by David McKenna

​Everywhere you look, you’ll find countless variations of fly patterns “tailor-made” to fish certain trout waters. Now, these intricate, niche flies do work in specific areas, but there's no way you could carry enough fly boxes to perfectly match every hatch you come across. Having a box full of deadly, utility patterns you have 100% confidence in is a must for the traveling or exploratory angler. Below, we'll lay out the nine patterns that we always carry, and when presented correctly, nearly always result in trout hitting our nets!

Essential Guide Dry Flies

The building blocks of any all-around fly box, are the dry flies. Unless you're tight-line nymphing, you're going to need a dry fly to act as your indicator and elicit a rise or two. These three patterns will work on nearly every stream and emulate just about any hatch you will encounter, be they mayfly, stonefly or terrestrial!

Guide Floater (left) - There is no greater pleasure in freshwater fly-fishing than throwing huge dry flies to huge fish, and our Guide Floater brings this joy to a new level. The mop chenille body sits on the water with its egg sack under the surface, imitating big dry flies laying eggs, the most vulnerable stage of the fly. The foam layer on top along with the crinkle hair makes for an extremely buoyant fly that pops right back up after rapids.

Guide Stimi (center) - Our custom Stimi uses Semperfli's UV Micro Chenille and Micro Straggle Legs for a special look that draws in trout from all depths and triggers aggressive takes! Hi Floating underwing and elk keep this fly riding high to float nymph rigs just like the classic.

Sparkle Ant (right) - The sparkle ant is a fly that we’ve developed with a combination of synthetic materials that have out fished and out floated all other ants we’ve tried. Combining Semperfli Straggle String, Straggle Legs and a pre-treated Crinkle Wing, this ant gives trout an irresistible natural target on the surface. Sparkle Ants works as perfect stealth strike indicator when floating small nymphs or trailing tiny dries in low light.

Essential Guide Flies Nymphs

The next row of flies you need in your kit are your nymphs. All of our nymphs are tied heavy to get down deep to where the alpha trout you're seeking lie in wait. This trio would be our choices for the "Usual Suspects" of fly fishing. Each emulating one of a trout's favorite nymph varieties, anywhere we fish these, we're sure a trout will take a swipe!

Guide Frenchie (left) - The ultimate Frenchie for the discriminating nympher. We use Semperfli's Micro UV Straggle Chenille and red Fluoro-Brite thread for a signature hot-spot. A heavy, slotted tungsten bead and lead wire under wraps make this one of the most popular anchor flies for any Euro style nymph rig. These aggressively weighted flies have quickly taken over at least a few rows in most guides' nymph boxes.

Guide Prince (center) - A staple fly for just about every trout nymph box. We designed our Guide Prince Nymph to stand out where other nymphs just blend in. We exclusively tie this fly with Semperfli materials including UV Straggle String, Micro Glint ribbing and UV Inferno Biots to draw strikes in any light condition. This fly will represent a wide range of buggy looking food, and is a go-to fly for searching for trout, anchoring nymph rigs and just about any time where all else seems to fail.

Wired Walts (right) - This trout delicatessen is made on a Firehole jig hook and capped with a tungsten bead. This nymph sinks on-demand and presents like a crispy creme trout snack. Turn over rocks on the river and notice how many of the mayflies and stoneflies are lighter colored, like this Wired Walt’s Bug, Oyster/Pink. And for future reference, anything described as Oyster/Pink will attract major fish, big time.

Guide Flies Favorite Midges

We always keep a few midges in our kits, either for when the trout are being extra picky, or when we see these little buggers wriggling and hatching on the water's surface.

Guide Chromie (left) - A slim-profiled attractor caddis, effective in technical waters. A tungsten bead head and Semperfli's Hot Green wire over a copper body creates the profile that trout simply can't resist. This Guide Chromie is perfect for still water fishing when the Chironomid Pupa is hatching.

G-Midge (center) - The G Midge in its varying colors and sizes will answer all midge hatches, it’s the only midge pattern you need when trout start focusing on small sub-surface midges. In true Guide Flies style, we designed this midge pattern to standout when trout have already passed on your standard midge patterns. This fly in sizes 18-22 will help you perform the magic needed to catch the most selective trout, from tailwaters to freestones.

RS-200 (right) - We took the classic crushing RS-2 pattern and made it 100 times better. The RS-200 is a small fly designed to land the biggest fish. The barbless Firehole hooks have a wider gap and stronger body than other small fly hooks and can handle trophy fish after trophy fish. They won’t break or straighten as with other hooks. The nano thread and Semperfli flash also elevate this fly 100 times over. Any small mayfly, midge, or trico hatch will be undone with the appropriate color of our RS200.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published