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Top Ten Stillwater Patterns

by Jon Easdon, Director of Services

Ah stillwater … Where we put away the size 22 flies, the 5x tippet, and trade up for huge bugs, 3x tippet, and 6 weight rods.

Stillwater season is upon us and the fishing has been lights out. Step into the realm of one of the most enjoyable approaches to fly fishing. After all, we have prime opportunities very close to home! Here are our top 10 Stillwater fly patterns …

Mayer’s Titan Tube midge

Local guide and all-around good guy Landon Mayer created this midge several years back. It’s one of the most consistent still water chironomids out there. The slim body imitates these lake midges perfectly.

Tim’s Chromie

Another killer midge pattern, this fly imitates the pupae perfectly. Fish it on the strip or suspended under an indicator.

Rickards’ stillwater nymph

This is a Swiss army knife fly. It can represent a damsel, leach, or any other buggy thing the fish are keyed in on. This is a go-to all year in any lake. In fact, any pattern created by Denny Rickards is one you want to have.

Bubba’s callebaetis

You almost don’t need any other patterns for these lake mayfly nymphs. A great darker colored nymph, This pattern is great suspended or on the strip and becomes very effective in late may/June when the callebaetis start popping.

Poxyback Callebaetis

Well…this would be the other baetis pattern you’ll need. Good for the lighter colored nymphs. This fly is very effective fished static or on the strip.

Belly flop damsel

This balanced fly sits perfectly flat in the water column mimicking a traveling damsel. Fish can’t refuse this fly when the damsels are present.

Morrish May Day

This adult callebaetis rides right in the film but it’s super buggy and easy to see, even in choppy conditions. I like to have a dry fly rod rigged up so I can quickly target cruising fish.

Damsel adult

If you happen to be lucky enough to be throwing these huge dries and smacking fish, then look up and say thank you. While fairly rare, this can be some of the most fun dry fly fishing you’ve ever done…in any body of water.

Mayer’s Jigged leach

The reservoirs in our area have great leach populations and the fish key in on them constantly. This pattern has a nice heavy bead that keep the fly down. When fished in choppy water conditions, this fly “jigs” with the waves making it an irresistible to a cruising fish.

Zack’s Znail

Created by Covey Guide Zack Tokach, this pattern has turned into the “ace in the hole” for stillwater aficionados. Trout will forage for any easy meal, and snails are a perfect compliment to that fact. These are only available at AC so you’ll want to swing by and grab some.

Swing by the shop for your stillwater needs. And check out our calendar for stillwater classes. We offer guided trips, too, including kayak trips for stillwater action.


  1. Kathy on October 17, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    Are we able to order flies online?

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