The Pass Lake is one of the old style patterns that is often overlooked today. It’s my favorite fly for brook trout. It seems to trigger their strike instinct more than other fly I’ve tried. It can be fished wet or dry. I prefer fishing it wet, just under the surface, with the hook being the only weight. Often the best fish in a pool will be the first to strike.
I learned to tie this fly (and many others) from Bob Mitchell several years ago and this is how he tied it.
Hook: #10 Mustad 9672 or equivalent
Tail: Golden Pheasant Tippet
Body: Black Chenille Medium
Wing: White Calf Tail
Beard: Brown Hen Hackle
My version in the above photo has a slight variation where I’ve used an orange dyed hen feather rather than the original brown. I don’t think the fish care but I like orange.
If you search around you’ll find there are other ways to tie the Pass Lake. There’s a great article about it’s history here:
Damian Wilmot has a nice video where he uses a #10 TMC 3671 hook, red thread and a polar bear for the wing. For me, I feel the calf tail is part of the Pass Lake’s success. I do think the red thread might make a cool variation though.
I hope you give this fly a try.
Oh, and if you have a fly you’d like to share with our readers, send an email to editor Ed or myself. We’re listed on the website but I’ll also put our contacts below.