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The 7 must-have flies for trout anglers in the West

FlyGuys.net

The magnificent 7

Keep yourself busy this winter by restocking your fly boxes with these essential western trout patterns

LETORT HOPPER

LETORT HOPPER

No fly vest is complete without some sort of hopper, and the Letort is a classic dating back to 1960. The head can make this fly a bit challenging for the novice to tie, but once you master spinning deer hair, it’s fairly simple. I have a real affinity for big cutthroat trout, and this highly buoyant fly is ideal for fishing the fast-flowing freestone rivers that cutties call home. As August rolls around, terrestrials become a major food source for trout in these rivers. If you cast a Letort Hopper close to the bank and allow it to drift freely downstream, it’s usually not long before a greedy cutthroat inhales it.

While the Letort is a near-perfect hopper imitation, in a pinch it can also be used to imitate a big caddisfly. It can even be fished wet to make a serviceable minnow imitation. There are certainly better caddis- and minnow-imitators, but if the Letort is all you have, it will work.

HOOK: Dry fly, 2XL, sizes 10 to 16

BODY: Light olive dry-fly dubbing

UNDERWING: Turkey wing fibres

OVERWING: Deer hair

HEAD: Spun deer hair

THREAD: 6/0 Yellow

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