Discover the Sportfish Team’s Favourite Fishing Flies

Discover the Sportfish Team’s Favourite Fishing Flies

Sportfish Teams Top Fishing Flies

If you just had one pattern of fly at your disposal with which you just ‘had’ to catch a fish, which one would you choose? That is the question we put to various members of the team. Their replies and chosen fishing flies make for very interesting reading…


Chris Ryan
For me it has to be the Green Butt Cascade. Every successful salmon fly features either black, orange or yellow as its main colours and this cascade pattern has all three in equal measures! The addition of the green butt appears to improve the fly by giving it a target feature. A fantastic fly when there are fresh fish around. I find that in steamy water it works best if tied with a loop at the front as this seems to give the long tail fabulous movement. This fly has been lucky for me in Ireland, Russia, Canada and Norway – so far!

Danny North
My favourite fly for small stillwater trout lakes has to be the Blue Damsel Nugget because it is just so consistent. Fish it on a fairly long leader of around 12ft with a 6lb point, and vary the retrieval speed, try a figure of eight or, if in the chasing mood, a faster retrieve.

Blue Damsel Nugget
Blue Damsel Nugget

Steve Hunt
Catching your biggest ever fish on it is a good enough reason for a fly to become your favourite and having tempted a 34lb salmon for me from the lower Kharlovka on the Atlantic Salmon Reserve my choice is the Mikael Frodin Classic Micro Tube Willie Gunn

Chris Hayward
It has to be a Superglue Buzzer for me – 80% of a trout’s diet is buzzers, so give them one! Fish it on the breeze and let it swing around for perfect presentation.

Jonathan Tomlinson
For the salt it just has to be the Homer Shrimpson, and not just because I created it! This general, suggestive shrimp pattern was initially designed as a permit fly but it catches everything including bonefish, tarpon, barracuda and GTs, in fact there really isn’t much out there that won’t eat it and it has worked at every location I have used it.

Homer Shrimpson
Homer Shrimpson

Robin Elwes
For me it is a Gold Head Pheasant Tail Nymph – ideally a size 16. Fished ‘klink and dink’ style success is usually on the cards!

Matthew Holden
I like flies that offer some action and tried and tested for me are either a Blue Flash Damsel or a Hot Orange Damsel.

NEW VIDEO: Sportfish friend and England Youth International Ben Beckwith, takes you through how to tie the Diawl Bach fly (in this case a hot head version), which is a general suggestive nymph pattern for stillwaters and reservoirs.

Jonathan Randall
OK, so boobies may not be the most traditional of patterns, and I’m at risk of upsetting the purists, but they really are one of the most successful patterns of all time!

Campbell Thomson
Mikael Frodin’s classic Willie Gunn is the fly for me. It’s a traditional pattern that has accounted for literally thousands of fish and you can use it with every chance of success on any river from Scotland to Russia and beyond. An out-and-out winner!

Mikael Frodin’s classic Willie Gunn
Mikael Frodin’s classic Willie Gunn

Ian Welch
To finish off, and as someone who fishes for pike more than trout or salmon, my choice is the Perch Special Pike Fly. A reliable pattern with great movement that has taken a few big ‘snappers’ for me over the years.



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