Friday Fly Day Early Season Top 10 - #1 The Silly Stone

October is a perfect time to be fishing big, obvious flies as fish are looking for easy protein rich meals and racing to put on condition after a draining spawning season. River levels will generally be up and usually carrying a touch of colour so drifting big stoneflies through likely looking holding water or smacking them on a trouts nose doesn't require a huge amount of finesse. Save that for summer.

The new Manic Silly Stone ticks all of these boxes, available in a size 10 brown or size 8 green with rubber legs these won't go unnoticed and with plenty of weight in the tungsten bead you know you'll be getting down into the trouts feeding zone. October and November are prime months for these flies but they should be a fly box staple all season.

But don't take it from us, Paul MacAndrew of Aspiring Fly Fishing is a firm believer in the benefits of big stones early season:

"Brown stone fly nymphs are easily distinguishable from mayfly nymphs in that they are tubular in shape and have 2 large wing pads , they vary in size from 10mm -25mm.Their colour varies from olive-brown through to a chocolate -chestnut and they are found among more bouldery well oxygenated stretches of river.It always pays on arrival to the river to roll over a couple of stones/boulders on the waters edge to see what aquatic life is around and then based on what is seen tie on an appropriate size/coloured nymph."

"I have had great success with brown stone fly patterns the past couple of seasons in our more boisterous back country rivers and streams and carry them in sizes 8-14 some heavily weighted with Tungsten beads and lead to get down in deeper faster water and others no weight at all. One particular day this past season a client had drifted half a dozen nymphs of varying size and weight past a large fish that was swaying in the current , the fish showed little or no interest in his offerings ,so the decision was made to try one more pattern before moving on upstream to find the next feeding fish ,on went a size #8 brown stone fly pattern and boom ! the fish took first cast."