Trout Flies By Gary Lafontaine

I have always loved the writing of Gary Lafontaine. The first post I ever wrote for this blog was about his theory of color attraction.

I have read a lot of books about fly fishing and fly tying, but Trout Flies Proven Patterns by Gary Lafontaine is one of my favorites.

Trout Flies Proven Patterns

Published in 1993, this book discusses 62 patterns that Lafontaine and his team of fly designers developed through on-stream trial and error. The patterns include streamers, wet flies, nymphs, emergers, and dry flies.

For each patterns, Lafontaine explains how the fly was developed and what purpose it was designed to fill. Then he gives the recipe for the fly and the steps used to tie it. Finally, he completes each entry with an excerpt from his personal fishing logs. These entries tell where, when, and under what conditions each of these patterns proved themselves.

Some of the 62 patterns described are well known like the Buzzball and the Emergent Sparkle Pupa. Some are kinda goofy looking. All of them were designed with a specific purpose in mind.

Lafontaine’s Buzzball

For the Buzzball, Lafontaine’s log entry comes from April 16, 1991 on the Missouri River. He describes how he and Bill Fortune stalked six miles of river near the Dearborn confluence headhunting for 20+ inch trout using a size 14 Buzz Ball. They ended up finding and catching four big ones.

Buzzbal trout fly


The log entries alone make this book a pleasure to read. However, I find the theory behind each fly to be the most interesting part of the book.

If you like to read about fly fishing or are a fly tyer, you may want to track down a copy. I bet you will like it too.

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