Best Brown Trout Flies for Spawning Season


This weekend was the opening weekend of this year’s big game hunting season.  For most of us it’s one of the best weekends of the year.  The only problem with it is that it always falls during some of the best streamer fishing of the entire fishing season.

So for those of you who don’t hunt, or if you ended up getting lucky and killed an elk on opening day, strap on your waders and go on a hunt for some of the world’s most epic browns during brown trout spawning season.

Every fall big spawning browns begin to move up smaller tributary streams.  Right now there seem to be a lot of them making this journey.

We have seen some monsters lately, and would like to share with you some of our favorite fall streamer patterns.  In order of best to worst here they are (these brown trout flies all catch a ton of fish though, so don’t worry too much about which one you end up with).

1.  “The Sex Dungeon” – Ya, we know this name is great, but this pattern is flat out nasty.  It has two hooks, and whole lot of fishy action.  It is articulated which gives the fly more room to move around through the water, giving it a much more realistic look.  Try it.  It is tough to cast but the harder you slam it into the water the better.



2.  “The Sparkle Minnow” –  This fly is a favorite up on the Missouri by Craig.  It is smaller in size, but it will get the job done.  It also comes in a few different colors, all of which catch fish.  If you are on any other river than the Blackfoot, try the black and purple version first.  If you are on the Blackfoot, fish the white version.



3.  “The Sculpzilla”-  This fly is famous in Montana and many of you have probably tried it already.  Fish the small size.  Some of the bigger ones can be a little tough to work with and they just don’t seem to fish as well.  Fish the black or olive version.

All of these patterns can be found at your local Missoula fly shop, and they are worth buying.  You will not be disappointed.  Good luck out there!


Enjoy this blog? Please leave comments in the Facebook commenting box below and be sure to click the +1 button.   Be sure to visit our Make it Missoula fishing page.  And Check out Matt and Bryce’s other blogs: Fly Fishing…the Comedy of Tragedy,  Fall Fly Fishing in Western MontanaOde to Brown Trout, and  The Four Stages of Fly Fishing.

If you enjoy western Montana lakes and rivers, you might also enjoy our page on Missoula kayaking and rafting.


Photos of Missoula Fly Fishing Experts Matt Devlin and Bryce McLeanBryce McLean:  (Right) I was born and raised in Montana, and have been fly fishing here for almost 20 years.  I first learned to fish on the Missouri River, but when I was 10 my family moved to the Bitterroot Valley. I have been fishing the Bitterroot River ever since.  This will be my second season guiding the Missoula area rivers, which I consider to be some of the best trout fisheries on planet earth. Matt Devlin:  (Left) Matt is originally from Annapolis, Maryland and learned to fool trout on the technical waters of the Gunpowder River.  He has fished in Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Main,e, Michigan, Indiana, North and South Carolina, Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Washington, Idaho and Montana.  He thinks about flies and fishing a whole lot.