Ten best flies for trout fly fishing in Australia

These are our top 10 recommended best flies for trout fly fishing proven on our years of fly fishing in Australia and New Zealand.
  1. Bushy’s Emerger Dun.     
    A hatch late in the afternoon or evening is more often or not a grey mayfly hence a Bushy’s Emerger Dun grey body would be used. Kaj Busch knew what he was doing when he came up with this fly.
    The body of the fly embeds into the water showing the fish the colour while the barred hackle post in the mottled colour makes it real to the rising trout.
    Hook sizes #10, #12, #14, #16, #18 and #20.                                                                                                                    
  2. Yellow Sally. I think we pinched this from Montana and the Idaho area. While the American pattern is yellow bodied, ours is green bodied. This pattern brings up any fish interested in White Caddis or Snowflakes (as we call them) to eat. It will even bring fish up during the day when flighted caddis are not about.Hook sizes #16, #18 and #20.
  3. Royal Stimulator.     
    A large number of fishers use this fly as an indicator with a nymph suspended under it. Surprisingly many fish come up to eat the fly when the fisher is targeting nymph eaters.
    Hook sizes #10, #12, #14 and #16.
  4. CDC Caddis Emerger.     
    I don’t know who invented this fly but they need a medal as throughout Summer caddis hatch all day. It truly matches the hatch in the way the fly hangs just below the meniscus (surface skin of water) and imitates any emerging caddis. It is deadly fished in a slow moving bubble line.
    Hook sizes #14, #16 and #18.
  5.  Kossie Dun.
    This pattern is a Mick Hall design and ticks all the boxes. It has great body colour and the post is long and also a good colour. The parachute lets it sit well on the water rough or smooth. The Southern Hemisphere does not have many large mayflies but this is one of them which means hook sizes 8 and 10. I will let you in on a little secret, it has cousins in the same colour down to a hook size 16.
    Hook sizes #8, #10, #12, #14 and #16 
  6. Royal Wulff.   Lee Wulff developed the Black Wulff and the Grey Wulff and then a member of a fly fishing club adapted his pattern into the Royal Wulff of today.  Its probably fair to say most fly fishers have one or more in their boxes. It is used round the world as an attractor. Floating well on all water it has that buggy look about it which rainbow trout seem to love. Many fly fishers use it as the indicator fly when fishing a nymph and indicator 2 fly rig Hook sizes #8, #10, #12, #14, #16 and #18
  7. USA Rubber Leg Cicada.   
    It’s the new kid on the block fly. We have fished black deer hair patterns for years, however, the rubber style flies coming out of the USA are swamping traditional patterns round the world. The big problem with black flies is they are hard to see drifting on the water. The problem is solved here with this fly's white post. The fly is used in summer when the cicadas deafening noise in trees along river banks is at a peek, or in alpine valleys where tussock grass abounds both here and in New Zealand.
    Hook Sizes #10, #12 and #14.                                                                             
  8. Miss Knobby X Hopper.   Used in mid Summer in daylight hours. You only need one fly. It’s the best.  A wise fisher will stand behind a large tree when tying this fly to the tippet or else the trout will grab it before the knot is tied. The thing about this fly is the worst caster in the world can catch hopper feeding trout. The chenille body soaks up water and makes the fly heavy. When cast it will land on the water with a great plop – much like the real deal. Hook Sizes #8, #10, #12 and #14.
  9. Gold Tungsten Flashback Pheasant Tail Nymph.What a mouthful and the fish think so too. The phrase “my go to fly” comes to mind when fishing deep pools or riffles. It does the job. There are many dark coloured nymphs in every river and this pattern seems to out perform all other patterns.                 Hook Sizes #12, #14, #16, #18 and #20.
  10. Black Tungsten Black Copper JohnThis is a stonefly pattern. Probably a little out of place in the Southern Hemisphere as stonefly are not as numerous here as  in the USA. It's one of the best nymphs round and it's general shape still looks like a mayfly nymph. It also sinks like a rock and gets down to where the fish are. A little tip - its been the undoing of picky Matura trout in the Garston area.                                                                                                  Hook Sizes #14, #16 and #18.

There are many great flies out there and you could add them to your Best Flies list.  Some you may have tied yourself. New material comes along and patterns are in and out of vogue.

Keep an open mind and remember colour, shape and size with size being paramount.

Fish hard,
Dave and Nella

1 comment

  • Thanks to both of you for a really helpful list, especially for those of us who love fly fishing but don’t get out enough and only have one box of flies, which is full. Looks like I need a new box for the flies in your list that I don’t have – which is most of them. Heading down to the Yarrangobilly River in early October, any advice?

    Rick Allen-Jordan

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