Sunken Trico – 12/5/2011

During September 2011 I made my first ever fishing trip to the North Platte River at Northgate Canyon. On my way I stopped at the North Park Fly Shop to obtain information about access and fishing conditions. The young man in the fly shop told me that tricos were hitting the water between 11AM and 1PM and BWO’s were emerging in the afternoon. Since I didn’t have more than one or two trico spinners I attempted to purchase some at the shop. Unfortunately North Park was out of them, but the young man I spoke with recommended buying sunken tricos.

I purchased four or five sunken tricos and sure enough I noticed swarms of tricos above the riffles in the late morning. At around noon the tiny tricos hit the water and trout began to rise and sip them in. Since I didn’t have trico ¬†spinners, I added a sunken trico as a dropper to my large attractor top fly, and I was amazed to discover that the fish loved subsurface tricos as much as the ones floating on the surface. The sunken tricos I purchased had black bodies with wings made out of a material that almost looked like the clear plastic used to make baggies.

I promised myself that I would make sunken tricos, but never got around to it last winter. Once again in September of 2011 I made a trip to the North Platte River and stopped at the North Park Angler. The same salesperson was present and once again recommended sunken tricos. I asked about the ones with the plastic style wings, and he no longer had those so I purchased some with black bodies and white poly wings. The wings were swept back over the body caddis style. I didn’t have any success on the North Platte with these flies, but on a later trip to the Arkansas River I managed to hook and land one or two fish on this version of a sunken trico.

As I prepare for the 2012 season, I finally got around to tying sunken tricos. I searched online and found a pattern where the abdomen was constructed with fine black wire. I wasn’t convinced that a body made from fine wire would be narrow enough, so when I visited Charlie’s Fly Box to purchase materials I asked the clerk how he would make a sunken trico. He suggested tying them with a tiny black tungsten bead behind the eye of the hook so I bought some very small black tungsten beads.

HookTiemco 101 Size 24
ThreadBlack 6/0
TailDun hackle fibers
AbdomenBlack tying thread
WingWhite poly yarn
ThoraxBlack tying thread or small amount of black dubbing


Size 24 Sunken Trico

Early during this past week I sat down and tied six sunken tricos. I threaded the tiny beads on to the Tiemco 101 size 24 hooks and then tied tricos in the same manner that I have tied them since I began fly fishing and fly tying. I stripped some stiff barbules from a large hackle feather and tied them in for tails. I wrapped black thread forward to create the abdomen and then I took a sparse clump of white poly yarn and tied it in behind the bead and used figure eight wraps to secure the spent wing.

Black Tungsten Bead for Sinking

I like the look of this fly, and I’m anxiously anticipating encountering a trico hatch this summer to see how they perform.

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