Early Spring

“What fly did Chandler have on today?”   This is a question often heard in the Lodge as members sign-in and see Colin’s latest return. Not many can match his success, but most would like to learn from him. So we’re delighted that Colin has agreed to share some tips with us !  In this first article, Colin covers the opening months of the fishing season – the Early Spring period.


Open Day 2015

” Here’s my advice and I’ve done this every early season for years, and still stick to it….

It’s important you don’t just walk up to the water’s edge and cast. Instead, cast your line from as far back as you dare, so that only the first 3 or 4 feet of line contact the lake.. with the leader then fishing the closest 3 or 4 yards. You’ll be surprised how close-in the fish are.. but can be spooked away VERY easily… then, they’re away and gone !

Colin Early 5

Soft marabou tails!

Approach the edge carefully after spanning the near area, but there’s no need to ever get closer than 8 feet away – so it’s a good idea to use a line tray, as the vegetation around you can soon tangle, dirty, and spoil your line. A washing-up bowl tied around your waist is fine.

Now, what flies to use ? Well, my choice is to stick with black and green as the dominant colours, and here are my suggestions – in fact, the ones I’ll be using… ! From 10s to 14s, but for me, the smaller the better !
Colin Early 4They are mainly “viva” coloured patterns which I tie to my own liking. See the ‘cactus’ chenille and ‘strazzle’ I use in the photos.

I’ll put a larger bead-headed one (see above) on the point, and tie one or two droppers 3 and 6 foot above. Note that the beads are tied high on the fly so that the hook sinks upside-down and its point faces ‘up’ and reduces snagging on the lake bed. I choose marabou and/or soft hen hackles which give better, more attractive presentation in the water. (see right)

Allow the point fly to reach the bed then the two droppers will be the most likely flies to draw the attention of the trout.

Colin Early 3A steady figure-of-eight retrieve, with an occasional little jerk should soon get a take.

If no interest is shown after 20 – 30 minutes – it’s time to move on or change fly size or pattern, but sticking with the the black/green colours and silver tinsel.

But most important of all is that you must always have confidence in the flies you’ve put on. Without this, you’re on a hiding to nothing !!

Just a final word, remember to take a floating line with you!  Even in March and April there’s a good chance of a surface rise, especially around noon and early afternoon.  So a switch to a floating line and small dark flies may prove productive if you see activity … for every one you see on the top, there’ll be a dozen or so below it !

Now, that should be enough to get you started into the New Season ! Next time I’ll let you have some of my early/mid spring tips. Good luck !

Colin Early 1


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