2016 Top Trout Flies

The Wisconsin inland trout season ended a short while ago and it is time to talk about my top 5 flies used to catch trout this past season. This is the first year I have published my top 5 for inland trout. When I talk inland trout I am mostly talking about brown trout but I do catch rainbows from time to time. Of the five listed I only tie the san juan and the black bugger. The rest I pick up at the Driftless Angler or DuPage Fly Fishing Co. until I have some time this winter to sit down and learn to tie them.

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Pink Squirrel

5. Pink Squirrel

Well I finally bought into the hype and started fishing the pink squirrel and sure enough it catches fish. Just throw it under and indicator and let it tick bottom and you are sure to catch browns. It probably deserves to be much higher on the list and for many anglers I am sure it is but I am a streamer stripper and so I don't spend a lot of time floating flies under an indicator. I do like to cast the the pink squirrel upstream and ninja drift it. That is quite fun.
Red San Juan

4. Red San Juan

Like I said I am a streamer stripper and don't really like to fish flies under an indicator but after a rain when there is some stain in the water and the water is flowing fast, the red san juan is a killer. Fish it under an indicator and trail a pink squirrel for double trouble. Some red micro chennile wrapped around a size 10 scud hook will do the trick. Make sure you put a tungsten bead in the middle to get that fly down quick.
wooly bugger

3. Wooly Bugger

The Wooly Bugger is a time tested fly that fishes well in all types of conditions. Dark day dark fly always works for me so have a couple colors in your box including black, olive and brown. No explanation necessary on tying this fly but I like sizes 8 and 10 for the Drifless. Also, trailing a pink squirrel if you are swinging can improve likelihood of a strike.
Sculpzilla

2. Sculpzilla

I just started using this fly this season and it consistently produced double digit browns per outing. What I like about this fly in particular is the heavy cone that allows me to fish some super fast water where browns are down deep waiting for a meal to float by. I have fished raging riffles with this fly and have pulled browns out of pockets that I thought not possible. I only fished this fly in black.
Space Invader

1. Space Invader

Another fly I just started using this season and this fly is just down right nasty. Fishing this pattern using the crayfish hop produced time and time again. Do be afraid to let this fly sink to the bottoma and sit for a few seconds if you want to pull connect with a monster. The fly consistently produced my biggest browns and rainbows. The crazy thing is I never knew the name of this pattern until I bought a few online from the Driftless Angler. I only used this fly in brown and yellow.