5 Terrestrial Flies for Brook Trout

Big brook trout constantly feed and these fly patterns are great to try to attract them.

Brook trout can grow to epic proportions in Ontario’s North. They truly are one of Mother Nature’s most amazing works when it comes to the colour, mottling, and overall beauty of the fish. We’d be hard-pressed to find another freshwater fish that matches the colour of a pre-spawn brookie! Along with being spectacularly gorgeous, they also have an attitude that is 100% boss! Big brook trout get big because they feed like crazy, and also have to live amongst some pretty big adversaries such as northern pike. 

Brookies will, more often than not jump on an opportunity for a big protein meal and when you’re presenting dry flies or terrestrials to brook trout—so don’t be afraid to go big. . .really big! 

Here are the best terrestrial flies for brook trout. 

Mouse Patterns

Mice are a staple of a brook trout’s diet spring through freeze-up in the fall. A wayward mouse frantically swimming on a lake or in a river is a morsel big brook trout simply won’t pass up. One of our favourite mouse patterns is a Moorish Mouse. Fished frantically on the surface, the blow-up explosions inflicted on these flies are incredible. 


Chernobyl Ant

A foam floater, a chubby Chernobyl ant is an excellent fly to target big brook trout on surface. Fished either dead drifted or skated, these big flies will catch the attention of brookies. They are also buoyant enough that if the fish are negative or acting picky, anglers can add a dropper nymph or jig fly underneath to trigger an eat. 


Goddard Caddis

This large bug imitation can be rigged either as a traditional terrestrial fly (fly tied onto hook) or as a tube fly (where the hook is trailing the body). Both presentations are deadly for brook trout. Fishing them skated frantically on the surface of the water will bring fish in from afar! This is a large pattern, easily visible to the angler which is important if long casts are required. 


Dave’s Hopper

When the wind blows, it’s Hopper time! Hapless hoppers are often demolished by brook trout as they are blown into the water and float helplessly into the yaps of hungry fish. Many times, these flies are fished best dead drifted with the slightest movement every once in a while. Anglers may have to experiment with body colour and body size to emulate what the fish are eating naturally, but once dialled in, hang on because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. 

Dave's hopper

The Gurgler

This large terrestrial fly doesn’t really mimic anything. It’s an attention grabber. Fished as erratic as possible, the mojo with fishing the gurgler is to make as much commotion and noise as you can all the while allowing the fly to “rest” for a few seconds before it flees once again. This is a very effective fly pattern for brook trout as well as most any other fish that has fins, swims and is wet. 

About Mark Melnyk

Currently, Mark is the host and producer of The New Fly Show. With a passion of fly fishing, the shows goal is to help both novice and veteran fly fishers everywhere by giving them a top-quality fly fishing series that will make them better anglers. 

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