of 8  then stripping a few feet then figure of 8 again. We have even cast these into weedbeds and 'laid off' resting the flies on the bottom lifting massive trout in the process. Always in our fly box this pattern has accounted for not just trout but perch, chub and even Golden Mahseer in India!

This is an essential streamer - we always have the Glass Minnow Perch Fry and Glass Minnow Roach Fry Special in our fly box

epoxy minnows
Cormorants Cormorants, we love these patterns as we like small fly patterns not giant marabou monstrocities where you feel you are casting half a chicken across a lake. They could be a buzzer, fry or even a snail. Our favorite is the Cormorant Holo Pearl Mini Lure
Marsdens Mohicans Named after a great friend at The Essential Fly The Marsdens Mohicans with their upwing are a great catcher of trout. With its wing pushed upwards this is a very mobile fly. Marsden Mohican Streamers
Cats Whiskers Cats whisker is a style of fly that has been about for a considerable time, that white and green or black and green attractor pattern. Cats Whisker
Nomads Created by Rob Spiller and used by the Nomads fishing team. Movement from the fritz and the marabou have made this a deadly lure. Its shape and bead set back make this fly into a fry or leach or just an attractor. Key is it works. Our favourite is the Blank Buster Nomad Green Dull Day the black and green just always seems to attract trout. Nomad trout lures
Snake Leech Flies Stripped across the water or even dropped into eddies like a dying fish this pattern really provokes trout when they are chasing fry. You will find snakes in our fly boxes as our longest fly when trout fishing. Snake Flies
Attractor Patterns    
Blob Flies Blob flies are a real attractor, foam arsed which sit high in the water or standard blobs which can be used to drop through the water column. With vibrant colours these are a fly which are marmite to fishermen, loved by some hated by others. Key is that this pattern works!
Egg Flies In spring trout get lots of protein from eggs with little effort. Is it any wonder that this is a successful pattern. Egg flies
Wooly Buggers Probably one of the most used fly patterns in the world. In the US and Canada Wooly Buggers are used extensively. Wooly Buggers
Muddlers The Buoyant deer hair keeps the Muddler off the bottom, so it can be fished at all depths. The deer hair is hollow and the trapped air makes it buoyant. The muddler flies can be fished as a wake fly when the weather is dull which is usually late in the season when the sedges can be seen skating on the surface. Works on floating, intermediate and sinking fly lines Muddler Minnows
Our favorite Single Fly Patterns (Not ranges) Consett Budgie - a traditional engish pattern with orange, yellow and white marabou with great movement. As the sun moves through the clouds this pattern continues to work well with the sun and cloud changing colours of the yellow, orange and white marabou.       Consett Budgie

Although there are many other dry flies that work during the year like Hawthorns, Damsels often seen darting and hoppers these are our go to fly pattens to imitate dries on stillwaters. Foam flies like snail patterns work well in autumn but it is the core patterns above that always catch trout when they are on the surface looking for naturals.

Our Favourite Top 10 Individual Streamer Fly Patterns

These are the patterns you will always find in our fly boxes. What do you use in yours? Let us know!

  1. Barbless Cats Straggle Jc Mini Lure
  2. Barbless Black And Lime Cats Whisker Mini Lure
  3. Glass (Epoxy) Minnow Perch Fry
  4. Cormorant Holo Pearl Mini Lure
  5. Bead Head Consett Budgie
  6. Andys Barbless Black Snake / Leech
  7. Barbless Marsden Mohican Iridescent & Orange
  8. Roe Bug Pink
  9. Bead Head Black Woolly Leg Bugger
  10. Muddler Minnow Orange


Peter McNiven
11 April 2017  |  20:53

Very interesting reading and a lot of your comments apply to reservoirs and small stillwaters here in scotland.

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