Flies for stillwater


New Member
One thing I am having a hard time with still is knowing what kinds of flies to tie and size for still water. I have books but I feel clueless as to what to tie. I know a lot of this will come through experiance and trial and error but I would like to be able to utilize winter to be able to tie.

Big E

Active Member
chironomids, nymphs, and streamers, midges, BWOs, terrestrials.

You should be able to find some hatch charts for the area you'll be fishing in to give you a more specific idea.

A lot depends on what you are targeting, what time of year, what kind of fishing you want to do (ie chiro vs trolling streamers) and where you are at.

For me, I plan on targeting bass early in the year and tying accordingly.

For trout...buggers and nymphs are my main ties.


Indi "Ira" Jones
Chironomids size 12 and 14, bead head with multi colored bodies and ribs with a focus on black/silver, red/silver, brown/copper, olive/silver or swap any of the ribs with red. Use antron out the top of the bead for gills and peacock herl for thorax.

After that tie buggers, carey buggers, leeches and damsels. Try black, brown, olive white for your buggers and leeches. If you do this you'll be pretty much set, but others will soon chime in as well.



Active Member
Leech/bugger patterns are always a safe bet, they'll catch fish year round. Also the style of fly that Steve tied on sat. is called the Carey, tie them in olive, brown, and red. They are good producers as is the six-pack which is a "skinny" Carey style fly.
A completely different style of flies and fishing of course are the chironomids. A great winter pattern and good producer is the blood worm, easy to tie and fish. Many will fish a blood worm in combo with another chirono.
On a different take, tie up a few yellow soft hackles and small hares ears (sz 16). Trail them 24 " behind a leech, bugger, or Carey on your sinking line. A large and small fly combo will usually find some fish if your are trolling or casting and retrieveing.


Indi "Ira" Jones
Listen to troutpocket, he has a nice stillwater fly box, I covet it everytime I see it. Although I did notice that he left off the chironomids, big NO NO!


I usually get away with "bigger" flies for stillwater. I fish mostly #14 and #12 for chironomids (in lots of colors, but especially "chromie, and black and red rib) 14 and 12 for scuds in olive, gray and brown, 14 and 12 for callibaetis.

#10 and #8 are my best leech sizes.

#12 for damsels

I fish 70% of the time with an intermediate line, 29% of the time with a floating line and indicator, and 1% with a deep 7.


New Member
Thanks for the suggestions. I appreciate it.

when fishing two flies together, Do you connect both tippets to the leader or????? How do you prevent them from tangling?
A lot of what you tie is dependant on how you like to fish. If sitting and staring at a bobber then chrinomids and scuds work well. though it is not my cup of tea.

Nymph patterns are of primary importance!!! Damsel and dragon fly nymphs are always a good choice and there are many representative patterns to choose from. And in this group I would add Carey Specials, thin body style in green and orange. Pat's Stonefly is a good thing to have in your box.

There are what I would reffer to as meat patterns, bait fish imitations like a Muddler Minnow, double bunnies and leeches and some small crayfish patterns can be useful.

Soft hackles are just darned good flies to have in your box. Fish them in the surface film or down deep and work up. They can range in size from a 10 to an 18, with 12's and 14's being the most used sizes. The essentials for me are, partridge and peacock, partridge and orange, partridge and brown, partridge and green. In this category I would include the fuzzy flymphs which can be incredibly effective.

Seldom do I fish a dry fly as a dry fly, but rather fish them wet, drowned in the surface film. March Browns, Royal Coachman and an Adams are good bets sizes from a 10 to 16.

Both! Chironomids can be fished deeper with a sink tip and trolled extremely, extremely slow or with a strike indicator with floating line and adjusting the length of your leader.

When dishing chironamids... do you use a floating line or sink tip??? or???

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
When dishing chironamids... do you use a floating line or sink tip??? or???
When I am in a relatively shallow location I will dish chironomids via a floating line and indicator, or by greasing up the leader to the depth I want to dangle the bug. I don't have any of those fancy indicators that slide down, so this pretty much limits my dept to a bit more than the length of the rod I'm using.
When I'm fishing a location that is deeper I'll present the chironimid straight down, full sinking line, no indicator and sort of high stick the bug. Both take patience. The indicator watching is less fun, unless there are tons of takes, brown bottles in play and company. The indicator free method can have some really violent takes as, I guess, cruising fish just hammer your bug as they motor by. I have had pretty awesome days once I find the depth the fish are cruising and what basic size/coloration of bug they are eating.

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