Well, it’s the start of a new trout season. Well, for most of the country that is; but for us in the Northeast of Scotland and some of the Highlands we still have a little time to wait. The River Don where I fish will not open for trout until 1st April, but looking at what the weather has in store for this weekend (snowing as i look out my window here in Aberdeen) and the height of the River Don, it’s a good job we still have a bit of time to waste!
So in the meantime I get asked quite a lot “What are the best flies for the start of the season?” It all depends on where you are in the UK and the type of water you are fishing, but in my humble opinion I think you are best to start with the traditional wet flies. So I have came up with a list of flies for spring time for rivers & lochs. These are my thoughts so don’t take the list as gospel. Each fly fisher has his own favourites. I’m just trying to help you guys out.
Black Pennell is particularly popular in the remoter waters of the Highlands. Commonly fished as a bob fly, it is especially good early in the fishing season when black midges are hatching. It’s a versatile pattern also a very good loch fly.
The Bibio trout fly is of Irish origin and originally designed for Sea Trout, however, over the years and in a smaller hook it has become a favorite for rainbow trout, the bibio fly is great on the dropper or as a bob fly. Created in the late 50’s it is used widely in the UK now for brown trout and salmon.
March Brown :
March Brown Wet flies work very well on still waters or rivers being buggy looking the trout love it. Its name suggests this should be used in March; however, it is very effective wet flies in summer months so don’t be afraid to try it throughout the season.
Snipe and purple spider: it’s a simple sparse fly used in shallow rough water so fish it round the margins for best result useful all year but very popular late season & early season.
The Greenwell Glory: An excellent general olive and i must say is one of my favourite wet flies.
In fact most hackled and winged dark coloured wets are great early season flies.
Some more great early season flies are listed below.
Hares Ear Nymphs:
Have to be the most recognised trout flies in any fly box they generally work all year round even when there is no sign of a hatch the hare’s ear nymphs just get the trout to take it represents almost all of the nymphs in the trout’s diet. Never be without at least a few hare’s ear nymph flies in your fly box and get the gold head if you want to go that bit deeper.
Diawl Bach fly
– Welsh for ‘little devil’. This all round nymph attractor pattern can be fished in a variety of ways and it gives excellent results in rough water, as well as, calm most fishermen think it’s a Stillwater fly ONLY but it not it’s starting to be used on Lochs and rivers throughout Europe with great results.
The Pheasant tail nymph
has to be one of our best trout flies. It is considered by many to be one of the most effective patterns ever designed. Any insect eating species will have a go at the fly they are a general representation of the nymphs the trout will feed on. Pheasant Tail Nymphs over the year have developed in too many varieties, the pheasant tail trout flies now come in hotheads, of course the gold head pheasant tail is one of the most popular, but do try the pearly pheasant tail nymphs or indeed the flash back ones. There are also pheasant tail nymphs in orange and yellow these will all work early season.
Are one of the most over looked trout flies. I have had some great fish on them so don’t over look them. The Montana comes in a long shank or a short shank hook and a range of colours and sizes.
is best on a floating line and long leader is best for this olive damsel nymph watch for the takes on the drop. Damsel Nymph is great on dams, reservoirs & Lochs or any good still water.
I hope this helps but please remember this is only my opinion, they may not work for you on your waters, its all about trial and error.
Tight Lines till next time!