Best Brown Fly Patterns

Brindle Chute

A go-to Missoula fly in spring and fall. The mixed dubbing body and dyed grizzly hackle makes this fly incredibly attractive to the fish. Developed on the Bitterroot River, this fly works on the Blackfoot River, Clark Fork River and Rock Creek. The Brindle Chute is also an excellent searching pattern, and we find a lot of people using it instead of the Purple haze when prospecting.

Fly Tying Material List

  • Hook:  Standard Dry Fly Hook Size12-14
  • Thread:  Danville Flymaster 70D Orange
  • Wing Post:  White Calf Tail or Body Hair
  • Tail:  Elk Mane
  • Body: Dubbing blended with 2 parts Hare’s Ear, 1 part Olive, 1 part Orange, 1 part Sparkle Olive, 1 part Sparkle Orange, 1 part Sparkle Gold
  • Hackle:  Grizzly dyed Golden Brown

Parachute Hare’s Ear

There is something about Hare’s Ear that catches fish. This fly is just about the perfect color of the March Brown, and is one of our most reliable spring flies. The low floating parachute profile allows the natural buggyness of the Hare’s Ear to get into the surface film, allowing the mixed colors and fur textures to be seen by the trout. This stuff works, which is why it’s been around for at least 500 years!!!!

Fly Tying Material List

  • Hook: Standard Dry Fly Hook Size 12-14
  • Thread: Brown Danville Flymaster 70D Tan
  • Wing Post: White Calf Tail or Body Hair
  • Tail: Elk Body Hair
  • Body: Hare’s Ear Dubbing
  • Rib: Brown Floss
  • Hackle: Grizzly Hackle

Parachute Pheasant Tail

Pheasant tail is a fish catching machine, whether its sub surface or floating. The Parachute PT has that lifelike movement in the body that fish can’t resist. The parachute style makes sure the body is in the film, so the trout get a good look at it. This is also a good searching pattern late in the season, and has been effective during the March Brown and Mahogany hatch in Montana.

Fly Tying Material List

  • Hook: Standard Dry Fly Size 10-12
  • Thread: Brown 70D Danville Flymaster
  • Wing Post: White Calf Tail or Calf Body
  • Tail: Dark
  • Rib: XS Copper Wire
  • Body: Pheasant Tail Fibers wrapped
  • Hackle: Dark Dun

Carnage Western March Brown

The Carnage March Brown is a great representation of this thick mayfly. The extended body provides a great silhouette to the trout, while the foam helps keep it on the surface. The Carnage Series of flies, designed by Adam Trina, float well and perform better, due to the naturally tapering body.

Fly Tying Material List

  • Hook:  2XS Dry Fly Hook size 12-14
  • Thread: Tan 70D Danvile Flymaster
  • Tail:  Light Elk Mane
  • Body: .5mm White Foam wrapped and colored with Brown Magic Marker
  • Wing Post:  Mixed Brown and Gray Widow’s Web
  • Legs: 3 Strands Black Krystal Flash
  • Thorax:   Mixed Orange and Olive Dubbing
  • Hackle:  Grizzly dyed Golden Brown

Umpqua Pheasant Tail Tungsten Jig

The Pheasant tail is a great imitation for the March Brown, and the jig style makes it better. The tungsten gets it to the trout faster, while the inverted hook minimizes snagging on the bottom. If you get excited, treat the CDC with Frogs fanny. It adds a lot of sparkle to a sub-surface fly. The down side? You need to redress about every 3-4 casts to keep the CDC dry and holding air bubbles.

Fly Tying Material List

  • Hook:  Daiichi 4640 Size 12-14
  • Bead:  Slotted Copper Tungsten Bead matched to hook size
  • Thread:  Brown 6/0 Danville Flymaster (70D)
  • Rib:  Copper Wire
  • Tail/Body:  Pheasant Tail Fibers
  • Wing case:  Pearlescent Mylar Tinsel
  • Thorax:  Peacock Herl
  • Hackle:  Brown CDC wrapped

Epoxy Back Rubberleg Pheasant Tail Nymph

A strong imitation for the March Brown. The Rubberlegs provide excellent action, while the shiny, bulbous wingcase provides a trigger for striking. If you choose to tie this fly, old school says use epoxy on the wing case, but if you’re moving with the times, UV Resin gives the same affect. A lot faster!

Fly Tying Material List

  • Hook:  Standard 1XL Nymph Hook Size 12-14
  • Bead:  Gold Bead to match hook size
  • Thread:  Brown 6/0 danville Flymaster (70D)
  • Rib:  Copper Wire
  • Tail/Abdomen:  Pheasant Tail Fibers
  • Wing Case: Single Strand Pearlescent Flash-A-Bou over Brown Thin Skin. Coated
  • Thorax:  Peacock Herl
  • Legs:  Tan Barred White Round Rubber Leg

Additional March Brown Resources