Other Common Names: Three-spine stickleback
Scientific Name: genus Gasterosteus

Sticklebacks are a forage fish for bigger trout, and are worth imitating. Standard fly patterns are hard to find, so you'll probably need to tie your own (see the sidebar) or rely on a Woolly Bugger , yellow-green Zonker , or similar streamer. Be sure to capture the deep-bellied appearance of the natural fish.

Use a count-down-and-retrieve presentation, retrieving in little jerks. Sticklebacks are not fast swimmers and tend to be still much of them. They are most active in the afternoon.


COLOR: Pale olive with darker back and dark vertical bands on the sides; red tints near gills. Breeding males develop bright red bellies.

OTHER CHARACTERISTICS: Dorsal and pelvic spines; large eyes