Six Essential Flies For The Missouri River

A couple days ago, I was digging through one of my fly tying drawers and I found an old shuttle sheet. The shuttle sheet was dated December 29, 2015. On the back of it were scribbled several lists of six flies. The lists were made by some of the shop staff during a slow winter day in the shop.

The goal was to come up with a list of the six essential flies that you would choose if you could fish only those patterns during a full year of fishing on the Missouri River. The list could include any combination of nymphs, streamers, or dry flies. For each pattern, you could only select a single size (although sizes are not listed below).

Today, several additional staff members contributed their own lists of six essential flies. Below are the lists created by Mark, John, Sara, Ben, Derek, Dewey, Jared, Marty (the one man party), and myself. You’ll notice a fair amount of overlap. In my opinion, it’s pretty hard to argue with anybody’s list. Keep reading to the bottom of the post to learn about this weekend’s Labor Day Fly Sale!

Mark’s Six Essential Flies

  1. Little Green Machine
  2. Rainbow Czech Nymph
  3. Lafontaine’s Buzzball
  4. Guide Chute Adams
  5. Tailwater Sow Bug
  6. Olive Wooly Bugger

John’s Six Essential Flies

  1. Ninch’s Fish Finder Worm Wine
  2. Bloom’s Parachute Flying Ant Rust
  3. Bloom’s M.R.S. Bugger
  4. Stocker’s Lightening Bug
  5. Guide Chute Adams
  6. Killer Bug Oyster

Sara’s Six Essential Flies

  1. Super Chernobyl Royal
  2. Nymen’s DOA Cripple PMD
  3. Translucent Emerger
  4. Quigley’s Midge Cluster
  5. Black Wooly Bugger
  6. Foxee Red Clouser Minnow

Ben’s Six Essential Flies

  1. Delektable Chubbyness Royal
  2. Purple Craze
  3. Stenerson’s CFO Mini Ant Brown
  4. Translucent Emerger
  5. Kraft’s Kreelex Gold/Copper
  6. Not Picture:  Schmidt’s UV2 STS Bugger

Dewey’s Six Essential Flies

  1. Purple Craze Parachute
  2. Mercer’s Missing Link
  3. Delektable Chubbyness UV Cinammon
  4. Nymen’s DOA BWO
  5. Fruit Rollup Leech Olive Haze
  6. Arnold’s Stinger Sculpin Olive

Marty’s (The One Man Party’s) Six Essential Flies

  1. Amex
  2. Zebra Midge
  3. Magic Fly Rusty
  4. Royal Wulff
  5. Parachute Adams
  6. Christmas Tree / Kory’s Grinch

Jared’s Six Essential Flies

  1. Zebra Midge
  2. Tailwater Sow Bug
  3. Rainbow Czech Nymph
  4. Outrigger Caddis Brown
  5. Buzzball
  6. Dali Lama

Derek’s Six Essential Flies

  1. Zebra Midge
  2. Tailwater Sow Bug
  3. Little Green Machine
  4. UV2 Caddis Tan
  5. Parachute Adams
  6. Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow Sculpin

Braden’s Six Essential Flies

  1. Rainbow Czech Nymph
  2. Little Green Machine
  3. Purple Craze
  4. Chubby Chernobyl Royal
  5. Kraft’s Kreelex Gold/Copper
  6. Not Picture:  Stocking Wing Caddis UV Tan

50% Off All Flies This Weekend!

All of our flies will be 50% off this Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. If you need to stock up on any of the flies mentioned above, or any of the flies that are on your own personal list, now is the time to do it.

What’s On Your List?

We would love to know what six flies are on your own list. Once you start thinking about it, you will see how hard it is to do (especially if you can only have one size of each)!

If you would like to share your own list, we would love to hear your comments!

essential flies, flies, fly sale, fly tying, missouri river
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  • soooooo….yer tellin me i should pack a buzzball, parachute Adams and a Purple Craze?! Don’t see a rusty spinner in thar anywhere.

  • I like Marks picks plus a zebra midge– AmosG

  • Also– Mark and crew— how about picking 6 favs for fishing the Mo in late April, BWO and midge time?–Amos

  • John Mundinger
    September 1, 2017 3:21 pm

    #16 CDC&Elk
    #18 peacock body parachute
    #18 Luv Bug
    #16 Lightning Bug
    #10 parachute stacked hair wing hopper

  • Tan CDC Caddis. PMD spinner. Harrop Cripple (PMD). Parachute Adams. CDC Baetis Emerger. Buzzball.

  • X-caddis.
    Fished as a dry, swung wet, or add a split shot or two and use as a diving egg layer or emerger.
    Zonker. The old school, tied Al Troth/ Del Canty style.
    Zebra. Tied like a …zebra
    Guide chute Adams. Antron tail style
    Buzzball. Covers a lot. And below a bobber with shot it looks like a sowbug/scud.
    Tungsten beadhead Lightningbug looking deal. Because if you don’t have one beadhead fly, people will make fun of you.
    As I noted on Facebook, cut the list to only three essential flies, crank up some loud Iron Butterfly (on vinyl) and have one HELLof a debate until you run out of beer at 2:15 a.m.

  • Harrop Adult Midge (Or Spent–coin flip), CDC BWO Comparadun, Last Chance Cripple BWO, Hi Vis PMD Spinner, Corn Fed Caddis, Hi Vis Trico Spinner. And an ant please. And a rusty. Ok. Done.

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