The Sierra Bright Dot

The Sierra Bright Dot

When we were packing our gear for a week in the Sierras, the shop's designated adult, Bryan Cohen, announced he would supply us with a selection of traditional dry flies for the region. He is a part-time resident of the area, having a family cabin near a stream filled with trout and fond memories. The next day he presented us with a small collection of Sierra Bright Dots. This simple pattern found favor among the Rainbows, Brookies, and Golden Trout we encountered, and we find no reason it shouldn't work well right here at home. The following is Bryan's introduction to the pattern...

Since my early days as a fly fisher exploring the Sierras, the Sierra Bright Dot has long been a favorite choice when pursuing Rainbows in my favorite lakes and streams. Fly patterns may lose popularity over time, but it does not mean they become less effective. This fly is a perfect example.


The Sierra Bright Dot is a dry fly attractor pattern in the family of “Fore and Aft” flies such as The Renegade. Developed over a century ago in England, this style of fly had multiple originators from all over Europe. The SBD has been used primarily on the east side of the Southern Sierra dating back to the 1950s. While remaining a popular attractor pattern, its popularity has not extended beyond the Sierras. The “Bright” of Bright Dot is in honor of Dorothy Bright, the wife of a mine owner at Convict Lake, known as Monte Diablo Lake at the time. The Bright’s owned a mining village while it was attacked by six escaped prisoners in 1871. This occurrence led to the name change of the lake.


It is unknown who originated “The Dot” but has been a desired pattern for high elevation lakes and streams for golden and rainbow trout. It’s versatile, easy to tie, and has been proven time and time again. I think we should give it a try on our local waters, I’m sure it will work just as well here if not better.


Follow the link for Bryan’s tying kit