In an effort to help out any new anglers (or any established anglers that are struggling for inspiration) we will be publishing some suggested trout flies for the season ahead.
10 tried and tested flies which are literally “a starter for 10“.
Early season is a difficult time for fly fishing with the weather still being quite changeable, hatches erratic and the fish sullen and uncooperative. Although it is possible to take trout on a dry fly at this time of year, early season generally dictates using wet flies or nymphs.
In March or April, the insect species which may be present on our rivers could include such favourites as March Browns, Iron Blue Duns, Large Dark Olives or Olive Uprights. Hatches will be sporadic or even more annoyingly there may be prolific hatches but with trout either refusing to feed or continuing to feed sub-surface.
There are other food sources that the trout may consume sub-surface which may include snails, shrimps and larvae (such as caddis and mayfly). These will not be as immediately evident as hatching insects but are worth consideration when tying on a fly.
Small sizes can be effective in 14, 16, 18’s (or even smaller) although there are exceptions to any rule where fishing is concerned and even early season fish may fall for larger flies or even large ‘streamer flies‘ fished on a sinking line.
Casting into pools which you suspect hold some trout and using a slow and/or ‘twitchy’ retrieve can be effective. Sometimes a change of retrieve can be as effective as a change of fly so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Learning to read the river is an essential skill and will help you look at a stretch of water and have a reasonable idea where the fish will tend to be lying at any given time.
Avoid wading wherever possible as this can make fish aware of your presence and make the fish even less willing to participate.
As with anything, the above suggestions may work one day and not the next. Remember, when it comes to fishing the fish are always in charge…
(Many thanks to Sandy at Hooked on Fishing in Renfrew for ‘tying and supplying’ all the flies pictured above)