The Chubster is a stripped-down version of the original Chubby Chernobyl. It can be fished as-is or dressed up with different colors, hot-spots, or flash underwings.
At the confluence of effectiveness and simplicity is the mighty Hare's Ear. Here is a riff on the old standard, which will liven things up at the vise and on the water.
ELK HAIR CADDIS
If you’re grading on effectiveness, simplicity, and adaptability, the Elk Hair Caddis scores an 11. Tied with just a few materials, it can be dressed up in countless ways to match specific caddis hatches.
Big nymphs have two jobs: entice fish and get the entire rig to the bottom. The Flow Stone does both.
Scuds are an important food source for trout. Whether you want to add a hot spot (as demonstrated here) or try and match what you're finding in your local waters, you'll be able to use this basic pattern as a jumping off point.
This Pheasant Tail comes together quickly, is super buggy, and can be altered to your color of choice.
The Copper John is the perfect fly in that it doesn't mimic one thing but represents many, and has a little bit of everything: a little flash, a little movement, a little weight.
This is a cool little caddis nymph that can be swung, dead drifted, or high sticked. The furled body extends away from the hook, giving it a unique profile and a little extra movement.
Based on a bass lure called a Reaper, this pattern is intended to be fished in warm water. It sinks quickly and rides upside-down (as it is tied on a jig hook) so it won't be as likely to get caught in the weeds. It's most note-worthy quality: movement, and...
This isn't your grandparent's midge, nor is it your size-22 eye-bender. This is a big nasty midge for the big fish lurking in depths where no tiny midge would dare to go.
The Frenchie is a member of an increasingly popular family of flies: competition nymphs. With a recipe that consists of only a few materials, it is a great way to fill boxes quickly with an effective, quick-sinking little fish catcher.
SOFT HACKLE PHEASANT TAIL
The Pheasant Tail Nymph is as well known as any fly out there, and this is it's collared cousin. It's a quick way to fill a fly box and catch a lot of fish.
A classic wet fly with varying origin stories, this is an anything-that-swims pattern for lakes and rivers. It uses just a few materials, comes together quickly, and can be modified in a myriad of ways.
This is a riff on the infamous Bird's Nest. A sturdy fly that can be tied in a ton of different colors, this is a great pattern for filling a box quickly.
The Downtown Brown is a nifty little March Brown nymph, with a tag that serves as a hot spot.
PHEASANT TAIL NYMPH
Simple, time-tested, and effective, the Pheasant Tail Nymph (often abbreviated to 'PT') is on the short list of most anglers.
The name of this nymph is not misleading: it is a simple one! But it's also an effective one.
This little nymph fills two things quickly: a fly box, and a trout's mouth. Tie this baby up in as many colors as possible and get to work.
It's big, you don't want to get in its' way, and it cleans up. This intruder is absolutely worth tying in a couple different colors for chasing winter steelhead in coastal rivers.
KING TUBBY STONE
The King Tubby Stone is a great stonefly nymph that will fool fish looking for big bugs!
This is a very effective nymph pattern utilizing a few materials that make it pop. Try tying a few of these up in various colors and test on the water to see what works for you.
This fly is traditional enough to satisfy the classic low-water swing fly crowd, but also adds in a little extra bugginess and flare.
Intended to be a coastal steelhead pattern, this is a colorful fly with a ton of action and a pretty big profile, but still moves well through the water.
This is as good of an imitation as you'll find for a rainbow trout. It is a pretty simple pattern to tie, and can be easily altered by changing colors to mimic other species of fish for either fresh or saltwater.
OCTOBER CADDIS PUPA
Tied on a jig hook, this October Caddis pattern is perfect for fishing under an indicator or tight-line nymphing.
Whether you are trying to fill a box for saltwater or warm water, this baitfish pattern is a great place to start.
Perdigon flies were made popular by Spanish competition anglers because they sink quickly and catch a lot of fish. Learn to tie the Perdigonish fly here.
Anglers love this Stimulator pattern because of its effectiveness and versatility. It's a great searching pattern when you're unsure of what trout are targeting, and it floats well enough to hold up a nymph tied on as a dropper rig.
EL VATO NYMPH
Originally tied as a low-riding caddis dry fly, this is the El Vato Nymph: a quick-sinking bug that comes together with a few creatively used materials.
An attractor pattern that most closely resembles a PMD or other mayfly.
Hot-headed attractor pattern. This is a great little fly that looks something like a Bird's Nest... and nothing really like a Bird's Nest.
A simple little Rhyacophila Caddis nymph. This is tied on a competition-style hook and can easily be embellished with a little extra flare.
A Prince patterns that incorporates some new materials and a special dubbing blend that makes it worth checking out. This is a great attractor pattern that gets down quickly.
CROTCHA BONEFISH FLY
Why not take a perfectly good fly pattern, dissect it and add something new to create a new variation?
A stripped down version of the infamous bonefish fly.
A jumping off point for tying bitter-style shrimp for bonefish.
Crab pattern for fishing the flats.
A simple version of the classic baitfish pattern.
A bunny based tarpon hunter.
A bonefish fly with a little extra action.
PAT'S RUBBER LEGS
Lance Egan ties one of his favorite stonefly patterns -- a variation of the Pat's Rubber Leg Stone.
The perfect gateway into tying your own bonefish flies.
A bluegill imitation that drives warm water species crazy!
PMD-style rubber leg / poxy-back; it's not as crazy as it sounds, but it is bullet proof and catches fish like crazy.
Bead headed steelhead pattern. A little action, a little buggy, and very versatile.
The colors have been changed in honor of the 4th, but this steelhead fly is real.
LITTLE BLACK MAY FLY
One of our favorite mayfly imitations.
A jig hook, a hot spot and the perfect amount of flash make this an excellent trout nymph.
GOLD DIGGER STONE
A stone that gets down fast. Way down. Real fast.
The bird's nest is a classic, but this version has some new twists and the addition of a hot spot on the wing case.