The Trico hatch is one that tends to intimidate many anglers. Are they eating black or white adults? are the eating emergers? why are they not eating? are questions that I often find myself asking. This summer when I started to see the Tricos dancing across the sky I became more confident in my fly selection and started hooking more fish. The majority of the Trico patterns I fish are beneath the surface. Unless I find a slow pocket with rising trout, I am sinking my Trico Fly Patterns. Even Dry Fly Patterns. Why a trout will ignore a Grasshopper but inhale a size 22 Trico still blows my mind. The one thing I can think of is that Tricos must taste like ice cream. There are numerous Trico Fly Patterns to choose from but the two that I most commonly fish are the sparkle wing RS2 (grey and black) and Trico Spinner (white and black).
The Sparkle Wing RS2 is one of my favorite flies and for some reason it works nearly all the time. In fact if I am struggling on the water the RS2 is one of my go to fly patterns. I tend to trail RS2’s behind an attractor nymph, like a Pats Rubber Leg or Electric Caddis, and fish them light in softer riffles. These flies do very well during the Trico hatch when fish are not feeding on the surface. You can also drop an RS2 below a Stimulator or Hopper and fish them tight to the bank. Be sure to mix up the colors, if Grey is not working try Black. I am still amazed that fish can decipher between the two, but trout will key in on a certain color during a Trico hatch.
The Trico Spinners you will find in the dry fly section of the fly shop but do not be afraid to sink these bad boys. They are light and sparse but will make the bobber jiggle when fished like a nymph. You can also Gink them up and fish them on the surface film for pesky back eddy rollers. Be sure to buy them in white as well as black. While both colors work well, I find that White tends to work better in the Morning while Black works better later in the day. I will fish these Trico Patterns much like the RS2 when nymphing or when tossing dry dropper. If you plan on presenting a Trico Spinner on the surface lighten up your tippet and pair it up with a fly you can see on the surface. A High Viz Griffith Gnat or a Black Parachute Trico is a good one to use so you can see at least one fly on the surface.
We have been seeing a lot of Trico activity along the South Platte River as well as many other drainages across the state. Grab a handful of Trico patterns and go put them to work. We’ll be fishing midges before you know it. See you on the water.