best trout flies

9 Trout Flies for Spring Fly Fishing (2019 Updated!)

We always look forward to spring because it is the season for fly fishing. Of all the times when you can fly fish, spring stands out, because it provides all the conditions that are great for fly fishing – also, we’re really tired of winter! 

As always, your success depends a lot on the selection of flies. When presenting your flies to trout, you need to look at it like you are setting up a fancy dinner for the trout of your dreams. If you don’t have full confidence in your patterns, they are unlikely to be the right choice. You have to be able to select flies that are recreations of exactly what trout eat based on size, shape, and color. 

Even though everyone has different tastes in flies (especially trout), our recommendations can help guide your choices and point you in the right direction. If you want to have success in spring fly fishing, it’s important to understand your local waters. Different flies may be better suited to different locations. Having good knowledge of the spring flies in your area can help you catch many more trout. 

Most of the must-have flies for spring fly fishing work great at all times of the year. They have excellent patterns that cover various hatches. Keep reading to learn about some of the must have flies that can help you get the big ones when you’re fishing during spring. We provide you with information about mayfly patterns, stonefly nymph patterns, and the best wet flies for trout.

Top Streamer Flies for Spring

When spring begins and more flies get on the trout’s menu, streamer flies prove to be very helpful. The flies are big and they imitate crayfish, baitfish, and hellgrammites. They make it possible for a fisherman to cover a large surface of the water while fishing.

They are an excellent choice if you are unsure of what the fish are eating. Streamers are, therefore, convenient if you are fishing in unfamiliar waters. They make it possible to reduce boredom as you need to move the fly a lot. There are a few streamer flies that you need to have if you are looking to catch some of the bigger boys and want to catch fish consistently when you are out at your favorite lake.

Even though getting out there to fish is nice enough, it’s even better to actually catch some fish. Streamer flies increase your chances of catching some nice trout without a lot of struggle. Fly fishing during early spring can be a bit challenging but streamers make it a lot easier.

Picking the right streamer flies is key to your success in snatching some river monsters. We are going to show you some of the leading streamer flies that will help improve your fishing.

Bead Head Wooly Bugger

Bead head wooly buggers can be useful in any lake or stream. They are robust and work best when placed at the bottom of the lake. They make a very attractive meal for hungry fish. The streamer flies have gold brass bead heads and chennile bodies. The ideal sizes are #2-#12 in the colors black, olive, brown, purple, and white.


bunny buster

The bunnybuster is one of the best spring trout flies. It is one of the best streamer patterns as it offers you more versatility than other flies. This makes them one of the most popular trout streamer flies. The front is heavily weighted to attract fish with its jiggly action. It comes in the colors olive, brown, tan, and orange and the sizes #2-#12.

For the best spring wetflies check here


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Best Mayfly Nymph Patterns for Spring

Bead Head Pheasant Tail

bead head pheasant tail

The bead head pheasant tail should be a staple in any fly box. Even though it doesn’t look like your typical fly, it’s a fish magnet since it has some tasty features that make fish go wild with desire. That’s why it’s one of our best trout flies for spring. It works best in the sizes #12-#22 and the colors olive, orange, and brown.

Best Stonefly Nymph Patterns for Spring

As you probably know if you’ve ever cast a line in spring, stoneflies make up a big part of the trout’s diet in spring because trout find them absolutely delicious. They are also popular because they are very easy to find and you can find them in almost all parts of the world. 

Even though they are excellent spring trout flies, they are still available at any times of the year – talk about a versatile fly! You can use them for early spring fly fishing as they hatch in early spring and the trout are familiar with the pattern. Some of the stonefly nymphs could be bigger than five cm. The adult stonefly has two pairs of long wings with membranes. 

The wings are folded at the back and they are sometimes known as flatwings because of their distinct appearance. Even though they have long wings, stoneflies are not very good at flying. To recognize a stonefly, remember that they have long antennae and two little tails.

Stonefly nymph patterns may be helpful when everything else fails. Once you find the right pattern for your local fish, you can get some really big ones. There are thousands of stonefly varieties all over the world. 

They dwell in clean environments so you may not find them where the quality of water is low.  All of them have a fairly uniform appearance even though the colors and size may vary. Some of the most common stonefly species include; salmonfly, skwala, yellow sally, and large golden stone.

Beadhead Rubberleg Hares Ear

bead head hares ear nymph

The beadhead rubberleg hares ear is one of the most popular fly fishing patterns for spring. Its rubber legs which facilitate extra movement make it one of the most popular trout fishing flies. Its appearance can fool most trout. It comes in the colours black, olive, and brown in the sizes #10-#16.

Beadhead Prince Nymph

prince bead head nymph

The beadhead prince nymph is the first choice for anglers in most parts of the country. It is one of the best trout fishing flies because of its brass and tungsten bead and its rubber legs. It is available in the colors peacock, purple, and black and the sizes #10-#18.

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Top Caddis Fly Patterns for Spring

Caddis fly patterns are made to imitate the different life stages of the caddis. It is one of the most basic sources of food for trout. This makes it a top choice for most anglers. You can find caddis patterns in almost all waterways including still waters and streams. Trout mostly feed on caddis in the stages of larva or pupa. This, however, does not mean trout don’t feed on the adult caddis. They sometimes even rise to the top for the adult caddis.

Once the caddis hatches from the egg, it gets to the larval stage. The caddis larva can be found at the bottom, usually in a hard shell casing. The larva is popularly known as the horn-cased caddis. The caddis will come from the bottom to the surface of the water when it gets to the pupa stage. It will only return to the bottom to lay eggs. The eggs go to the bottom of the river and the cycle continues.

In the larval stage, there are patterns such as the Green Caddis Larvae, Tungsten Brown Caddis, and Green Caddis Nymph. Patterns in the adult stage include the Dry Caddis and Goddard’s Caddis. 

Caddis Pupa

caddis pupa

The caddis pupa in the sizes #12-#16 is available in the colors orange, tan, and olive. It has a natural look and it is fairly easy to tie. The fly looks like a delicacy to fish. It is a beautiful mix of soft fiber, a body that is almost transparent, and natural hare’s ear.

Elk Hair Caddis

elk hair caddis


The elk hair caddis comes in the colours tan, olive, peacock, and orange and the sizes #12-#18. The dry flies are great for early spring fly fishing. Their popularity stems from the fact that you can find them almost anywhere. Use it with a small midge placed underneath.

Top Midge Patterns for Spring

If you are one of the many anglers that are intimidated by fly fishing midges, you may be missing out. Midge fishing gives you the opportunity to enhance your fishing experience in still water, spring creeks, and tailwaters as they make up about half of the trout’s food in some watersheds. 

Even though midges are known to be excellent for fishing in spring, they are great during all times of the year. Most species can go through a complete life cycle in only a few weeks. This sets them apart from other flies. Some of the most common midges are chironomids. Even though they are smaller than other aquatic insects, midges can have a huge population. They are a great food option for trout throughout the year.

Understanding the life cycle of midges can make midge fishing a much simpler experience. You must be able to find the right flies to mimic their different life cycles. Midges come in thousands of species but that does not mean that things have to be complicated. 

Pick any midge that works for you. You do not need to know every one of them. You may use colour formula, shape, and size to narrow down your options. It is difficult to go wrong.

Zebra Midge

zebra midge

The Zebra Midge is available for fishing at all times of the year. They are some of the best trout flies for spring. The zebra midge can help you catch trout in just about any river. The variation is a great pattern. The best ones come in darker colours and small sizes. The colours are black, olive, red and purple in the sizes #16-#24.

Get All The Best Flies for Spring

We partnered with The Fly Crate to get you a deal on all of the best flies for Spring. They make a monthly fly box that contains all of the latest flies to match the hatches that are going on near you.

They will send it directly to your mailbox along with a bunch of other goodies! Check out their lifestyle plan which we managed to get a 20% discount off for you. Use the code FLYFISHER20 at checkout and use the link here.

They commit a portion of all sales to aid disabled vetrans too!

the fly crate lifestyle plan

Wrap Up

Did you enjoy reading the list? Do you find it helpful? Spring presents some of the most favorable conditions for fishing. Many anglers miss out on the opportunity because they don’t know the best flies for trout. You must understand midge patterns, mayfly patterns, stonefly patterns, and caddis fly patterns. 

We have compiled a list of the best wet flies for trout as well as the dry ones. We hope that it will simplify your experience and make fly fishing more rewarding and fun. If you want to be successful, you must have the right imitation of natural trout food. Let us know what you think in the comments. Share it if you think it is useful.