I can’t believe the beautiful weather we’ve had the last couple of weeks. The types of bugs hatching along the river are definitely changing and I decided it’s time to get my April fly box in order.

Gone are the days of concentrating on midge and Blue Wing Olive patterns in sizes 18 – 22 and smaller.

Metolius Rainbow | www.johnkreft.com

I’ve seen a variety of insects flying along the river lately…caddis, mayflies, and stoneflies. There were a few noses breaking the surface, but when they aren’t visible, I put on a couple of nymphs to try my luck.

As you’ll see below, the flies don’t have to be complicated. Remember a recent post Select the Right Dry Fly where I discuss the importance of profile, size, and color? Keep that in mind as you fill your fly box.

Here are a few nymph patterns I’m adding to my April fly box:

RiverKeeper Stonefly Nymph in sizes 6 & 8.

RiverKeeper Stonefly Nymph | www.johnkreft.com

McPhails Golden Stonefly Nymph – Variant in sizes 6 & 8.

McPhail's Golden Stone Nymph - Variant | www.johnkreft.com

Lightning Bug in size 16.

Lightning Bug | www.johnkreft.com

$3 Dip in sizes 16 & 18.

$3 Dip - Gold Bead | www.johnkreft.com

Copper John in sizes 12 – 18.

Copper John Nymph | www.johnkreft.com

Pheasant Tail Nymph in sizes 12 – 18.

Bead Head Pheasant Tail Nymph | www.johnkreft.com

How about some dry flies?

My go-to dry flies are either a Sparkle Dun or the RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple. I’ll carry them in different sizes and colors to match the hatch…which means I have them for March Browns, Pale Morning Dun’s (PMD), and Blue Wing Olive’s (BWO).

Sparkle Dun in sizes 12 – 18.

Sparkle Dun - March Brown|www.johnkreft.com

RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple in sizes 15 – 19.

RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple PMD | www.johnkreft.com

How about some caddis? There are several varieties out flying around…October Caddis (yes, they seem to be available to fish 12 months out of the year on the river I fish), along with a couple of others in tan and olive.

Elk Hair Caddis in sizes 12 – 16, olive, tan, and orange.

Elk Hair Caddis | www.johnkreft.com

CDC & Elk in sizes in sizes 12 – 16, olive and tan.

CDC & Elk | www.johnkreft.com

Iris Caddis in sizes 14 – 16, olive and amber.

Iris Caddis - Tan | www.johnkreft.com

There are other flies I’ll add as well, but this will be a good start for my April fly box.

If you need a few more ideas, check out my posts – New to Fly Fishing? What Flies Should I Use? or What Nymphs Should I Use?

Enjoy…go fish!

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  1. John,
    I am sure my sweet husband will be taking you up on this selection.
    Al & Gretchen….see you at in Ellensburg.

  2. Hi John,
    A good bunch of flies. That $3.00 Dip (originally Serendipity) is a heck of a good fly no matter where you are fishing AND it is very easy to tie. Love your selection. Hope to see you soon in Ellensburg. Take care & …

    Tight Lines – (Gretchen &) Al Beatty

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