The 5 Best Trico Fly Patterns: Full List

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Trico are a small mayfly that hatch all over different parts of the United States. These tiny flies hatch from July through October.

They’re a pale gray/olive color with light gray wings. Trico fishing causes anglers all sorts of frustration due to how picky fish become after feeding on them.

However, once anglers master Trico hatches, they’ll find themselves successful with all sorts of different patterns.

There are a variety of Trico patterns anglers use for fly fishing, but the following five patterns will drive feeding trout crazy.

1. Ron’s Trico Spinner

Ron's Trico Spinner
Ron’s Trico Spinner

Ron’s Trico Spinner is perhaps the most famous trico pattern in the world. This pattern was created and perfected by anglers on the rivers near Missoula, Montana. 

Whether you’re hoping to use it when trico spinner fall in the mornings or during the evening hatches, this pattern is going to work well.

The tame colors and materials don’t spook fish. Plus, it’s not overly complicated to tie. Fly fishers will make this their first pattern they use when fishing tricos.

Fly Tying Material List

  • Hook: Hends BL354 Size 18-20
  • Thread: Black 12/0 Benecchi
  • Abdomen: Stripped Peacock Quill
  • Wing: White EB Fibers spent
  • Tail: 3 White Microfibbets, split
  • Thorax: Peacock Her from the eye, length to the gape of the hook

Tying Video Instructions

2. Hi-Vis Trico Spinner

Sometimes it’s best to use flies that are easy to see. Whether you’re fishing cloudy or choppy water or fishing in the midst of a large hatch, the Hi-Vis Trico Spinner with the orange and yellow wings is your best bet. This parachute design helps you accomplish that much needed drag free drift. Trico spinners aren’t always easy to tie, but the Hi-Vis Spinner pattern isn’t the most challenging. Fly fishing tricos is best done with the Hi-Vis pattern.

Fly Tying Material List

  • Hook: Standard Dry Fly Hook Size 16-20
  • Thread: Black 12/0 benecchi
  • Rear Hachle: Grizzly
  • Read Third Body: Peacock Herl
  • Center Body: Pearlescent Tinsel
  • Wing: White Antron
  • Front Third Body: Peacock Herl
  • Front Hackle: Grizzly

Tying Video Instructions

3. Quigley’s Midge Cluster

Some days, you’re going to be fishing in heavy trico hatches. A heavy trico hatch can be difficult to fish because the flies begin to clump, and fish become more picky. Quigley’s Midge Cluster imitates a bunched group of trico flies. This is a bit larger pattern, so it’s somewhat easier to tie, and it’ll stick out well when you’re fishing.

Fly Tying Material List

  • Hook: Standard Dry Fly Hook Size 16-20
  • Thread: Black 12/0 Benecchi
  • Rear Hackle: Grizzly
  • Center Body: Pearlescent Tinsel
  • Rear Third Body: Peacock Herl
  • Wing: White Antron
  • Front Hackle: Grizzly
  • Front Third Body: Peacock Herl

Tying Video Instructions

4. Drowned Trico

If fishing with tricos wasn’t complicated enough, sometimes trout feeding behavior changes enough that they want to feed right below the surface. Drowned trico spinners sit right below the surface and are great imitations of a sunken spinner or adult. You want these flies to still drift naturally, but they need to just under the surface.

Fly Tying Material List

  • Hook: 1XF, 1XS Curved Shank Hook size 16-18
  • Bead: Black Nickel 5/64’s or 3/32
  • Thread: Black 12/0
  • Abdomen: Claret Biot
  • Tail: Split Light Dun Microfibbets
  • Wing: Plastic Wing Sheeting
  • Thorax: Black Dubbing

Tying Video Instructions

5. Female Trico Comparadun

Trout can become so picky that they start to only want to eat female tricos. The females sit a little lower in the water column, and you can make them a spinner if you clip the top wings. This way, the spinner falls a bit more natural. The Female Trico Comparadun can work as a drowned trico in a pinch.

Fly Tying Material List

  • Hook: Standard Dry Fly Hook Size 18-20
  • Thread: Pale Yellow 12/0 Benecchi
  • Wing: Bleached Deer Body Hair
  • Abdomen: Cream Biot
  • Tail: Split Lt. Dun Hackle Fibers
  • Thorax: Black Dubbing

Tying Video Instructions

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Danny Mooers is a passionate fly fishing and angling writer from Arizona. Danny loves sharing his passion for fly fishing for trout and other species through his work for Tackle Village.
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