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Top 10 Flies This Time of Year

Top 10 Flies

This time of year can be a great time of year to shake of the winter and get out on the water in the Rockies and Western U.S.  Here are some of the top flies for us that we have personally been fishing this time of year around Southwest Montana:

  1. Zebra midge: You might be getting tired of fishing with these tiny little flies if you have been fishing all through the winter, but we have still been seeing large numbers hatching.  The Zebra Midge is a great midge pattern that has been working well fished dead drift under an indicator or while tight line nymphing, usually fished with another nymph with either technique.
  1. Griffins Gnat: Since Midges are still hatching in large numbers it would make sense to have some dry flies along to imitate them too.  Our pick here is the tried and true Griffin’s Gnat.  This pattern actually is meant to imitate a cluster of midges instead on a single bug, this makes it a lot easier to see the little fly too!  While this pattern isn’t known for its all day long floating ability like a Chubby Chernobyl, but can still support smaller droppers like a Zebra Midge if you do want to fish some tiny dry droppers.
  1. WD-40: This time of year is pretty much prime time for a fly like the WD-40.  Originally it was tied as a midge emerger, it has also proven itself very effective as a blue winged olive imitation as well.  Fishing it as an emerger is deadly when a hatch is on, this pattern works great fished as a nymph under an indicator or on a tight line rig.  Make sure to match the size and colors to the bugs hatching on the water you are fishing.
  1. Egg: I know what some of you purists or more traditional fly fishermen are thinking… “A worm isn’t a fly!”  Well that is true but they are a great imitation of trout food for this time of year especially where raianbows naturally spawn.  They do this in the spring and the eggs deposited can get caught in the current making for an easy meal.  Eggs are best fished as a nymph under an indicator or on a tight line rig.
  1. Adams: Ok the Adams is pretty cliché and could have been substituted for a number of BWO dry imitations, but the Adams works well as a Midge dry in the right sizes, still works as a convincing BWO dry, and is a staple in the box so it makes this list.  And by the way we won’t specify parachute, traditionally tied, or some other variation… pick your favorite.
  1. Pheasant Tail Nymph: Since the Baetis are moving around and on the menu we have to make sure and target them pre-hatch just like the trout are.  The go-to in our boxes is the Pheasant Tail Nymph.  Tried and true it gets the job done for us in most any variation i.e., with or without a bead, flashback, or with little rubber legs.  This is one pattern that is a staple in our box.
  1. DuraStone: Trout this time of year are looking for a big meal to pack on some pounds and with stoneflies being more active, they are a perfect candidate.  Also a big heavy stonefly is a great way to sink some of the other small nymphs previously mentioned on a nymphing rig.  The DuraStone is a personal pattern, and a favorite, but many others will fit the bill (the Kaufmann Stone is another go-to pattern).
  1. Wooly Bugger: Sticking with the big meals, the Wooly Bugger is claiming a spot in this realm as well.  Imitating a lot of things, but nothing to specifically the Wooly Bigger is a buggy pattern that can be fished many different ways and fat out catches fish.  Black, olive, and brown are great patterns to have along in anything from bead or cone head, with or without rubber legs, with or without flash, in sizes 12-4, and try fishing then like a streamer or nymph just make sure to hold on.
  1. Zonker: We are putting one more big meal on the menu, and the Zonker is getting the nod.  While something with a bigger head to push water will beat out the Zonker when the water gets really dirty for us here, the Zonker has a natural profile and enough flash to make it easy to spot and realistic to fool the trout with a big appetite.
  1. Cased caddis: One big event to look forward to for us is the Mother’s Day Caddis hatch.  While the water is still too cold for these little erratic flyers to be hatching in big numbers, there are still a TON of the larva in the water getting ready to start doing their thing.  These caddis live their larva life in a case they make, and these can become dislodged from the spot they were anchored them getting caught up in the current making for an easy trout snack.  These flies will stay in the top 10 list for us up through the peak of the hatch too.



Outta The Box on the roll


Outta the Box with slit inserts loaded up with flies left in the bed of a truck going 70 MPH… no problem all flies accounted for

Posted by Brook Fishing Equipment on Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Here is an Outta the Box in the bed of a truck going 70 MPH from boat ramp to boat ramp.  The slit inserts hold all the flies in place the whole trip without coming close to losing one!

Get your flies seen and a new box to put them in

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Fly Tyer magazine is the premier magazine for anyone who ties flies.  For the next issue they are adding a twist to their Reader’s Favorites section where readers submit their favorite fly.  One Reader’s Favorite will be selected to win a Brook Box!  So get to tying and send in your favorite fly for a chance to get your fly in the magazine and win yourself a new box!

Presenting the Fly on the Brook Box

Presenting the Fly, as I’m sure many of you already know, is a fly fishing blog that covers fishing, tying, gear, events and other fishy topics.  Tayor and Ben are the minds behind Presenting the Fly, and they got their hands on the Brook Box for a gear review.  Read what they have to say about it here

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Big Changes

Well its been a while since there has been a post or update, but that doesn’t mean that things have been at a standstill.  It has actually been a whirlwind few months.  The most exciting news, that has been taking up so much time, is Brook Fishing Equipment’s new line of products!!!  On top of that… everything is proudly made in the U.S.A.!

The Brook Box is our new fly box.  It features silicone inserts in slit and non-slit models.  The slit inserts you can back your hook into them like other slit inserts or put the bend of the hook on the identifying bump and push down to secure the fly in the insert.  Our inserts will not lose their hook grabbing ability and loosen up like foam because the material has virtually no memory, and is not damaged by heat which foam is.  The traditional non-slit inserts do not have gaping holes left in them when flies are taken out.  Also no material is left on the hook when barbed hooks are removed.

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The Outta the Box fly patch has all of the benefits of silicone inserts on the top, but comes with a marine grade Velcro mounting system.  This allows you to mount the Outta the Box in multiple locations so your flies and storage are where you need them, and not left behind.  The Outta the Box is great for boats, in a vehicle, at the tying bench, drying flies, or pre-rigging.


On a side note, while things may not be updated daily, there are going to be a lot more posts coming your way.  We’ll keep you updated on recent happenings, events and places to come say hi and check out BFE, along with some snippets from adventures and other things that are just too cool not to share.

Thanks for staying tuned and thanks for your support!!!



The DuraStone is an original BFE pattern and is the newest addition to the fly database.  This fly has been proving itself by catching fish after fish and still being able to pass as a stonefly while other patterns are beat to a pulp!  The DuraStone is a versatile stonefly pattern at the vice too.  The original is tied on a scud hook to imitate a tumbling nymph that has been dislodged from the river bottom.  The size of scud hooks are limited, but for a larger fly the DuraStone is tied on a TMC 200 or equivalent to imitate the larger bugs.  By changing the colors of materials it is possible to tie a fly that represents any type of stones on the water you fish.  You can also adjust the amount of weight to suit your preferences and needs.  Give the DuraStone a go when the big bugs are hatching or as an anchor anytime of year and hold on tight!

A Spot in the Fancy Box

Hemlock 017croppedThe old Hemlock is one of the flies that gets a reserved spot in the fancy box.  Even though many of the classic patterns, winged wet flies in particularly, are looked at as historic or even art few people still fish with them.  Although they have been admired since these flies were first thought up and tied, they were not tied to just be looked at… they were meant to catch fish and still will attract bites today.

Fishing these classics is a great way to change up your fishing style for a while if you feel you’re in a rut.  The old standby method for fishing these is on a simple down and across swing and the traditional rig was a line of three.  Then all you’ll need is some old hip waders, a full brimmed hat and a bamboo rod and you’re ready to go back to a simpler time.