Assasinate Your Fly Fishing Woes With These Tips!

Early Season Fly Life

Staring out over a vast sheet of water during the opening weeks, you’d be forgiven for thinking little fly life exist when nothing stirs at the surface. 

This is especially the case if a cruel wind blows in cloud and rain.  However, if you care to take a close look there are signs of life.

Granted, much of the activity takes place subsurface, which principally involves bloodworms, alder nymphs, cased caddis and shrimps.

Before discussing these in detail it’s perhaps best we look at chironomids (buzzers) as the pupae of these actually ascend to the surface before hatching into the winged adult

Starting life as a bloodworm (larvae) that eventually transform into the pupa, buzzers are the staple diet of stillwater trout in spring.  It’s important then we have some pupa (buzzer) imitations, which are best presented on a floating line using a long(ish) leader of some 14ft or so.

Once buzzer pupae reach the surface they break through pupal shuck and emerge as a winged adult. 

This is an extremely vulnerable stage as they are easy pickings for Trout, especially on calms days when the surface tension is thicker.

It’s now that you’re most likely to see dimpling Trout when we have an opportunity to target rising fish using either:

Ensure that you fishing these static so they imitate nature.

As mentioned bloodworms are the larvae stage of chironomids that develop in silt on the lakebed. Whilst they burrow in mud, any currents that stir up the bottom dislodge them, which exposes them to Trout.  Obviously, when fishing bloodworm patterns the secret is to get them close to the lakebed, which usually involves using a long leader of 18-20ft or so. 


Alder nymphs are the larvae form of alder flies, which generally emerge in early April.  However, some weeks before emergence these inch long nymphs become active by crawling and swimming towards the shore to lever themselves out of their shuck like prison.

Often swimming in open water they’re vulnerable to Trout, making a large hare’s ear pattern deadly at such times.  A single fly fished on a 14ft leader using either a floating, or clear intermediate line will keep you in business.


Caddis larvae developing all winter provide spring Trout with a hearty mouthful. And given a cold snap, fish nearly turn exclusively to these crunchy titbits during the opening weeks.  In this case, you’ll need a couple of heavyweight patterns. 

It’s best to look for shallow bays now and use a floating line coupled with a long leader to present these as slowly as possible, as caddis larvae aren’t known for their speed.  Wind conditions allowing, look to a leader of some 18-20ft.


Being totally aquatic, freshwater shrimps spend their entire lives beneath the waves.  Because of this they’re potentially on the Trout’s menu 24/7 - 365!  When other fly life isn’t readily available, Trout rely on shrimps to keep them going.  Again, a brace of shrimps presented on a long leader is the order of the day.


Free Hatch Chart!  Yes Free!

Our hatch charts are full of wonderful rich information timed for the coming month, giving you time to prepare accordingly. 

They are offered free of charge to registered customers only as a thank you.

They offer a reference chart by way of a guide as to what should be hatching in normal weather conditions.

More information is below - please check the access instructions.

Accessing The Hatch Chart

  1. Go to
  2. FIRST login to your account using your own email address and personal account password
  3. From the main menu bar across the top of the screen look for the Hatch Chart link
  4. Hover over this link and from the sub menu that appears the relevant months Hatchchart link will appear
  5. Open up the hatch chart and use it to identify relevant flies for your UK trip be it river or stillwater anywhere in the UK!
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