5 Fly Fishing Flies for Summer 2012


As a fly shop owner, I get the daily question of what are the top fly fishing flies for that time of year, month, river, etc. It is very dependent on the water that you are fishing, but I put together my favorite five fly fishing flies for this summer that can be fished   summer fly fishing Missoula   virtually anywhere from Southern Colorado to Northern California or North Carolina.

My five must-haves:

  1. Chubby Chernobyl: The Chubby Chernobyl is a high floating fly that is virtually unsinkable and very easy to see on the water with its high upright wing. The Chubby Chernobyl is a great general searching pattern that can be used to imitate Salmon Flies, Golden Stones, or hoppers depending on size and color. The Chubby also makes an incredible hopper-dropper fly fishing fly due to its high buoyancy and easy visibility in all types of water. I like to fish this fly in black, tan, brown, pink and green body colors. It’s the perfect combination of buggy attractor, terrestrial imitator, large stone floater – it floats all day and is easy to see out there on the water.
  2. Tungsten 20 Incher: The Tungsten 20 Incher it is my go-to dropper off the Chubby. The 20 Incher is a go-to fly all over the West. A great attractor nymph, with definite Golden Stone overtones, I have fished it with great success on Shoshone, Animas, and numerous small creeks. It is a buggy-looking nymph that does a great job of imitating a variety of aquatic insects and goads the 20 incher.

3: Yeagers Tantrum: Yeager’s Tantrum is a combination the Chernobyl Ant with a Turk’s Tarantula. Combining these two flies gives the best of both worlds, foam for buoyancy and hair and hackle to give it the “real feel” with a pink topper to give it good visibility. I love when my fried’s ask, “what are you throwing”? I am throwing… A Tantrum! The Tantrum is also a good candidate to carry a dropper with good success.

4: Space Invader: I recommend Karnopp’s Space Invader for those streamer situations on the water. The rubberlegs and peacock herl create great “swim-ability” in the water that results in great results when I have used this fly over the past couple of years. This is a great all around streamer pattern and I use both the Brown & Yellow and Olive & Black.

5: Price’s Five O’Clock Shadow: Where’s there’s big browns, there’s bound to be one that can’t resist a mouse just trying to get back to his home. The Five O’Clock Shadow is yet another brainchild of Kevin Price and is my go-to fly when I am looking to land that big brown. The Shadow uses a similar design to Price’s El Raton bass fly but has a trout friendly stinger hook on the back. I have fished the fly on the aggressive trout of Montana with very good results and raised a few local trout here in Colorado.

These patterns will put you into fish more often than not this summer – and save you valuable time from searching for that just-so-perfect fly. These flies won’t answer every riddle you encounter on the water this summer they will be great flies to add to your collection and can be fished in many different situations and locales.


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