Bob Mitchell's Trico Spinner

This last week the Trico fishing has been quirky. From guiding to classes to fishing myself, the fooling and catching portion of my outings has not been easy. The waters on both the Kinni and the Rush are clear, and aquatic weed patches are building quickly. Flows are running normal for July. The hot humid weather and higher than normal low temps have pushed the hatches into the sunrise time period or earlier. Anglers had to be on the stream at 5:30Am on some days to even catch the hatch. On my normal haunts, the mating clouds of Tricos were thin, and in some cases it seemed only females were in the clouds. The boys seemed to be absent so the girls had nothing to do. I know this is a bit early for this hatch to be in full swing but I always hope the “catching” is going to be easier in the early stages because the fish are not yet full of the morning and evening feeds they get from this daily event.

On some days the best approach was a down stream drift. Casting up over the top of these fish even on the best presentation shut the feeding fish down. In flat even speed current putting the fly into the trouts window first instead of the normal down to up approach was more successful. Even a cross current roll cast and a down worked,,,,,,sometimes. the bugs are small and sighting on these small flies in sun to shade situations can be difficult. A larger lead Trico dun trailed by a number 22 or 24 female spinner worked best for me.

On stream I carry a wide variety of Trico patterns, over 20 at last count. The spinner fall tends to bring the most active feeding and happens latest in the morning when most anglers make it to the stream. Make sure that you have both male and female spinner patterns in your box, sometimes it can be the difference between catching and not. Look to see more of the Trico patterns that I use available for purchase on this web site in the coming weeks.

A few weeks ago I found a new pattern at Bob Mitchell’s Fly Shop in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. Mike Alwin, the proprietor there, informed me that it was the favorite pattern of the now passed Bob Mitchell. This pattern is one of the few that incorporates the actual tail length of the natural at approximately 3 times the body length. Sometimes, I believe this can be a characteristic that the trout key on. I was excited to see this pattern since most others in my boxes are tied with much shorter tails. There were a few left in the bin at size 24 so I bought two.  With some practice, and a lot of squinting I was able to tie solid copies of the pattern.

Short, heavy rains moved through the area last night but had little effect on the waters. This morning’s cool temps are a breathe of fresh air and should move this hatch a little later in the morning for the next few days, until the heat comes again.

The pattern I spoke of above is fun to learn to tie and it worked this week. Since the size of the hook is small, it is imperative that as few thread wraps as possible are used to create this masterpiece. The photos are all of this pattern. Here is a recipe and some short instructions.

Bob Mitchells Trico

Thread: Gordon Griffiths 14/0 black

Hook: TMC 100 20-24

Tail: Clear Microfibits

Wing: Clear/white poly yarn

Body: Black or Charcoal fine and dry dubbing or silk dubbing

Four or five thread wraps ar set down side by side for the wing base wraps. Three tails are set next with three wraps and a fourth is set under the tails to lift the fibits off the shank of the hook. The wing is set with two x wraps. Dubbing is applied sparsely and tightly at less than a half inch and x-wrapped twice or 3 times over the wing to complete the thorax finish the head. This fly has no body and is a great imitation of the female after she has laid her eggs. The whole fly is tied with 12 to 20 wraps of thread. Thanks Mike.