Here is a list of our top ten favorite nymphs to have in your box when making a trip to Craig. There are many other patterns what will work an any given day, but these are the ten staples that will work almost year round.
10. Firebead Soft Hackle Sow Bug #16- One of the hottest flies in the spring, this fly will also work throughout the summer.
9. Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear #18- Not really a fly that people talk about much around here. This fly works well to imitate a small mayfly and the shaggy dubbing can also be a little scud like. Ones that are tied a little skinny seem to pick up a few more fish.
8. Love Bug #20- A little like a midge pupa, a little like a mayfly. This is a good one to drop off the back of a larger bug in a two fly nymph rig.
7. Lightning Bug #18- A local favorite, this one comes in four different colors. Pink, purple, silver, and gold. They all work well, we really like the pink one because it can be a scud or mayfly.
6. Zebra Midge #20- A great fly year around. The midges are always here, always hatching. Try any color body or ribbing. We really like black and red ones.
5. Czech Nymph #16- There are so manny different color combinations to consider. They all seem work. This fly can make a good scud, but also works well during Caddis hatches as a pupa. Not to mention this fly just looks buggy. Its really good.
4. RS2 #18- Good as an emerger or fished deep. This nymph is a really great all around fly.
3. Pat’s Rubber Legs #8- Just kidding, this isn’t a staple here on The MO. We don’t really have many big stoneflies in the river, it’s a tailwater. However, there are always a few guys every year that come out from freestone rivers that catch a few on this fly…makes me wonder.
2. The Worm #6- The worm always works, year round they are here. We really like them in high water or after a big rain storm. San Juans, Wire Worms, and the Heavy Wire Worm are all good.
1. Flashback Pheasant Tail #18- The all around best fly for The MO. It works all year long. In fact most flies that are used on this river are based off the profile of this fly. It works good as a dropper off a dry or fished deep with some split shot. If you ask most guides what they would pick as the only fly they could use on this river it would be the Flashback PT.
If your interested in tying some of these bugs up for your next adventure on The Missouri River, check out the fly tying room on our webpage. There are some good recipes and tutorials for a few of these flies as well as many other good patterns for the river.