5 Favorite Fly Patterns for Lakes

Although most people think of rivers and streams as their native environment, rainbow trout and Lake trout prefer the deeper waters of lakes. Fly fishing in these areas can be challenging, especially with the right technique. This is why it’s important to have a little bit of knowledge about the fly and how to select it.

After a couple of trials and errors and a lot of questions from other guides, I would have to say that Todd's Wiggle Minow is the best fly for lake fishing. This is due to its combination of a high rate of sinking line and a variety of techniques.


1. Todd’s Wiggle Minnow – The Best Overall


Due to the lake trout's tendency to move deep in the water column, they require the use of sinking lines and weighted flies. With a high sink rate line, you can use a count down method to get the fly down deep.

While looking for a reliable fly that would allow me to get deep in the water, I came across the Todd's Wiggle Minnow. This fly is designed for top-water action and features a sinking line that will allow you to move while diving.

While looking for a fly that would allow me to get deep in the water, I came across the Todd's Wiggle Minnow. This particular fly is designed for top-water action and features a sinking line that will allow you to move while diving.

The Wiggle Minnow is available in three different colors, and depending on the type of stain, you can choose an option that will coincide with the colors of the water in the lake that you plan on fishing. If you plan on using clear water, then a pink and green pattern is ideal. On the other hand, if you want to catch more lake trout, you should opt for a stained version.


·Favorite Color: Brown Trout with red and white a close second.

·Favorite Size: 2

·Brand: Umpqua


·Great action

·Simple design that is durable

·Many colors to choose from

·Floats, but this provides action stripping up from the water depths.


·Requires weighted lines to sink.

Overall rating: 5 out of 5

2. Bennett’s Lunch Money – Most Versatile


The Bennett's Lunch Money is a versatile fly that can provide you with a lot of opportunities to catch fish most of the time. Although it isn't the most popular choice for surface fishing, it is still capable of producing a lot of fish. Its dumbbell eyes can help you target areas that are in the water column.

The first iteration of Bennett's Lunch was named "Liano Critter" after the river where the production started. Initially, this fly was tied to the hook using a spun tail and massive legs. Although the white and tan colors worked well with bass, I eventually discovered that this technique works perfectly with trout. You can also try the Craw and Shad patterns for trout.

Although there are various patterns that you can try, most anglers prefer the white and tan design. These are the most simple and effective patterns to use. They also have short rubber legs that can provide you with enough action.


·Favorite Color: Rainbow Trout

·Favorite Size: 2

·Brand: Umpqua


·Available in a wide range of colors

·The legs and hair body create action

·Prominent eyes


·Not ideal for shallow water fishing

Overall rating: 4 out of 5

3. Beadhead Hare’s Ear Nymph Pattern – Best All-Round Nymph Fly

The Hare's Ear is a versatile fly that can be used for lake fishing. It can be cast using a long leader or a multi-fly nymph setup that's below an indicator. This technique often produces a lot of fish.

The Hare's Ear is a traditional fly pattern that you should have in your fly box, and I like to call it a foundational style. This fly can be used for fishing below the surface, and it imitates various aquatic life, such as mayflies, caddis larvae, and scuds.

The design of the Hare’s Ear Nymph Pattern imitates that of an insect's legs. This makes it an effective all-around fly that you can use year-round. Its stiff fibers will stand out when immersed in water, and it can sink without a split-shot.


·Favorite Color: Darker browns with brass beadhead

·Favorite Size: 10 to 16

·Brand: most brands will be good, this is a perfect fly to tie!


·Buggy proven pattern

·Simple and Durable

·Wide range of sizes and weights


·Limited color selections (the traditional color is brown)

Overall rating: 4.2 out of 5

4. Copper John Fly – Best for A Murky Lake


The Copper John is a great choice for fishing in a lake that's heavily discolored. Its lightweight construction and thin profile allow it to sink quickly. It can also be used as a drop-shot in combination with other flies. You can use a larger version during the summer when large flies are available, while a smaller one can be used in the fall and spring.

The Copper John Fly was first tied in Boulder by John Barr in 1993. Although the original design was tied using copper wire, the modern versions are connected using different colored wire, such as green, pink, blue, or even a combination of these. This unique design has undergone numerous changes over the years, and its finalization in 1996.

If you plan on fishing for trout in deep waters, you should consider using the Copper John. This particular fly was created by Barr John in the 1990s. Its modern versions are made with a tungsten bead, which makes this tiny nymph drop quickly in places where you can find fish.


·Favorite Color: Stay traditional with dark brown

·Favorite Size: 14 and 16

·Weight: with tungsten bead

·Material: copper



·Found at most fly shops and online stores

·Easy to tie

·You can use it in a wide range of water conditions



Overall rating: 4.1 out of 5

5. Glo Bug – Best Selling


The design of the Bug is exceptional, which makes it incredibly difficult for the trout to attack. This is why it's a popular choice among anglers. It's also effective during the summer and autumn.

A good choice for salmon and trout is the glu bug, which is a type of fly that imitates the eggs of an insect. It's best to use this technique at the bottom of a lake, where it can easily replicate the eggs that have already broken loose. Some of the most common types of glu bug flies feature a red dot at the center.


·Favorite Color: Chartreuse

·Favorite Sizes: 6 and 8

·Color: Dozens of colors available

·Great for: Salmon, Trout




·It can easily attract trout

·Available in a wide range of color combinations

·It improves your chances of catching something

·Lots of variations available



Overall rating: 4 out of 5


Although lake trout can be fun to fish, you need a different type of fly to get the most out of them. Since they tend to hide deep in their surroundings, you need something that can lure them to the surface. There are a few factors that you should consider when it comes to choosing the best dry fly for lake trout fishing.

Fly Line for Fly Fishing in a Lake

One of the most popular types of fly lines that's commonly used for this type of fishing is the Scientific Anglers Sonar. This is because it has a sink rate of 6 inches per second. After you get close to the bottom, start stripping the line back.

Sinking Rate

When it comes to choosing the best dry fly for lake trout fishing, you need something that can sink quickly and easily to the bottom of the lake. The sinking rate of the material used and the design of the fly are the two factors that you should consider.

How to Figure Out What They’re Feeding On?

Creating a perfect imitation of the fish's feeding behavior will only attract their attention. In addition to the material used, the design and color of the fly should also match the fish's movements.

Before you start fishing for lake trout, it's important that you identify the food that they're looking for. This will allow you to choose the right fly that will attract them. If they're looking for eggs, you should have several patterns that imitate the patterns found in the lake's fish populations.

Should I Use Any Fly When Fishing Lake Trout?

Although lake trout can be hit with various types of flies, the best option when it comes to fishing for them is using a streamer. This type of fly can often land you some of the lake's largest fish.

When Is the Best Time To Fish Lake Trout?

Although lake trout can be caught at any time, I've found that the best time to fish them is in the morning and after sunrise. I've also written a comprehensive article about when to fly fish for rainbow trout.


Although lake trout can be fun to fish, you need a different type of fly to get the most out of them. Since they're an aggressive species, you need to use a streamer to attract them. This type of fly can also help you catch more fish than you expected.

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