So yesterday we discussed tidal estuaries and their wintertime offerings and today we tool up with the flies that catch fish. IMO If they’re going to eat, they’re going to eat pretty much any pattern, but there are certain flies you can use to get noticed and which produce on most days.
Flash vs non flash. Being visual feeders, a trout’s perception of movement is above par, and so even in discoloured, or low light conditions you won’t always have to go big, bright and colourful to get noticed. In fact, flashy flies will often alert estuarine fish rather than entice them. My personal preference is to stick with dark and dull patterns for the most part to avoid putting fish off with unnecessary flash in often bright, reflective conditions but don’t hesitate to mix it up if you’re not getting the eat. Smelt patterns are also a feature of my fly box however find more use in spring as whitebait and smelt numbers increase. Across the winter months, a strong silhouette and profile do it for me.
The estuary six pack:
My anytime go-to.
Mega Rabbit Yellow
A classic estuary pattern which fishes well anytime, especially if mullet are present.
A killer pattern featuring an extended tail and predator attracting eyes.
Fresh Candy Olive
Fresh Candy Grey
For when fish are swirling in the shallows. Fish these in tandem for synchronised attraction.
Galloup’s Mini Dungeon Natural
A fantastic bully pattern which oozes profile and movement.