The 10 Most Popular Brook Trout Flies of All Time

by Darby @ Fly Fish And Camp | Last Updated: April 10, 2020

Brook Trout are some of the most entertaining fish to catch.  They put up a good fight and always taste incredible cooked over a fire.  But what are the best Brook Trout flies of all time?

Brook Trout can be caught on a variety of different flies, including, streamers, dry flies and nymphs.  There are surely more flies out there that you could use, but those are the most standard for catching Brookies.

Here are the 10 Most Popular Brook Trout Flies of All Time

Brook Trout eat a variety of meals.  When fly fishing them, be prepared with plenty of flies on hand – it might take a couple flies to start hitting them.  If you get to your secret fishing hole to find out that the fish aren’t biting, they probably won’t for the rest of the day, on that particular fly.

In that case, change it up.

Each and every fly on this list is going to catch a lot of Brook Trout in one location or the other.  One fly might not work here, but might be a killer in another location.  It’s all about having a wide variety of flies so you aren’t going home empty handed.

Let’s get into it.

Most Popular Dry Flies For Brook Trout

Elk Hair Caddis

This is a picture of the elk hair caddis fly.

Elk Hair Caddis

The Elk Hair Caddis Fly is one of the most productive dry flies for Brook Trout.  It resembles little Caddis Flies and Stoneflies, both of which are Brook Trout meals.

This fly will catch fish throughout most of the year, but it will be most successful during a hatch.  A hatch is when flies are transitioning from the early stages of life, to an adult.  These flies gather in large groups on the water, resulting in a lot of Brook Trout gathered in the same location.  If you find yourself a hatch, throw an Elk Hair Caddis fly into the water and you’ll probably have something on the line shortly thereafter.

Bottom line, there is a reason that many Brook Trout anglers keep an Elk Hair Caddis fly in their box, it works.


Related Article: Elk Hair Caddis Fly: Everything You Need To Know To Catch More Fish

Parachute Adams

Parachute Adams Dry Fly – Cross Currents

I don’t think that this list for the most popular brook trout flies would be complete without the Parachute Adams dry fly.  It is a tried and true fly that has consistently attracted trout for just under a hundred years.

It imitates an adult Mayfly, Flying Caddis or Midge.  Brook Trout are keen to each of those bugs, making this fly a tasty snack.

Personally the Parachute Adams is one of my favorite dry flies that I use for Brook Trout (or any trout for that matter) and is usually one of my first fly choices, many times my only fly choice for that day.


Chernobyl Ant

Chernobyl Ant Fly – TCO Fly Fishing

The Chernobyl Ant has grown in popularity in the past years as one of the best Brook Trout flies.  It uses a combination of string and foam to create an absolute killer of a fly.  It’s definitely an unorthodox style of fly, but the trout eat em up!

I like to throw a couple of these in my fly box before I head out fly fishing.  If the Brookies aren’t interested in all of the other fly classics, I’ll toss this one on for a bit of a change up.


Related Article: Parachute Adams Dry Fly

Pale Morning Dun

Pale Morning Dun Fly – The Fly Stop

The Pale Morning Dun is a great dry fly for Brook Trout.  It resembles an early stage of a Mayfly and the trout love em.  This fly has been very popular with fly fishermen for awhile now and deserves a spot as one of the best.

It’s a very simple design, but very effective.  Especially during a hatch.  If you are not carrying this fly with you during the Spring or Fall (hatch seasons) you are leaving a lot on the table.

I always carry a couple of Pale Morning Dun flies out on the river when I’m fishing for Brook Trout, who knows when I might need something a little bit different for the fish!


Most Popular Streamers For Brook Trout

Wooly Bugger

Wooly Bugger Fly – Orvis

The Wooly Bugger has been a classic streamer for Brook Trout for quite some time now.  This fly is typically my go to, when I realize that the Brookies aren’t eating the dry flies.

The Wooly Bugger is a streamer so it’s going to dip under the water, rather than to floating like a dry fly.  It imitates a variety of meals including nymphs, leeches, minnows, crawfish and more.  It’s extremely versatile and can be used throughout the year.

The Wooly Bugger is going to catch Brook Trout, especially when the other flies are leaving you empty handed.  Do yourself a favor and pick some up.


Related Article: 5 Rainbow Trout Flies That Are Going To Catch More Fish

Muddler Minnow

Muddler Minnow Fly – The Fly Fishing Shop

The Muddler Minnow originated in 1936, by a guy named Don Gapen.  His sole intention of the fly was to create a fly that would catch a lot of Brook Trout.  Nearly a century later, his fly still stands true as one of the best Brooky flies.

The Muddler Minnow imitates a wide variety of food for Brook Trout including crickets, grasshoppers, Mayflies and more.  All of which are very popular Brook Trout meals.

The Muddler Minnow is overall extremely popular amongst fly anglers alike.   It’s been a classic for a while now, it gets the job done.



Slumpbusters Fly – Dry Fly Online

The Slumpbusters fly is relatively new in the fly fishing world, but it’s still one of the most popular Brook Trout flies amongst fly anglers.

This streamer is big and heavy so it pushes a lot of water – you’ll probably want to run a slightly heavier setup with this fly.  But if you do, this fly can and will produce the Brook Trout.

The Slumpbusters imitates a Dragonfly Nymph.  Dragonfly Nymphs are little nuggets of joy for a Brook Trout.

This streamer has grown very popular in the past several years for a good reason, it’s one of the best Brook Trout producers on the market.  Give the fish what they want!


Most Popular Nymphs For Brook Trout

Pheasant Tail Nymph

Pheasant Tail Nymph – Bighorn Flies

The Pheasant Tail nymph is one of the oldest and most original nymphs that on the market.  To this day, it’s still one of the most popular nymphs for Brook Trout.  It imitates larvae that the trout feed on.

The Pheasant Tail works very well when its placed near Brook Trout beds, lowered and then slowly brought back up to the surface.  This resembles a natural larvae or insect movement and the Brookies can’t help but fall for it.

The Pheasant Tail Nymph is one of the most appreciated trout flies by fly fishermen.  It can produce the fish when the others can’t.


Related Article: Pheasant Tail Nymph: Everything You Need To Know To Catch More Fish

Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear

Gold Ribbed Hair’s Ear Nymph – Camping World

The Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear Nymph an extremely popular trout fly.  They are absolute machines on the river – especially for Brook Trout.  I would be doing the fly fishing community a disservice if I did not include this nymph on my list of the most popular flies for Brook Trout.

It imitates a variety of different insects, including the Mayfly.  Since it’s a nymph (wet fly), it can be very lucrative under the surface when the typical Parachute Adams or other classic dry flies aren’t working.

I’d recommend carrying some nymphs in your Brook Trout fly box this season, they work!


Zebra Midge

Zebra Midge Fly – Tactical Fly Fisher

The Zebra Midge is a very small but deadly fly in Brook Trout streams.  When it drops under the water, the Brookies can’t resist themselves.  It imitates a Midge pupa and other small insects.

The Zebra Midge works very well when the trout are feeding higher up in the water.  As a matter of fact, I would suggest not using this nymph when the Brook Trout are in deeper water.  These flies don’t drop very deep into the water.

Bottom line although, there’s no reason not to have a couple of these little nymphs in your fly box.


Related article: Ranking The Most Popular Trout Dry Flies of All Time 

Those are the most popular flies for Brook Trout of all time.

Regardless of what Brook Trout flies you decide to fish with, all of these will be killers.  A lot of Brook Trout fishing is about finding the right fly, for the right situation.  Hence the wide variety of flies on the list.

There’s no such thing as the perfect fly for every situation, that’s why there are hundreds of flies available for purchase!  My suggestion to you is get a couple of different styles of Brook Trout flies and include them all to your collection.

At the end of the day, it’s all about getting on the water and enjoying the outdoors!  I hope this article helped you in your Brook Trout fly fishing experiences.  Best of luck and tight lines my friend!