Early Season Bread & Butter Fishing Hatches!

Monday, 28 March 2022  |  Sarah
Early River Fly Life
Early spring usually consists of two extremes on rivers. It’s either mild weather bringing in bands of rain that see our streams swell. 

Or, biting cold conditions, which make trout lethargic due to dropping temperatures.  Obviously, damp weather fronts mean warmer temperatures when fly life is more abundant. 

Blessed with such circumstances, we can expect to see flurries of upwing flies, namely Large Dark Olives and March Browns.

Where hatches occur, you’re best off relying on dry fly tactics to tempt Trout. 

Leaders needn’t be too long, especially given a breeze, somewhere round the 12ft mark is about right, with a tippet of 4lb or so

Whether it’s an olive, or march brown pattern, a single fly is best

This should be cast upstream to rising fish, or likely looking pools then allowed to drift back towards you in a natural fashion. 

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There will be times when near perfect conditions exist and Trout seem reluctant to rise. 

This is usually in breezy weather when we should look to spiders or wet flies to tempt fish

Three spider patterns are arranged 3ft apart on a leader totaling some 12ft in length

The idea here is to search water effectively by making casts square across the flow and allowing your flies to progress downstream on a slightly tensioned line.

Favourite patterns include Waterhen Bloa, Greenwell’s Glory and Dark Watchet.
 

As stated, there’ll be times when chilly weather dominates, which tends to see fly hatches dry up.  Now, we must rely on nymphs and bugs if we’re to stay in touch with Trout

This is best done using the short line ‘euro-nymphing” method

Principally this involves extending a short section of monofilament line (15-20ft) beyond the rod tip.  Heavy flies prove the impetus to literally ‘lob’ your flies upstream. 

As monofilament offers less resistance than a fly line, your nymphs/bugs will sink quickly now. 

With that, due to its thin diameter for a given breaking strain, fluorocarbon is the recommend material.

To attain extra depth where deep water occurs, it’s worth considering positioning your flies close together.  Typically, we might arrange any droppers some 3ft apart.  However, when using Euro/Czech nymphing techniques, it’s not unusual to place flies as close as 12-inches apart.

A team of 3 bugs would be separated by all of 24-inches.  Remember too, to keep droppers legs short with 5-inches being their absolute maximum length.  This way, you’ll avoid twists or tangles as nymphs dressed on curved hooks tend to spin around the main leader. 

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