Phillippa Hake’s Top 10 Jig Patterns for Trout
Here in the UK the trout season it just about to kick off. When we think of trout, we all picture warm sunny days on the river casting to rising trout with dry flies. As much as we all love fishing dry flies, don’t put your nymphing setup away just yet! Having a nymphing option can change your day on the water from a tough day to an excellent day! It gives you the upper hand on catching fish in-between hatches on the colder, early spring days of the trout season. With that in mind, I’ve chosen top 10 jig patterns for trout for you to try this season!
The old faithful! If you don’t have any of these in your fly box, you need too! It has everything you would want in a fly. The Cul De Canard collar adds super fishy movement to the fly. This particular version, a variant tied by Luboz Roza, has a nice slim body, which makes it the perfect fly for getting down fast!
If you follow me on social media, you’ll see I tie a lot of my river patterns with stripped peacock quill. These quills give your flies an ultra-realistic look with the segmented effect from the quill. It’s the perfect material to tie up quill nymphs, an excellent fly for imitating bugs such as Large Dark Olives and March Browns.
Orange Hot Spot Pheasant Tail Nymph
This has to be one my favourite flies for targeting trout with nymphs. The pheasant tail nymph is known worldwide and there’s reason for it! It’s caught fish all over the world. I like to carry a few of these with heavier bead sizes such as 3.5/4.0mm. On the early days of the season you might need to get your flies right down on the deck!
This is another old faithful, traditional fly that’s modernized on a jig hook. This is certainly one you can count on bringing a few fish to the net on a day targeting trout. Again, this fly has many variations. Anglers have incorporated hackles to bring extra movement to the fly, or an added hot spot, both of which have proved successful!
Developed by the Spanish competition anglers, this fly is the ultimate for cutting through the water column very, very quickly. The slim build and minimal materials used means the most effective time to use it is in fast water!
This is another modern variation of the hare’s ear but definitely one fly that has cemented its place in my fly box. With the added hot orange rib, this fly stands out and looks super fishy! Tied with a black bead, I fish this fly in areas where the fish are pressured and see many flies coming through the water.
Designed by Scottish angler Craig Mcdonald this fly is a MUST have in your box. It’s also incredibly effective for grayling too! I tend to fish this fly when the river is slightly coloured. It’s a fly you can almost bank on to bring fish to the net on tough days.
This was one of the first river jigs I tied when I started fly tying. It’s a deadly pattern for sure! The French Nymph is one of the main ‘go too’ patterns when fishing a euro set up and is one I use all year round—even when fishing for grayling! I tend to tie it in a range of sizes from #14s right down to #20s. This meaning it works well anywhere on your cast.
Love them or hate them, the squirmy worm is an extremely effective fly to use. You’ll find that its great fly when the river is dropping from a flood and is colored. This is mainly because during the high-water worms will be dredged up from the banks of the river. The trout just can’t resist this controversial pattern!
This super simple fly— tied with an all black dubbed body and a CDC tail with a strip of flash—is a great fly for coloured water early in the season. When fishing in coloured water, try opting for a duller and darker fly. You should also make sure the flies are heavy enough in order to get them down, fast, to the fish that are on the bottom with their heads down!
My Top 10 Jig Patterns for Trout
The flies I’ve picked out above are my top 10 jig patterns for trout. While there are many others I fish as well, these are my confidence patterns. Be sure to take a look at our whole Tactical fly range at Fulling Mill where you’ll find a flies for all your fishing adventures! Tied, tested and proven fish catchers! If you tie yourself, have a go at some of these patterns and try them on your local trout streams.
To read more from Phillippa, you should check out some of her other articles on the blog. From tying tips to river fishing tactics, she shares a wealth of information.