Friday, 29 March 2013


In anticipation of the new season, I have been tying some flies for the stillwater box too. Quills make a super fast but highly effective buzzer imitation. Allowed to fish with virtually no movement, other than that provided by the wind, takes can be savage. My preferred sizes are 16 and 14.

Hook: Partridge YK4A #16
Thread: Powersilk, Olive
Body: Stripped peacock quill - coated with UV cure resin
Breathers: Folded marabou, white


Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Yellow May Dun

A Yellow May Dun (Heptagenia Sulphurea) imitation tied on an inverted Partridge Gold Klinkhamer hook, size 16. We are fortunate to have these flies on my closest rivers. I don't think the fish ever really lock onto them, mainly because of the lack of intensity of the hatches... but carrying a few imitations can never hurt.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

So close, but it feels so far.

It is bitter out there. A North Easterley wind really makes any chance of a decent hatch unlikely, so cancelling planned trips to the Usk seemed the best option. The season starts on the 1st of April on my local rivers and I am hoping for a lift in the air temperatures to encourage a few olives to hatch and for the fish to start looking up. The rivers look good; but they are cold.

The fly boxes are getting there too. The Box of CDC dries is spilling into the reserve boxes now. Some tried and trusted patterns and some new ideas to try out on the hungry, spring trout.

CDC flies in the magnetic box
I have also been playing with some Mayfly imitations too for the coming season... well we can dream:

A USD Mayfly Dun imitation - Partridge Klinkhamer hook


Sunday, 17 March 2013

Spent and Orange

A uesful and very simple spinner pattern that makes the perfect 'spent' footprint on the surface:

Tied on a Size 16 Partridge SLD.


Thursday, 14 March 2013

Orange is the key

Who knows what fish really see? Whatever the range of wavelengths their eyes are capable of detecting, there is no doubt that orange is very attractive to them. Without a doubt, the colour of the Blue Winged Olive spinner (Seratella Ignita, Imago), is enough to make 'mathing the hatch' with a suitable fly is essential - and orange is key. It is more than that though: an orange tag or hot-spot revolutionises many nymphs and bugs making them more effective than their more sombre coloured cousins.

Getting ready for the new season, my boxes are starting to look heathily full. Here's a  classic and a favourite from April through to September - working its magic in orange:

The Partridge & Orange, tied on Partridge Spider hooks (size 16 - 12)


Sunday, 3 March 2013

Ready, steady...

Well the Christmas Eve feeling set in on Saturday night as we were planning to hit the Usk for opening Day today. Saturday's weather gave lots of early season hope with some afternoon sunshine lifting the temperature. Exactly what you need to persaude a few olives (Large Dark Olives this time of year) to hatch and then the fish to switch on.
The Usk - flowing cold!

However, by 7pm there was a frost forming and, sure enough, Sunday morning saw a hard frost and a biting Easterley wind was making conditions less than favourable.

A nice opener for Dave Smith, taking a nymph on the duo

In the back of our minds was the chance of an afternoon shift in temperature. By 2.30pm a few LDO's started to hatch, but the fish stayed low and tempting them on a nymph was proving harder than tough.

Good to be out. Back soon when things warm a little.