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Hi-Vis Coachmans For Brook Trout

by Philip Monahan

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Hi-Vis CoachmanHighly visible Comparadun-like wing. Photo Tim Bronson

Question: You’ve mentioned that you’re a big fan of wild brook trout. What’s your favorite pattern for mountain brookies?

Stanley P., Nashville, TN

Answer: The best trout waters near my office in southwestern Vermont are fast-flowing freestone streams, which feature lots of pocket water, so I need a high-floating fly that I can see even in frothy, turbulent water. In creating the Hi-Vis Coachman, I copied aspects of the traditional Royal Coachman, the Hi-Vis Royal Wulff, and the Comparadun to create a fly that’s tough to sink and hard to miss, even in low light. In fast water, fish don’t seem to mind the garish colors, and I’ve taken many fine brookies and brown trout on the Hi-Vis Coachman. I also tie the pattern in yellow, chartreuse, and white.

Hi-Vis Coachman

Hook: Standard dry-fly hook, sizes 6 through 20.

Thread: Red Ultra Thread.

Wing: Orange deer hair, tied Comparadun-style.

Hackle: Grizzly, clipped flat along the bottom of the fly.

Tail: Orange deer hair.

Body: Four or five wraps of peacock herl, followed by a short section of red thread or floss, then another three or four wraps of peacock herl.

Tying Instructions

1. Clean and stack a clump of orange deer hair, and tie it in about 1/4 of the way behind the hook eye. Stand the hair upright by wrapping a dam of thread directly in front of the clump. The wing should be about as long as the hook shank.

2. Attach a grizzly dry-fly hackle behind the wing, and wrap the thread back to the hook bend.

3. Clean and stack a small clump of orange deer hair, and tie it in at the hook bend. Directly in front of the tail, tie in a strand of peacock herl.

4. Wrap the thread forward, make four or five wraps of peacock herl, and tie it off. Wrap a smooth layer of thread or floss, and then make another herl section the same way you made the first one.

5. Bring the thread forward to the hook eye. Wrap the hackle several times behind the wing, and then several times in front. Tie off, whip-finish, and apply head cement.

6. After the head cement has dried, clip the hackle flat along the bottom of the fly, and stroke the deer hair into a half-moon shape.

MidCurrent Fly Fishing
Phil Monahan is a former Alaskan guide and was the long-time editor of American Angler magazine. He's now a columnist for MidCurrent and writes and edits the fly-fishing blog at You can email your fly fishing questions to us at
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  • Jan Brunvand

    Could you show us a side view of the fly? It’s a bit hard to visualize from this front view.

    • Phil Monahan

      Here you go. I think they  didn’t use this photo because the fly I photographed (the only one I had left at the end of the season) had almost the entire tail eaten off by brookies. Picture it with a bushier

  • Avril Anjers

    Yes, side view would help with proportions for tying. Thank for sharing.

  • True North


  • Cfishinbill

    Realy likin’ this fly .