Ten Must Have Flies

  • Thread starter Ron Troversial Clay
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Ron Troversial Clay

Here are ten essental patterns if you are fishing still waters this year.

1: GRHE Nymph
2: Midge Pupa (buzzer) imitations in black, brown and green and a few black ones with an orange thorax.
3: Montana nymph in brown and black, the brown one having an orange thorax.
4: Viva
5: Viva tadpole.
6: My own special tying of a damsel fly nymph
7: Invicta, a classic traditional fly that has caught me thousands of trout.
8: Black and Peacock Spider.
9: Kate McLaren
10: Daddy long legs.

They are many others of course, but this ten is the must haves.

Whats your 10?

Richard Huggett 1

My top ten ?

1..GH damsel of my own design, tied with yellow and black marabou.
2..GH buzzer, pale lemon body and silver wire ribbing.
3..Bloodworm imitation, my own design, made from stripped red rubber bands.
4..Cat's Whisker
5..Tadpoles in various colours.
6..Cut down floating fry pattern, coloured black with a marker pen.
7..Various daddy patterns:wet/dry
8..When All Else Fails {as per Clive White's dressing}

My favourite top ten. these are the ones I go for first.

Ron Troversial Clay

Interesting that you have chosen a polystickle Richard. I have never caught a trout on a polystickle in my life, and it wasn't for not trying. Maybe I was not fishing it correctly.

I might have added a black and chartreuse booby to my collection although on most of the waters I fish, boobies are banned.

Two flies we both agree are essential is the Montana and buzzers.

Richard Huggett 1

Polystickles...love 'em mate. My old mate used to tie them for me, as I could never get the raffia to lay straight for some silly reason. We used to fish them on the reservoirs, slow and deep from the bank on a sinking line, not at all fry like. I wonder if trout take them for some form of nymph?

Last year I never had a pull to a polystickle, not even a sniff. Strange isn't it ? Yet I would never go out without a few in my box, and I shall be fishing one next weekend{weather,wife and arthritis permitting!}

Colin Brett 3

No black Buzzers?? These would have to be my number one.
Green Buzzer.
Red Buzzer.
Green & Brown
Minkie variation. Goldhead, Black mink[rabbit] bright green arse.
White lure [Marabou]
Shipmans buzzer.
Bobs Bits

Depends on where you are fishing of course
All my fishing is on the 4 Anglian Water ressies and 95% from the bank.

Colin Brett 3

Whoopps sorry Ron your second choice didn't register with me, Apologies!


Ross Turner

CDC Emergers
Diwal bach

ED (The ORIGINAL and REAL one)

I notice no-one has mentioned

Bloody butcher
Greenwells Glory
Dont they use them any more ??

Not that I've ever used them -They are just names I heard years ago

Ron Troversial Clay


These are the great classic flys that in most cases never really represented any type of insect. Most modern English patterns have developed from still waters with rainbow trout in mind.

The flies you mention do work, make no mistake. Many of these patterns use traditional winging techniques, a method of fly tying that takes special skills. Skills many modern fly tyers have neither the time nor the inclination to aquire.

I do use the Invicta traditional pattern quite a lot. It can be deadly when sedge flys are coming off the water

These traditional patterns are also very useful if you go up to a natural river or loch with brownies in it.

Colin Brett 3

"Many of these patterns use traditional winging techniques, a method of fly tying that takes special skills. Skills many modern fly tyers have neither the time nor the inclination to aquire."

They are busy learning new techiques for the newer more modern flies.
There are plenty of Fly tyers out there still doing the traditionals.
Wet flies and wet fly fishers are quite rare today, well they are were I fish.


Ron Troversial Clay

Of course Colin, it's all about what catches the fish.

However the hardest technique in fly tying to get right is tying on matching wings from feather fibre such as starling, on dry flies.

And I did not say that all fly tyers don't tie traditionals, I said that many don't. They don't bother because it's not necessary to tie such patterns in order to catch lots of fish.

Sometimes I get the inclination to tie a few traditionals. I am pleased I can still do it as there are occasions when a Mallard & Claret or an Invicta has produced the goods.

I remember a day on Hanningfield in 1987. I came in with a limit of 8 trout.

I was accused of using worms by the Bailiff as no-one else came in with a limit on that day. The vast majority had blanked.

If my boat partner: Steve Stephens had not witnessed for me, I might have been banned from that water for life.

I took 6 of my fish on an self tied Invicta.