If, like me, you have left everything to the last minute you’ll be tying frantically to stock up those early season fly boxes in preparation for October 1st. Over the next few weeks we will give you the low down on my early season considerations and how the Manic Fly Collection can take the stress out of pre-season cramming.
My first consideration for early season nymphs is weight. You do need to get down. Unlike the warmer months when more pleasurable water temps make the trout far more active and likely to move freely throughout the column, the early season chill, often combined with fuller flows will keep trout feeding much closer to home. I carry a combination of split shot and deep soft weight tungsten putty for a little extra oomph, however having a number of bombs in your box or double tungstens on board will ensure you are getting down to brown town.
Keller’s Peach Fuzz
Simon’s Iron Maiden
With slower metabolism and less food in abundance you often have to give that fish some incentive to move to your fly. There are many ways to get your fly noticed, including lifting, swinging and stripping, however much of the time you will require a dead drift to keep things kosher. “Come eat me” patterns are designed to catch the eye and if the fish can see your fly, then it only has two choices, yes or no. They’re not always big and juicy. They may often sport but a touch of colour but they’re designed to stand out from the crowd to some degree and get that grab.
Jakes Depth Charge Jig Worm
OTB Hare and Copper
Early Season Subtlety
We are chasing browns after all, and these are often some of the most wary browns found anywhere, so your natural selection must stay tight. While most early season invertebrate will be a little larger than their faster maturing summertime buddies, I’m still stocking the boxes with slim, sparse 16’s and 18’s. Pheasant Tails, Hares Ears and the usual standbys will always produce the goods, however it’s totally worthwhile putting a few new patterns into play.
Little Black Stonefly
Smethursts Baetis Bomb
Next week we discuss early season dry selection and what you should be stocking up on this spring.