WEB BONUS: Brown Trout Patterns

WEB BONUS: Brown Trout Patterns

The brown-trout seducing flies of Matt Minch.

  • By: Walter Wiese
Matt's Creep

Fly-tier Matt Minch, of Gardiner, Montana, is locally known for his profoundly effective nymphs. Matt likes to spend more time fishing than tying, so his flies are easy to tie, impressionistic and durable. They are especially effective in early fall, when nymphing deep slots for the first runner browns. They have proven themselves all over the world, from New Zealand’s South Island to the American Midwest.—Walter Wiese


While most early run browns prefer unobtrusive flies, moving fish or those that have just entered a river often want something flashy. Matt’s bug of choice in these situations is his Creep. The pattern is a Bitch Creek on steroids, with more rubber legs, brighter chenille and greater contrast between the two body colors. It shouldn’t work, but it does. As fall progresses, it becomes a better and better option.
Hook: 3XL nymph hook, sizes 2 to 8
Bead: Copper
Weight: .025-035 tin wire (optional)
Thread: 6/0 orange
Tail: Pair of medium white rubber legs
Body: Rear 2/3 black flash chenille, front 1/3 fire-orange flash chenille
Legs: Two to three white rubber legs tied Girdle Bug-style


The Hare and Copper is an old New Zealand pattern Matt learned to love while wintering on the South Island. He added a bead and partridge-flank legs and tail, but at root the fly is still a simple Hare’s Ear. It is my most effective fly for early run browns.
Hook: Standard nymph hook, sizes 10 to 14
Bead: Copper
Thread: Brown, 6/0
Tail: Center section of a well-mottled brown partridge flank feather
Body: Dark hare’s mask dubbing, dubbed fat and fuzzy
Rib: Medium to large copper wire
Legs: Remaining portion of partridge feather, tied in vee-style
Head: Dark hare’s mask dubbing


Matt’s Golden and Black Stonefly nymphs account for more fish on my guiding trips than all other stonefly nymphs combined. The flies are a modern twist on the flies originally designed by famed West Yellowstone angler Charlie Brooks. Indeed, Matt calls the black model the Brooks Stone, in homage. The flies feature bodies of flash chenille, but they have a wealth of mottled natural materials as well, which I believe make the flies less likely to spook stale fish.
Hook: 3XL nymph hook, sizes 4 to 8 (black), 8 to 12 (golden)
Bead: Black or gold
Tail: Brown dyed or golden-olive dyed chickabou, clipped short
Abdomen: Black or brown-olive flash chenille over a thread or yarn underbody
Thorax: Brown or antique-gold squirrel dubbing
Legs: Brown-dyed grizzly palmered through thorax