We all develop a preference for certain fly patterns over the years, whether you are fly fishing for smallstream trout on the Smalblaar or whether you are targeting 20lbs Tigerfish in the Zambezi. It’s a matter of personal taste in some cases and it might not even be relevant to the success of the pattern. It might just be because of it’s looks, action, imitation aspects or for whichever reason. Sometimes flies catch more people than fish.

If you have confidence in your flies (and other equipment), you will catch fish. I think confidence is sometimes the difference between catching fish and going home empty handed. If you have a lack of trust in the fly at the end of your tippet you might as well have went with your wife to that craft market.

Here are some of my favourite smallstream flies that I almost always tie onto my leader. Not all at the same time though…

Oh yes, and they aren’t just a pretty face, they lash fish as well!

Mercury Soft Hackle


#14 Knapek Nymph
Hungarian Partridge feather
Black thread
Red thread
Silver Wire
Glass bead

Frenchie (Hot Spot PTN)


#14 Knapek Nymph
Brown pheasant feather
Orange thread
Orange sparkle dubbing
Silver Wire
Tungsten bead

Mini Hopper


#12 Grip barbless dry fly
Brown sparkle dubbing
Brown thread
Brown rubber legs
Brown foam
Elk hair
Orange egg yarn

Black Flashback Mayfly Nymph


#14 Knapek Nymph
Black pheasant feather
Black thread
Black squirrel dubbing
Saltwater flash
Silver Wire
Tungsten bead

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