On most productive trout streams, the food menu throughout the year can be intimidating. From the big three aquatic insects (mayflies, caddisflies, and stoneflies), to crustaceans, terrestrials, midges, and even other fish. Just walk into any Western fly shop and you will see an overwhelming amount of fly bins, all filled with different imitations. One often overlooked food source that you will rarely find in your local fly shop is a crane fly pattern.
Adult crane flies have an appearance similar to a giant mosquito. As a larva, they look like a large grub. These large grubs live in the soft soil located along river banks. During periods of increasing flows, they often become dislodged and offer a big meal to opportunistic fish. Trout definitely seem to remember this large larva as I started to fish them outside of periods with high water and continued to experience success.
When fishing for trout, especially pressured fish, doing something different can often result in a hook up. Don’t just use the flies that every other fisherman is casting. There are a few crane fly nymph patterns that are commercially sold, but for you tiers, it is an easy fly to create your own pattern, just remember to tie it big and use plenty of underbody weight! As your local trout stream swells up with runoff, give a crane fly pattern a try, you wont be disappointed!
Other Trout Food Sources: