Written by: Jon Easdon, Angler’s Covey
When it comes to springtime in Colorado, the warmer weather and longer days spark a flurry of bug activity. Fish start coming out of their winter metabolism to an increasingly varied menu. While there are some obvious spring fly patterns that many anglers use, we wanted to talk about the top five sleeper patterns every angler should be carrying this spring.
1. Barr’s Uncased Caddis—Anglers Covey guide Juan Ramirez writes, “I’ve seen caddisflies in a lot of stomach samples I take, no matter what time of year.” Caddis larvae can be a great choice for picky tailwater trout. It’s a food source that trout are very familiar with.
2. Buckskin—Since caddisflies are becoming more of a staple food source for trout at this time of year, it should be no surprise to see the Buckskin named in this list. Guide Greg Blessing thinks of these flies as “egg raiders” and often fishes them in the deep pools. This is also one of Blessing’s big confidence flies.
3. Egg Sucking Leech—One of the big events of spring is the rainbow and cutthroat spawn. The Egg Sucking Leech was developed to imitate a leech stealing trout eggs (something that doesn’t actually happen in nature). The trout will not only eat this pattern for food sustenance, but also out of aggression. Covey employee Steven Armijo likes to fish these in a dead drift or on the strip.
4. Beadhead Mini Leech—My fellow guide Neil Luerhing swears by the effectiveness of this pattern on the strip or dead drift. Neil also suggests alternating these techniques from cast to cast.
5. Pat’s Rubberlegs—It’s the fly we all love to hate: The single most effective stonefly nymph out there. While most fisherman are still stumbling around with size 24 midges, a bigger offering can often be the ticket. Stoneflies are prevalent right now on our freestone rivers and tailwater fisheries and are a nice break from the small midges of winter.
Jon Easdon is Director of Services for Angler’s Covey, in Colorado Springs.