Fulling Mill’s Top 7 Early Season Brown Trout River Flies
March is a wonderful month here in the UK with many reservoirs opening their doors from their winter breaks and the brown trout river season gets under way…
River anglers are lucky that many rivers around the UK are inhabited by grayling and are able to fish through the winter months. Unfortunately, with the terrible weather through the end of 2015 most anglers fly rods have been locked away and fly boxes have been topped up ten times over. Now the river seasons are opening around the UK for brown trout, we’ve put together a list of our top 7 fly patterns that we recommend for early season river fishing.
Earlier in the day when the air temperature is cooler the best line of attack is to fish nymphs. This might be French or Czech style depending on the conditions or indeed, a single or double fly cast fished under a big dry fly – duo style. These are usually fished in fast, shallow and riffled water which is home to many aquatic invertebrates. At this time of year March Browns, Brook Duns and Large Dark Olives are the main source of a fishes diet – Many of these insects hatch in the faster water, ascending through the water column where awaiting fish mop them up.
As the day progresses and the temperature starts to rise you will see an increase in fly activity and the fish tend to spread out from the faster water down the pool into the slower glides. This is where emergers and dry flies will come into their own.
There’s nothing like fishing a single dry fly on a long tapered leader, cast with good accuracy and delicate presentation to a wild brown trout. Once you’ve spotted a fish rising, get into a good position to make the cast, keep low, tread lightly and wait as long as you can before making your fish cast… Wait, what? Allow the fish to gain it’s confidence and then make your first cast, this will certainly enhance your chances of getting it to take your fly.
Here are our 7 top suggestions for early season brownies:
Duracell Jig Barbless – Size 14
The Duracell is a brilliant nymph pattern that has been developed by Fulling Mill Ambassador Craig McDonald. The fly is generally fished in fast, turbulent water on the point of a French Leader set up. Tied on the ever faithful Fulling Mill Jig hooks, the fly conveniently fishes point up reducing the chances of snagging up.
KJ Quill Nymph Barbless – Size 14
Quill nymphs have become very popular over the last couple of years, the simple material offers a great segmented effect that proves irresistible to trout. This small nymph is ideal for fishing under a dry fly in slow, shallow water. It represents small olive nymphs which tend to make an appearance around late April.
March Brown Nymph (OE) – Size 12
Due to the sheer size of March Browns, they can very quickly become a favoured food source for wild brownies. Although they don’t last very long compared to other upright flies, the couple of weeks they make an appearance can give some brilliant fishing. The nymph has a flat, flared abdomen with a large head, so a ‘flat’ type fly pattern like the Oliver Edwards MB nymph is ideal.
KJ March Brown Jig Barbless – Size 12
Again, fished on the point fly to ensure less snags, this pattern is a great fly for targeting nymph feeders throughout the start of the season. Fished as deep as possible, this pattern accounted for some of Kieron Jenkins’ best fish of 2015. A simple fly but definitely worth having a couple in the box.
CDC Olive Barbless – Size 14
This CDC olive pattern is more suited to emerger feeders than those taking completely off the surface. The curved hook means the abdomen of the fly sits below the surface of the water, as if it were about to hatch – This means easy pickings for any fish in the area as the fly simulates an insect that is trapped and cannot fly away.
- Jingler March Brown – Size 14
The Jingler is an ideal early season general imitation pattern that will be great for representing almost everything from March Browns to small Olives. This fly fishes low in the surface, so this pattern is ideal for slower flowing water.
- BWO Split Wing Olive – Size 16
The split wing BWO pattern is a great general olive pattern, the split wings allow the fly to be fished in fast, riffled water. The profile of the ‘V’ shaped wings show perfectly from beneath and the fish seem to recognise this as being an easy target.