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Rick Schroeder
"ePiC" - Guest Blogger

Must Have Pattern for Rocky Mountain National Park

Guest Blog by: Rick Schroeder , CO 3/28/2021
Paul Prentiss, posted a blog over at the Front Range Anglers site titled the same… "Must Have Pattern for Rocky Mountain National Park".  In which he lists the Black Fly Larva and gives the original recipe and his modifications.  You can check out his post here.

This has me thinking I bet there are a ton of "Must Have Patterns"  for Rocky Mountain National Park.  Shoot the new book out by Steven Schweitzer called "Fly Fishing Rocky Mountain National Park" has over 100 "effective" flies in it for the park.  Side note:  This is the best fishing book out there for fishing Rocky Mountain National Park, it's a must have.  I too have my must have patterns for the Park.  After all the park mostly holds greenback cutthroat trout which isn't known for being a smart trout, early settlers would boast at how easy it was to catch these fish.  So there are probably several hundred patterns out there that can catch trout there. 

Having fished the park a lot I too have a couple must have patterns, not surprisingly they are my must have patterns for most high mountain lakes.   But in Rocky Mountain National Park if I had to limit it to one pattern I would use a black ant.  I have had many a days where I hit a lake there throwing big hoppers to get no takers… in the summer I love throwing hopper patterns to high country trout.  But after a few spooked fish and a few rejections I have to change tactics to catch these fish.  Out comes my flying black ant pattern.  I cannot take credit for this pattern, I saw a fly similar to this on the internet one time with no recipe or anything but I really liked the look of it. So here is my recipe:

[image not avail]

Hook: any curved light wire hook size 14-16
Thread: Black UTC
Body: 2mm craft foam black
Legs: Black hackle
Wings: White hackle tips

[image not avail]

This fly has caught more fish for me in Rocky Mountain National Park than any other fly I've ever tried to use.  Sometimes I have to modify the fly either because they aren't taking it or they have taken it to many times and one of the wings was ripped off.  When this happens I simply remove the other wing.  Without the wings I can still fish it above the surface of the water or I can give a quick strip and send it slowly sinking.  Sinking it seems to be highly effective when fishing along the rock faces.

Thanks Paul and FRA for sharing their must have RMNP fly with us and inspiring this blog post… Do you have a must have RMNP fly?
Rick Schroeder is the creator and founder of Colorado Mountain a website designed for those who share his passion for high country fishing, four wheeling, hiking, camping, and photography. Rick has spent a significant portion of his life in the back country of the United States, starting at a young age in the Scouts, then in the Infantry with the 82nd Airborne, and after the military as a avid fisherman. In the summer months, Rick can often be found in the shadow of one of Colorado’s many fourteeners casting to some hungry cutthroat at one of the many alpine lakes in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. He also spends long hours on the summit of those peaks, capturing those unforgettable panoramas with his trusty Nikon. Rick has had photographs published on multiple websites, CMC books, and American Angler Magazine. During the colder weather, Rick frequently enjoys fly fishing one of the many tail waters in Colorado or using the short rod on the hard water with the South Park Junkies ice team. When he’s not wetting a line, Rick works as an IT Professional for the US Army and spends his off time moderating multiple Colorado fishing websites.
Blog content © Rick Schroeder
Blog Comments
BigBassMan, 3/28/2011 11:07:53 AM
Love it. My go to fly for RMNP is a parachute adams. I have caught cutts, bows, brooks, and some 17 inch browns on it all within the park.
fishinwfoos, 3/28/2011 12:56:44 PM
That pattern looks fantastic- What shop has these? I need to get some...maybe a few dozen!!!
Rick Schroeder (ePiC), 3/28/2011 1:17:16 PM
Pretty sure you wont find them in any shop, its been a few years since I saw the photo online and it was a Swiss website. You'll have to tie your own, OR I tied up a fly box for the Cheyenne Mountain TU auction what will have some in it. The auction is April 26, 2011 at 5:30 PM and will be held at the Garden of The Gods Trading Post.