I wrote a post a few years ago entitled My April Fly Box. I tried to provide some ideas for you to consider when filling your fly box. I’m encouraged this time of year because more insects begin to show in April, whereas winter seems to concentrate on small flies, like Blue Wing Olives in sizes 18 – 22. Since some time has passed, here is my updated April fly box.

Metolus River Rainbow | www.johnkreft.com

For some reason, I didn’t get around to re-filling my fly boxes this winter. And it’s time to do it now. What flies should I carry for spring?

I’ll start with some new Sparkle Duns to imitate the BWO, PMD, and March Brown. Yes, March Brown hatches might be over, but in my home waters I find mayflies that look similar. And past years have taught me March Brown mayflies can be found in the Middle Deschutes in the month of April.

Sparkle Duns - PMD and BWO | www.johnkreft.com
Sparkle Duns – PMD & BWO

The other go-to dry fly I carry to imitate emerging and cripple mayflies is my RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple. It has been very successful for picky trout.

PMD with RK Soft Hackle Cripple | www.johnkreft.com
RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple - PMD | www.johnkreft.com
RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple – PMD

If parachute flies are your thing, a Parachute Adams is a great choice. I don’t know why it works, but it does. A BWO Parachute or PMD Parachute are other options too.

Caddis were out flitting around this week. Having a few effective patterns like an Iris Caddis, X Caddis, and Elk Hair Caddis (or Deer Hair Caddis) in tan, apple green, olive, amber, and black will guarantee you are ready for anything. A variety of sizes are needed. I’d start with sizes 12 to 16.

Don’t forget the caddis pupa stage either. A simple Bead Head Soft Hackle can be effective along with Silvey’s Caddis Pupa. Brown (or tan) and olive are good choices.

Silvey's Caddis Pupa | www.johnkreft.com

What has been very effective for me recently when I choose to nymph have been the Euro nymphs I’ve mentioned.

And I can’t forget about these effective nymphs as well.

If you need larger, heavier nymphs to get these to the river bottom, consider a couple of my favorites.

A few of the flies listed above will be a good start.

It won’t be long and I’ll have to add Salmonflies and Golden Stones to the box as well. And don’t forget about Green Drakes. I hope to be fishing this hatch around mid-May.

In a future post, I’ll recommend a few flies I use to imitate the Salmonflies and Golden Stones.

I’ve given you a lot of flies to think about. Just select a few and get going. It’s more important to get on the water and fish with the flies in your own box. The river will tell you what works and what doesn’t.

Start with your favorites, then add a couple of the flies listed above. I’m sure they’ll work. If you need more idea, you can find them on my Fly Patterns page.

I better get back to the vise. I’ve got some work to do!

Enjoy…go fish!

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One Comment

  1. Hi John,
    Excellent article and outstanding picture of the emerger pattern with the natural dun. Wow! Good Job! Take care & …
    Tight Lines – (Gretchen &) Al Beatty

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