Today’s Top Ten Flies: Tom Rosenbauer

We’re introducing a new feature at, in which we ask well-known anglers and guides to give us their Top 10 patterns. Sometimes the list will be species- or water-specific, but we’ll also feature collections of flies you should never be without, no matter where or when you are fishing.

Obviously, these are subjective lists—based on personal experience and angling prejudices—so your own list may be quite different. But it’s always interesting to get a peak into another fly fisherman’s fly box.

We kick things off with our own Tom Rosenbauer—host of the Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide Podcast, author of the Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide (among many other books), and all-around great guy. In his 35 years with Orvis, Tom has fished for trout in more waters, in more situations, and under more conditions than almost anyone on the planet, and these are the flies he always carries:

Pattern Style Sizes

1. Pheasant Tail Nymph Nymph  16-20

Pheasant Tail Nymph

2. Hare’s Ear Nymph Nymph 8-18
(black tungsten bead under thorax to eliminate flash)

Hare's Ear Nymph

3. Copper John Nymph 10-16

Copper John

4. Parachute Adams Dry   12-22

Parachute Adams

5. Eck Caddis Dry   14-20

Eck Caddis

6. Orange Stimulator Dry   8-16


7. Baetis Comparadun Dry   16-24

Sparkle Dun

8. Griffith’s Gnat Dry, Emerger 16-24

Griffiths Gnat

9. Rabbit’s Foot Emerger Emerger 14-18
(in pink, olive, tan, or sulfur, depending on season)

Rabbit's Foot Emerger

10. Black Tunghead Woolly Bugger  Streamer  4-10

Conehead Woolly Bugger

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