Best Trico Fly Patterns

Ron’s Trico Spinner

Far and away our most popular Trico pattern. Ron’s imitation has been honed by years on the rivers in Missoula, and this fly works. The peacock body adds the perfect bulk and color to the body, while the stripped peacock maintains perfect proportion with realistic coloring. There are a lot of trico patterns available, but the serious trico fishermen in Missoula have a few of Ron’s patterns in their box.

Fly Tying Material List

  • Hook: Hends BL354 Size 18-20
  • Thread: Black 12/0 Benecchi 
  • Tail: 3 White Microfibbets, split
  • Abdomen: Stripped Peacock Quill
  • Wing: White EP Fibers spent
  • Thorax: Peacock Herl from the eye, length almost to the gape of the hook

Hi-Vis Trico Spinner

Not going to lie. Sometimes the Fl. Orange post will cause some fish to shy away. But if it’s a difference of spooking a couple but getting a consistently good drift, we go with good drift! If you think the Orange is too bright, you can always cut it short, or trim some out of the middle. The design is classic parachute, while the post lets you see it. Sometimes it’s nice to fish the tricos with a visible fly.

Fly Tying Material List

  • Hook:  Hends BL354 Size 18-20
  • Thread: Pale Yellow 12/0 Benecchi 
  • Wing Post:  Fl. Orange Antron
  • Tail:  Pale Watery Dun Hackle Fibers
  • Body:  Black Dubbing or Quill Body for added realism
  • Hackle:  Pale watery Dun

Quigley’s Midge Cluster

Trico Fly Pattern Montana

Though called a midge cluster, Quigley’s imitation is a very effective pattern when the hatch is heavy. When there are so many tricos on the water they’re bunching up, the Cluster Midge imitates that clumping. It’s nice because you can use a little bigger hook, as well as having a little better visibility with the full antron wing.

Fly Tying Material List

  • Hook:  Standard Dry Fly Hook Size 16-20
  • Thread:  Black 12/0 benecchi
  • Rear Hackle. Grizzly
  • Rear Third Body:  Peacock Herl
  • Center Body: Pearlescent Tinsel
  • Wing: White Antron
  • Front Hackle:  Grizzly
  • Front Third Body:  Peacock herl

Drowned Trico

This specialty fly is absolute magic when the fish are “smutting”, which means coming close enough to the surface that their backs breaks the water, but aren’t eating on the surface. The Drowned Trico mimics the slightly sunken spinner or adult, and takes those finicky fish. You can drop it off a hi-Viz Trico, or grease your leader to within 6” of the fly. Either will keep at the correct level long enough to cover your targeted fish.

Fly Tying Material List

  • Hook:  1XF, 1XS Curved Shank Hook size 16-18
  • Bead:  Black Nickel 5/64’s or 3/32 depending on hook
  • Thread:  Black 12/0
  • Tail:  Split Light Dun Microfibbets
  • Abdomen:  Claret Biot
  • Wing:  Plastic Wing Sheeting
  • Thorax:  Black Dubbing

Female Trico Comparadun

Trico Fly Pattern Missoula Montana

The Comparadun is always an excellent low floating imitation, and the female version gives you that much more versatility when the tricos are really hatching. If you cut the wing flat on top, this fly will also work as a spinner.

Fly Tying Material List

  • Hook:  Standard Dry Fly Hook Size 18-20
  • Thread:  Pale Yellow 12/0 Benecchi
  • Wing:  Bleached Deer Body Hair
  • Tail:  Split Lt. Dun Hackle Fibers
  • Abdomen:  Cream Biot
  • Thorax:  Black Dubbing

Additional Trico Resources