Happy Days

fishing spiders, flymphs & nymphs

a few of my favourite things

My season started at the beginning of April this year, after a delay of a couple of weeks due to one thing or another. This was a bit frustrating, as this year I am trying something a bit different; river fishing! I had always liked sparse, simple patterns and they generally worked well for me from the bank of the loch, but this year I wanted to give the river a try. That was good, because it gave me an opportunity in the close season to do plenty of research and to go some way in learning new techniques and concepts and to expand my fly fishing knowledge and development.

Arriving at the river for the first time, my initial thoughts were that all that theory I had learnt had suddenly left me and that the river appeared as a moving, monstrous mass of turbulent randomness! However, after taking a breath and studying the water for a moment or two, I began to see the patterns in the currents, the flows and the slower deeper pools and understand why the water was moving as it did. The concepts and ideas suddenly began to return to my brain and excitedly, I realised that I could at last put what I had learnt during the winter, into a practical fishing situation. I had planned to fish down and across and swing some spider patterns to get me started and that approach seemed logical enough on the day. First session out, early April and no trout; not even a touch! That was fine and a fish would merely have been a bonus; truly it was just wonderful to be out fishing again and learning about fishing in moving water.

Later that week and second session out on the river, I managed four small fish; three on a Black Spider and one on a Grouse and Orange. The tactic seemed to be to cast into the main flow under the far bank and let the flies swing round to the edge of the current where the fish would grab them just where it slowed. There were a number of trout parr in this section however, and consequently I moved on downstream wishing to avoid them, but it seemed almost impossible to put the flies through a run or pool without encountering them. Still, it was a good sign of the rivers health I would have thought. Shortly afterwards I called it a day and headed for home.

softhackles.blog - soft hackle wet fly - Black Spider
Black Spider Body: black floss or 8/0 thread Hackle: black hen
softhackles.blog - soft hackle wet fly - Grouse and Orange
Grouse and Orange Body: orange 8/0 thread Thorax: fine tan dubbing Hackle: grouse (or mottled brown hen)

My last session on a different section of the the river resulted in five small fish, one of which l am sure was a salmon smolt. This time it was the February Red that was taken by all but one fish, with a little trico dubbed flymph accounting for the other.

softhackles.blog - soft hackle wet fly - February Red
February Red Body: red 8/0 thread Thorax: fine trico (or dark brown) dubbing Hackle: mottled brown hen
softhackles.com – Soft Hackle Wet Fly – Trico Flymph
Trico Flymph Tail: mottled brown hen fibres Body: fine trico dubbing Rib: fine gold wire Thorax: grey rabbit Hackle: furnace hen tied sparse and swept back over body

I am really enjoying my season so far and I am certainly looking forward to my next session. I just love exploring the river; the riffles, runs, pockets, seams and the slower pools; it certainly is an adventure!

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