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5 Unconventional Patterns for Early Spring


by Jon Easdon, Director of Services and our Angler’s Covey Guides


When it comes to springtime in Colorado, the warmer weather and longer days spark a flurry of bug activity. Fish start coming out of their winter metabolism to an increasingly varied menu. While there are some obvious spring fly patterns to focus on, we wanted to talk about the top five sleeper patterns every angler should be carrying this spring. 



Barr’s Uncased Caddis


AC guide Juan Ramirez writes, “I’ve seen Caddis in a lot of stomach samples I take, no matter what time of year.” Caddis larva can be a great choice when trying to decipher picky tailwater trout. It’s a food source trout are very familiar with. We have seen evidence of fish feasting on these already and are doing well statewide. 



With the idea that caddis are becoming more of a staple food source for trout, it should be no surprise to see the Buckskin named in this list. Guide Greg Blessing states that he likes to think of these flies as “egg raiders” and often fishes them in the deep pools. This is also one of Blessing’s big confidence flies. 

Egg Sucking Leech


One of the biggest events that happens in the spring is the rainbow and cutthroat spawn. The egg sucking leech was developed to imitate a leech stealing trout eggs. The trout will not only eat this pattern for food sustenance, but also out of aggression. Covey employee Steven Armijo likes to fish these in a dead drift or on the strip.  

Bead head mini leech


Neil Luerhing also agrees on the effectiveness of this pattern on the strip or dead drift. Neil also suggests alternating these techniques – strip and dead drift – each cast. 

Pat’s Rubber Legs


The fly we all love to hate. The single most effective stonefly nymph out there. While most fisherman are still stumbling around with size 24 midges, a bigger offering can often be the ticket. Stoneflies are prevalent RIGHT NOW on our freestone rivers and tailwater fisheries and are a nice break from the small midges of winter. 


More than anything, never underestimate the effectiveness of an obscure pattern. Some of my best days on the water are due in part to the fact I was fishing some pretty crazy bugs. See what’s in the water with a seine. If it’s in there, try to imitate it with a pattern from your fly box.



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