A Change of Fly

fishing spiders, flymphs & nymphs


…is as good as a rest

It was one of those sessions where everything just worked to plan, one of those wonderful, rare, special moments in flyfishing.

Arriving at the water I made my first cast with my flies, a Black Spider on the point and an Olive Spider on the dropper. A few fish began showing. Some of the rises were fast, slashing rises which I took to be the fish taking adult insects of some sort but most of the activity appeared to be to the nymphs below the surface. I persevered with my flies, having confidence in both but especially in the Black Spider. The brown trout in this water range from a few ounces upwards to much the bigger fish I know to be there. I cast again. A fish! One of the smaller brown trout, but I was off the mark, the fish coming to a slowly retrieved fly a few inches below the surface. And yes, it took the Black Spider. I had another small fish perhaps 10 minutes later but by now there was more activity: those slashing rises to the adult flies and those subsurface boils of the nymph feeders. As welcome as the two fish were, given the increasing fish activity, my flies should be getting more attention I decided.

The weather conditions were pointing to an olive hatch (still, very overcast with a seemingly constant drizzle). I had yet to see any olives (but would do so later in the day) however, I decided to go with a nymph imitation fished just subsurface. I find a hares ear type of fly makes a good olive pupae pattern but decided to go with a Fiery PTN: a cruncher-style of fly. The change of fly was to transform the day. No sooner had I begun fishing with it than I began to get takes. Hard takes too. This was to continue for almost the rest of the afternoon until the hatch finally petered out towards evening. Due to the fish walloping the Fiery PTN (or possibly my inadequate tying…) I needed to replace the fly twice during the session.

softhackles.com – Firey PTN

well chomped Fiery PTN!


I had managed a couple of fish on the Olive Spider on the dropper but decided to switch it for the Black Spider just to see which fly the trout would prefer if for no other reason. The PTN came out well on top with 8 fish, the Black Spider 2 and the Olive Spider 2.

It was a very special day on that water and I maybe had the same number again of fish taking the fly without actually getting hooked. Exciting stuff! But that is flyfishing. I certainly felt privileged to be on the water that day and I know that that session will remain with me for many years to come.

softhackles.blog - FieryPTN

Fiery PTN

softhackles.com – Black Spider

Black Spider

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