July has perfect fishing weather. It's the month many fly anglers wait for all year. You shouldn't have to worry about unpredictable weather, and you can expect a boost in the dry fly action as well. However, it can get a little hot for the trout, so you need to pay extra attention to the water temperature and choose your flies wisely. Any seasoned angler will know that this is often the key to your success.
In the hotter months, you'll need the right fly fishing flies to ensure you get to show off your skills. Lucky for you, we've put together a list of the best flies for trout fishing in July. There are hoppers, stimulators, and nymphs, and emergers on the list, so you can pick the best type according to your unique angling style.
Here are the top 15 fly fishing flies that we recommend for July:
- Half Chernobyl Brown/Orange
- Fat Albert Purple
- Dave's Hopper Green
- Chubby Chernobyl
- Kaufmanns Stimulators - Orange
- Parachute Adams Indicator
- Green Drakes
- Parachute Mahogany Duns
- Royal Wolf
- Prince Nymph-Beadhead
- Holy Grail-Tungsten - Hairs Ear
- Caddis Larva - Beadhead - Tan
- Lighting Bug Pearl
- Barr Emergers BWO - Beadhead
We've organized our selection into classifications so that you can find the right fly fishing flies for you. Let's take a look at them in more detail.
If you love enjoying those summer evenings by the water, hoppers are ideal. They're perfect for getting top of the water action in July and a must-have for your trout fishing collection. Hoppers are designed to look like grasshoppers and other skimming insects, so they will effectively entice the fish to come up to the surface and bite. There is a wide range of hopper fly fishing files, so we've picked out a select few that are great to use in July.
1. Half Chernobyl Brown/Orange
The Half Chernobyl is genuinely robust and a great all-rounder. It's probably one of the most famous large dry fly fishing flies and the most popular. They ride high on the water and come in a variety of colors. We recommend brown or orange for fly fishing for trout in July, as these bright colors are easier to see during low light conditions when water temperatures are more optimal.
The Half Chernobyl's white wings against the colored body are key to its success. They reflect a subtle amount of light, making it appear as though it's moving, so summer sun is ideal. This is why it works so well as an attractor, and hoppers like these are perfect for July to September. The Half Chernobyl is a must-have for your fishing tackle this year.
2. Fat Albert in Purple
The Fat Albert Purple is perfect for the summer months when the trout are exploring. Its purple color makes it even more effective. Foam fly fishing flies are virtually unsinkable. The Fat Albert purple is ideal for indicating a hit on nymph flies. It's designed to imitate full-bodied terrestrial bugs with a lot of legs, so it's very appealing to hungry trout in the summer.
Fat Alberts are also easier to tie than you might think, so even if you're new to fly fishing, you can still do pretty well with them this July. Why not try out this purple take on the mainstream classic? There's a reason why it's always been a popular choice for trout fishing.
3. Dave's Hopper
Your fly box is not complete without a Dave's Hopper. It's a floating temptation that will fool any trout. It even works in riffles and runs. It's made from tightly-spun deer hair, which is the reason for its incredible buoyancy. Dave's Hopper Green is one of the most effective terrestrial artificials and is renowned for being a quality product.
If you're looking for fly fishing flies to get that extra shot at summer trout, it's worth investing in one of these. They have an excellent searching pattern and are an ideal choice for fishing above a dropper. Dave's Hopper Greens are great for more grasshoppers and similar insects around, so July is a good time of year to test them out.
4. Chubby Chernobyl
The Chubby Chernobyl is a popular attractor pattern that can be very effective in the summer months. They are designed to imitate golden stoneflies and other hoppers, depending on their size and color. They are robust, with a double layer of foam, making them wind-resistant and weightier than other fly fishing flies.
It's understandable why the Chubby Chernobyl has taken the angling world by storm. Many people rely on chubbies alone to catch trout in summer as it's such a versatile design. It's available in a range of sizes and colors so that you can tailor these to your fishing needs. They work for salmon flies, golden stones, caddis, hoppers, general attractors, purple hatches, and more. If you're heading out fly fishing this July, grab a couple of these.
Stimulators - Large Dry Flies
Stimulators like large dry flies are perfect for picking up those elusive trout even when there's no hatch. It's a go-to attractor fly that will help you draw out the trout even if they're feeling sluggish in the summer heat. They have an uncanny bug-like appearance making them tempting to the trout, so they're a great one if you're a fan of dry fly fishing. Here is a selection of our top stimulators.
5. Kaufmanns Stimulators
The Kaufmann Stimulator has an elegant design. It's built to ride neatly on the surface and is a very elegant dry fly. It has a stiff hair wing and an attractive body. Kaufmann's original stimulator was created to imitate the stonefly, but now there are several variations. Its best feature is its delicately woven body making it incredibly realistic looking.
This stimulator has proven success, excellent visibility, and superb flotation. It comes in stunning royal colors with white wings as a contrast, making it work very well as an indicator fly. It creates the illusion of bulk, and fluttering wing movements make it appear as a natural insect. It's an excellent all-around attractor and a must-have for your fly fishing flies collection.
6. Parachute Adams Indicator
The Parachute Adams Indicator is easy to track in various conditions. It's ideal for fishing in cooler evenings in the summer, even in low light, as it has a fluorescent parachute. If you want to catch trout during the cooler times of the day, it's an excellent choice for this reason. You can try it out on both still or moving waters.
You should consider the Parachute Adams Indicator if you're braving fly fishing for trout in fast water or low light. This fly floats exceptionally well even after taking a number of fish. It's made from quality materials and will keep you going throughout the summer. As well as being high-quality and easy to see in the water, it's also great for fishing dropper combo.
7. Green Drakes
Green Drakes are most popular in the early season, but you can use them in July and the rest of the summer. They are designed to imitate the green drake, which is the male version of a large mayfly. The Green Drake takes its name from the feathers used in its wings. Drakes are one of the trout's favorite foods, so you can't go wrong if you tempt them with one of these.
Be on the lookout for a hatch of green drakes when you're out on the water, as this will be a sign that it's time to throw one of these in the water. When they're in abundance, trout will skip other foods and go straight for green drakes, so make sure you take advantage of this.
8. Parachute Mahogany Duns
Parachute Mahogany Duns are great for reaching out to rising trout in July. They appear incredibly realistic, imitating the mahogany dun, and are also very visible to the fly fisher. Mahogany duns hatch during the summer, so these are what you want to be tempting your trout within the warmer months.
Parachutes Mahogany Duns can provide some fantastic fly fishing throughout late summer as well, so it's a good idea to stock up in July. An emerging nymph pattern like these can be very effective while trout are rising. Duns typically emerge during the mid-morning, so if you're looking for a cooler time to fish, then this is ideal. Tempt your trout with early morning dun imitators, and you'll likely have success.
9. Royal Wulff
The Royal Wulff is another one of the best fly fishing flies for night fishing or low light. Its design is based on the Royal Coachman and has a peacock herl and a red silk body. This is to stimulate the trout's curiosity. For this reason, it's a good idea to use the Royal Wulff on waters that have perhaps been overfished, where the trout are a little more discerning.
If you're looking to add a wildcard to your fly collection, then a Royal Wulff is perfect. Trout tend to go for them even if they shy away from other flies. They have excellent buoyancy and visibility so that you can enjoy a long summer's evening fishing comfortably with one of these. They are also very convenient to use.
The Adams dry fishing fly is a classic design and has been around for over 85 years. It has a medium grey body with brown hackles resembling several American and European up-winged flies. It's very versatile and can be used for fishing trout in various water and different seasons, the peak time being spring and summer.
To get the most out of Adams fly fishing flies, try casting upstream. This should allow you to achieve a dead drift. Adams flies can catch rainbow and brown trout and are ideal for fishing more established trout. Adams flies have stood the test of time, so it's worth investing in some for your collection.
Nymphs & Emergers
Nymphs and emergers are perfect for fly fishing on those hot summer days. These imitate emerging insects hatching out of the water. Emergers are an important part of a trout’s diet, so what better way to tempt them to the surface? They’ll be particularly successful if you’ve already noticed some action in or at the top of the water. Here are a few of our favorite nymphs and emergers for July.
11. Prince Nymph
The Prince Nymph is a common staple for trout fishing. They imitate a number of different insects such as mayfly and a stonefly. Trout love to eat this pattern and it work in various types of water. A Prince Nymph is one of the most versatile fly fishing flies so it's worth learning how to tie this pattern, even for beginners.
With a delicate combination of peacock herl, forked brown tail, and white V-wing, the Prince Nymph is irresistible to trout. They also make an elegant addition to your fly fishing flies collection. They’re a popular subsurface choice for this reason, and you can use them throughout summer. The Prince Nymph is a must for any trout angler and one of the most recognizable designs in the world.
12. Holy Grail-Tungsten - Hare’s Ear
Holy Grail-Tungsten Hare's Ears work great as general-purpose nymphs. They have a tungsten bead at the head, which allows you to get down to the trout feeding at the bottom of the river bed. Barbless versions have also been designed with trout in mind. These are also good for use in summer, especially if trout don't appear to be surfacing as often.
Trouts enjoy feasting on nymphs throughout the summer, so in July, you can't go wrong with a great imitator like the Hare's Ear. It imitates various nymphs that emerge in the warmer months, and its copper tungsten bead makes it easier for you to tempt fish that are feeding lower down.
13. Caddis Larva
If you're looking to fly fishing early in the morning during the hot month of July, then the Caddis Larva is ideal for you. It works well at this time of day and will tempt even the trout feeling sluggish in the heat. Caddis larva dangles in currents and is vulnerable to drifts, meaning they are often exposed to trout. This is why trout have learned to look out to them and choose them over other types of food.
The Caddis Larva closely resembles the creature itself, mimicking its dark head, legs, and light thorax. This design is incredibly eye-catching to the trout. They can see those dark and light bands from a mile away and will almost always approach. If you’re looking to catch out trout in search of caddis this July, try one of these.
14. Lighting Bug
If you're looking for something flashy to add to your fly fishing flies collection, then check out the Lightning Bug Pearl. It has an iridescent mylar body which gives the illusion of glowing, even underwater. This makes it ideal for fishing in low-light or murkier waters.
The Lighting Bug Pearl is perfect for those who are dedicated to tempting trout, whatever the water conditions. If you're staying later in the evenings to wait for trout in July, this could be a great little attractor for you. Not only will the fish go for it, but you'll also always be able to see it clearly in the water. It has a silver tungsten bead which means it won't go unnoticed by fish lower down.
15. Barr Emergers BWO
Last but not least, we have the Barr Emergers BWO. With a delicate concoction of feathers and dubbing, these make great little all-rounders. The design imitates adult flies coming out of the nymphal shuck. Trouts will often go for partially-hatched nymphs, so this is why it tends to work.
This emerging pattern is both effective and convenient. Compared to other fly fishing flies, trout will still be tempted even after it's been used several times. This is ideal if you're sitting waiting for them in the heat. The nymph style can be used as a dropper in a hopper-copper-dropper setup, for example, which works well. This is best when there is no visible hatch, but there are also several alternative versions in the range.
Summer is a lovely time of year for fly fishing for trout, so go and embrace the outdoors. If you're planning on going fishing in July, you'll have more success if you pack the right flies. With a good selection, you can get the trout biting even in the heat and hone your fly fishing skills.
About the Author
Matthew Bernhardt, a third-generation Coloradan, grew up at the forefront of the state’s fly-fishing revolution, enjoying time on the water, side by side with experienced guides and lifelong anglers.
By combining his passion for fly-fishing with input from other experienced fly-fishers and guides and his fine arts degree from Colorado State University, Matthew spent five years carefully developing the Drifthook Fly Fishing System, built to help every angler catch more trout.
When he’s not spending time with his wonderful family, you’ll find him out on the water catching MONSTER trout, and he anxiously looks forward to the day when his kids are old enough to join him there.