Andy & Al’s Trico

in a world where seemingly having everything in XXXL makes one the top-dog, sometimes it pays off to have the smallest one around !

A cult following is something to which few insects can lay claim, but the tinyTricorythodes mayflies certainly qualify. Their widespread, reliable, heavy hatches draw impressive rises of ultra-selective trout which demand the most of a technical dry-fly angler’s skills.

It is surprising that such a great hatch took so long to come to the attention of fly fishermen. The Tricos were first introduced to anglers in a 1969 Outdoor Life article by Vincent Marinaro, who misidentified them as Caenis. By the early 1970s the identification had been corrected but Swisher and Richards still wrote in Selective Trout,”Few anglers are familiar with these extremely small but important mayflies.” The next wave of publications boosted Tricorythodes to its current fame. I suspect their early dismissal was due in part to tackle limitations; anglers in the 1950s had no means to effectively tie and present size 22-28 flies”
(click the pic for more info on this little cutie)

here’s Andy Baird‘s size 28 version inspired by Al Miller’s Trico seen on the tying video at the bottom of the article.
not only is this pattern a sure success when these tiny insects are out and about, it’s an easy tie and one i’d most definitely recommend as a first mini pattern for those who have been reluctant to tie so small.
when learning to tie the smaller flies, general advice has it to start off tying the same pattern two, even three sizes bigger and as the mojo sets in and results get good, go one size smaller at a time till we get to the required size. this pattern will very easily make a very good midge imitation so the bigger flies won’t go to waste ! anyhow, this is a very interesting exercise that makes one a better tier and it helps break away the “that’s way too small for me” attitude.
just might make a nice winter project for those who are into winter projects… 😉


video via Tightline Productions

click Andy’s pic for the materials list and while your at it be sure to check out his great blog Small Fly Funk. enjoy !

24 thoughts on “Andy & Al’s Trico

  1. Halford would be worried Marc! Tricos arent available in Europe me think, no references in any European angling entomology book. Its an American thing, so its not matching a real trico insect:) . The smallest ive been using was a size 22 simple F-fly, sometimes with no body just the cdc wing on the bare hook and still hooking a few risers /upstream of course:)/

  2. “not only is this pattern a sure success when these tiny insects are out and about…”

    How many trico hatches have you fished with it, Marc? 🙂

      • hi Aitor !
        ok, not with this specific pattern but with tiny Griffith’s Gnats (not a big difference imo :wink:) in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Vermont when i lived in the US. as for how many times: several ! 😎

  3. hmm, thanks, me think if i have to travel that far better to skip the tricos and try to be at place where some mouses will popped up at the shallow water to match them hatching 🙂

  4. A Parachute Adams #26 used to be as good a pattern as any otehr for the trico spinner fall on Green River, Utah. At least it was 10 years ago 🙂

  5. Hey cheeky-chops… missed this until just now. Al Troth is a dude, and the super-extended tails on that natural rock! And those wings…. aaahhhhh, slurp

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