A favorite fly of ours that consistently works at all of our local creeks and large rivers is Lance Egan’s Rainbow Warrior. It is a simple nymph pattern that works more as an attractor pattern. Though it’s flashy body doesn’t look like anything natural, it mimics a midge larva or mayfly and is a constant producer. The traditional Rainbow Warrior that can be found in all fly shops became an inspiration for a pattern that we designed for our local creeks. It’s a very easy fly to tie and once you give one a try, we think you’ll understand why we love it so much.
Nicknamed the “Purple Reign,” (maintaining similar ingredients to the original Rainbow Warrior) there is an inherent bugginess about the fly and purple is just one of those colors that seems to drive trout crazy. It’s quickly become a staple in all of our fly tins. A unique feature of the fly—it is tied on a barbless, jigged hook. This style of hook helps the nymph sink quickly, snag the bottom less frequently and and causes minimal trauma on a fish as most hook-ups are in the upper lip. On many occasions, when you net a fish, the fly will simply fall out by itself allowing you to return the trout back to the water quickly and efficiently.
We love to fish this fly all year either below a dry-dropper setup or at the end of a nymph rig. Of all the patterns we use, Purple Reign is not only one of the simplest to tie but also one of the most effective. If you enjoy tying your own flies, watch the video we put together and whip a few of these up for yourself and see what you think. We’d love to hear how it works for you!