From Sea Trout to Brown TroutThe Grey Monkey Spider caught its first fish for me a couple of weeks ago. It had been a slow start to the 2018 season with the long cold winter and spring, but success at last came a couple of weeks ago. It was mid April with snow still on the higher ground where the loch sits. There was low, grey cloud cover which more resembled mist than cloud and not a breath of wind in the air. The water surface was as smooth and flat as mirrored glass. Nothing could be seen hatching and yet the trout were taking something just below the surface and occasionally just in or on the flat water surface. But what? Main culprit had to be tiny black midge and this assumption proved correct as the session wore on.
There was plenty of trout boiling the surface of the water as they hunted the pupae but they just didn’t want the flies I was offering them. In fact they were just ignoring them! It was amazing (and frustrating) to have my flies surrounded by so many fish and yet not to receive a single take to any of them. Switching to the Grey Monkey Spider I tried fishing it in the surface film and deeper down. I tried a slow retrieve, a faster retrieve and then settled back to fishing the fly statically again. By this point I was beginning to get despondent which is quite unusual for me, especially in a fishing situation. I had literally just thought to myself ‘Your’re not going to catch anything today are you?…’ when suddenly the fish took the fly. It was one of those takes where you instinctively just tighten the line with no conscious thought to do so or of being aware of the take actually happening and then find yourself attached to a fish. The fish was a 37cm brown trout and still quite dark, a lean fish with a large head, dark brown back a few red spots and the most wonderful golden flanks – beautiful! I didn’t take a photo as I wanted to return the fish as quickly as possible. That was my one and only take. This fish was the first I had caught on the Grey Monkey Spider and was also the first fish of the 2018 season too. Double cause for celebration!