Best Flies for Summertime Trout

By: Dan Benefield

October 19, 2022

Summertime provides us with so many great opportunities to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather and all that nature has to offer. Fly fishing is one of those great things, fishermen get to leave the waders, boots, and cold weather from winter behind. In Western Pennsylvania, we get a very short summer trout fishing season since most of our water gets too warm and low by July. Early to Mid June provides some great fishing weather and later into the Summer, if you’re crafty you can find brook trout hidden in forest streams. I love exploring the more remote areas of Western PA and finding elusive trout! Here are some of my top picks for summer trout flies that get results.

During the transition from late Spring to Summer when we still have the hatches, dry flies are one of the best choices of flies. Even if you miss the hatches there are still some flies you can try. I tend to have a lot of success with an Adams Dry Fly, they can match a variety of different insects that a trout would tend to go after, making it one of the best flies for trout in Summer. I often tie these on once I start to see top water eats from hungry and eager trout.

Another solid option that I always keep in my box at all times is the Stonefly Nymph. This is undoubtedly one of the best trout flies for summer. I try to keep a few different sizes depending on water clarity and what I think will work best. I will tie these on when I come across some deeper water and holes that might hold trout once the water starts to warm up. Use these with an indicator (basically just a bobber but for fly fishing) and adjust depth as needed to get this great fly right in the sweet spot. Even picky trout can’t pass up a meal floating right by them.

To go in with the last fly, I also carry a few Zebra Midge, these are a bit smaller than the Stonefly Nymphs and can be used alone or a dropper rig with another midge or attached to a dry fly. The midge can be thrown almost all year ‘round which makes them not only a great choice during the warm months but cold ones too. They’re also one of the best flies for late summer trout if you find water cold enough to hold them. 

My favorite type of fly for warmer weather though is any streamer but more specifically for this list, the Wooly Bugger is the streamer of choice. I love this streamer because there are so many different ways to use it effectively, you can strip it, swing it, and even dead drift it. My favorite color for the wooly is white but black, brown, and olive are all great colors depending on the situation. The versatility of this fly is what makes it one of the best trout flies of all time and solidifies its position at the top of my fly box.

Summertime Tips:

Be careful of rising water temperatures throughout the day, if the temp is over 75 degrees either 

go fishing for some warm water species like bass or just chill out at home.

Tight Lines - Dan Benefield