3 Top Salmon Fly Patterns

Having the right fly during the salmon fly hatch can be everything!

The big hatch is less than a month away and it’s time to be stocking up on your favorite Salmon Fly patterns for the Deschutes River. There are countless patterns to imitate the giant stone fly and golden stones, but having the right one at the right time can be priceless. When we fish the Deschutes River in Oregon these insect hatches are often overlapping. Fly size and preference is often predicated on the more abundant insect. Stages of the hatch will also play a role as well as the weather which impacts the movement of these giant double-winged critters.


Chubby Chernobyl tricks yet another trout!

#1 Top Favorite- Chubby Chernobyl

This foam bodied fly is an all time favorite of many fly anglers on the Deschutes because it is such an effective pattern. This fly has moves and movement is often the vital ingredient during the early and mid-hatch stages. Salmon flies are very active, crawling, flying and crashing into the water all the time. When they hit the water they flutter their wings and skitter their legs aggressively to get back to shore. This movement can be hard to imitate but the Chubby Chernobyl comes closer than most any pattern. Antron yarn wings flutter and move in the Deschutes canyon winds and the rubber legs are constantly vibrating imitating life. Add in the foam body that floats like a cork and this pattern is deadly. Try this pattern in all the colors but sizes 6 and 8 seem to work best. Caveat: this pattern is often over-used and many anglers are throwing it, if your getting refusals or worse yet no results switch flies.


The MFFR is a deadly all around producer. Works when there are salmon flies and golden stones on the water.

#2 Top Favorite- Josh Linn’s MFFR

This pattern is like a cross between the classic stimulator pattern and a sofa pillow. The beauty of this one is it has a foam underbody. Color the foam with a black sharpie to get a darker stone look and trim the under hackles flat to get it to balance with perfection. This fly floats and fishes extremely well. This fly has all the right colors and shape to be a consistent producer and we like it best in a size 4. Designed and tied by our favorite buddy at Royal Treatment Fly Shop- aka the Fly Czar, Josh Linn. Order some here.

The Clarks Stone is an old favorite that is killer at just the right times!

#3 Top Favorite- Clark’s Stone

The salmon fly hatch goes through a cycle from start to finish the activity of these big insects changes as the cycle progresses. From mid-hatch to the end of the hatch your likely to see salmon flies lying still on the surface, exhausted from egg laying. These bugs are nearing the end of their lifecycle and are an easy meal for big trout. This is when the Clark’s Stone excels. This pattern lays flat on the surface, has just the right colors and looks like an easy meal. Try this pattern in a size 8 or 10. This is the go-to pattern when other flies stop bringing results.

The explosive take of a trout smashing a giant stone fly or a golden stone on the surface is sometimes a shocking and spray throwing moment. Try these top favorite patterns to find success on your next trip.

If you want to see the tricks the guides use and find more success on your outings join us for a guided fly fishing trip.  See more at: www.watertimeoutfitters.com 

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