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.
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.
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.
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.
OCTOBER CADDIS PUPA
Tied on a jig hook, this October Caddis pattern is perfect for fishing under an indicator or tight-line nymphing.
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.
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.
PAT'S RUBBER LEGS
Lance Egan ties one of his favorite stonefly patterns -- a variation of the Pat's Rubber Leg Stone.
PMD-style rubber leg / poxy-back; it's not as crazy as it sounds, but it is bullet proof and catches fish like crazy.
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.
Plays well as a Blue Winged Olive nymph, and is just as effective as PMD nymphs and Callibaetis nymphs.
The nymph version of Matt Callies's Big Arse Soft Hackle. This is a stonefly with all the bells and whistles.
SUPER EASY GLO BUG
The Super Easy Glo Bug.
SOLAR PANEL NYMPH
The Solar Panel Nymph is a style of pattern that can be used with mayflies, stoneflies and even caddis larva.
Another hot little buzzer or chironomid pattern. Great for imitating the bugs just a they're getting ready to pop.
MAILMAN BROWN DRAKE
A great brown drake soft hackle style emerger or drowned adult fly pattern
GREY BOY CHIRONOMID
The Grey Boy is a popular and very effective buzzer or chironomid pattern for lakes and reservoirs. This is one of our favorites.
OIL SLICK BUZZER
The Oil Slick buzzer is one of my most effective chironomid or buzzer patterns in recent years. Give it a try.
An unweighted fun to tie mayfly nymph. Great for callibaetis or baetis (BWO) nymphs fishing just sub-surface.
The M3 Baetis, from Michael Faulkinbury, uses minimal materials but is an effective mayfly nymph.
ICE HARE'S EAR
The Ice Hare's ear is an effective variation of the standard pattern and it's super-easy to tie.
SPARKLE-SVELTE BLOOD WORM
If you need a smaller more sparkly but svelte bloodworm imitation for smaller midges on rivers or even lakes, this is the ticket.
DEEP DISH DRAKE 2.0
The Deep Dish is a great nymph to cover your callibaetis waters as well as brown drake waters
A simple yet effective midge nymph or pupa.
QUILL BODY MIDGE PUPA
The quill pupa is a smaller version of a common style of bigger chironomids or buzzer style flies.
DEEP DISH GREEN DRAKE
A beefy imitative Green Drake nymph that's also fun to tie.
The Zebra Midge is a great pattern and easy to tie.
The Mike Czech is a simple, competition style nymph.
This is a great little snail pattern for fishing stillwater.
REAL EASY MAYFLY
This is a relatively realistic and easy to tie mayfly pattern.
JOLLY RANCHER CHIRONOMID
Very effective chironomid pattern for stillwater fly fishing