10 Must Have BC Trout Flies for Lakes

BC Interior lake season is usually in full swing from late-April to late-October, and one of the most common questions we get asked is "Which flies do I bring up this weekend?". Although there are some flies that seem to work better in lakes at certain times of the year, these 10 MUST HAVE fly patterns should adorn every fly anglers box in a variety of sizes and colours.


Folk lore has it that John Kent designed this fly during his tenure at Tunkwa Lake. Whatever it's origin, it is a go to fly on pretty much any BC lake. They work well both trolled, and cast and stripped.


When fish are picking off chironomids higher up in the water column, chromies are a must.

Ice Cream Cone

Most die-hard anglers will have these in a broad range of colours (red, black, grey, green, olive, and brown to name a few) and sizes - from an 18 scud style to a 10 in a curved nymph hook. Starting off with a black silver rib, in a size 16 or 14 curved style nymph, should get you going.


Second only to chironomids, scuds make up a huge portion of a trout's diet. They work really well cast, and then retrieved in short bursts. It's also a good pattern to troll slooooooooooooowly in a row boat, pontoon, or kick boat.

Micro Leech

Aka. Micro, minnie, dazzle, etc. etc. There's a lot of debate over the actual tying method for this fly, so you may find it either with a marabou body or with a picked out dubbed body. These can mimic almost every nymph in BC stillwaters including damsels, dragons, leeches, mayflies, and caddis.

Wooly Bugger

Much like the Pumpkinhead and Micro Leech, Wooly Buggers are an excellent example of a fly that looks like nothing specific, but looks like pretty much any nymph you need it to.

Doc Spratley

Designed nearly 70 years ago to represent a stillwater caddis, they come in a variety of colours and sizes.

Stillwater Nymph

Designed by Denny Rickard, this is a super effective pattern for representing scuds or leeches. It's super buggy and super fishy. Many an epic day have been spent with this fly alone.

Pheasant Tail Nymph (aka PTN)

When the mayflies are hatching, a PTN is a must. Typically mayflies hatch early afternoon through to the evening, with trout feeling less threatened picking off the nymphs before they emerge. When you see a few adults on the water and the odd rolling fish, try using a floating line with long leader, cast out, let it sink a bit, and then strip in super slowly. They are also super effective when twitched close to the bottom, or cast to the outer rings caused by rising fish.

Elk Hair Caddis

Nothing can get an angler's heart racing faster than a dry fly taken off the surface. Come late June the sedge / caddis start coming off and trout simply lose their collective minds.