24 - 12 Deadly must have flies to start the new trout flyfishing season!

Whether you make that first cast of the new season on still or running water, March brings a special excitement to the fly fishing year.

As venues wake up after months of no pressure, it’s a time of optimism and fresh hope. But which flies will give you the best chance of action

on your return to the water?  


From classic trout flies to fresh twists, this is the time to tie on a fly that gives you maximum confidence.

After a long lay off, the fish will hopefully be bold and hungry- and for this reason, flies tend to be rather larger and more obvious.

Stocked trout will be especially aggressive, while even their river cousins might need waking up after a wet winter.

We’ve picked six of the best flies for stillwater and river fishing alike to get your net bulging this month!




Orange Hothead Cat’s Whisker 

Few stillwater fly fishing fans would be without the classic Cat’s Whisker to kick off the new season.

If anything, the addition of a hot head makes this favourite even more enticing! J

ust the thing to draw thumping takes from hungry stockies and put a healthy bend in the rod. 


Hothead Viva

Another time-honoured favourite, black and bright green remains one of the best colour combos to trigger trout.

Should your chosen water be rather muddy or unappetising, this bold pattern is especially useful,

a hot bead head making that message “come and get me!” even louder.


FAB Blob, Orange and Yellow 

Love or hate them, blobs are fantastic trout catchers. Besides the standard, slow sinking patterns,

however, the FAB can be even deadlier. The foam in the butt of these flies makes them buoyant- and when fished on a sinking line,

you get a fantastic presentation. No need to look beyond bright colours for the opening weeks of the reservoir season. 


Beadhead Shellback Hare’s Ear 

While lures tend to get most use in the early season, you don’t have to completely neglect natural imitations.

All lakes have bug life, that will get more and more active as winter thaws.

With the fish hungry and little recent angling pressure, however, you don’t need to go for minute flies and carbon copy realism.

This Hare’s Ear variant is perfect to get them excited without going OTT. 


Pearl Flashback Diawl Bach 

Another more natural pattern, for those who are less keen on pulling lures to kick off the spring.

Diawl Bachs are brilliant all rounders for the whole year, but you needn’t go too subtle in March or April.

This particular fly is a good general fit pattern, with a little extra flash for hungry, active fish. Try it in a size 12 with a twitchy, figure of eight retrieve. 


Conehead Orange and Black Zonker 

For the ultimate in movement, zonkers take some beating at any time of the season.

Add a conehead and you have a fly with a fast sink rate, which can be fished that little bit deeper, even with quicker retrieves.

Rip this one back and expect savage hits; don’t even think about using a light leader! 


Olive Klink and Dink 

Here’s a clever, useful dry fly for anyone who likes to fish New Zealand style.

Using a high vis emerger with a trailing nymph is a great way to hedge your bets on the stream in the early season.

This pattern even has a tiny leader ring to make life easier when adding your nymph. Don’t be too surprised if the odd fish nails the floating fly, however! 


CDC Hare’s Ear F-Fly 

While we might wish for clear water and delicate dry fly fishing in the early river season, a pragmatic approach is often needed.

This is especially true after a wet winter. You may just find some early sedge flies on the wing,however,

or at least some trout prepared to have a slash at a suitable caddis.

This one may not be subtle, but is highly attractive and fantastically easy to fish. 


Pearl Thorax Pheasant Tail 


Most river anglers will vouch for the deadliness of the PTN.

But in a full spring river, they can be a bit on the subtle side.

This more obvious variant has added sparkle to beat coloured water and draw strikes from fish looking for an easy meal while the water remains cool and high. 


Goldhead Copper John, Chartreuse 

Should you arrive at your chosen river and find the water still with a good tinge of colour,a slightly brighter fly than your usual fare can be useful.

Tied a little larger, in say a 12 or 14, and ribbed with red, gold or chartreuse rather than the usual subtler bronze wire,

this little favourite is a great river fly for coloured streams in early spring.  


Orange and Hare’s Ear Off Bead Nymph 

These nymphs just keep doing the business for our customers! Fishing “point up” they are ideal for tripping along the bottom,

right amongst it, when conditions demand. This particular colour combination, with scruffy dubbing and a red head, is especially useful in the early season. 


Duracell CDC Jig 

A fantastic pattern from Caledonia Flies, this one incorporates a mixture of flash dubbing and natural CDC to deadly effect.

Designed to fish “point up” and dressed on a barbless Partridge Hook,

it’s a winner for days when the water stays cold and the fish want their next meal close to the gravel. 

Can’t decide? Need to stock up for the season? Get maximum value with a box of the best river or stillwater fly patterns! 

For those looking for the best value way of all to buy flies, selection packs and boxes are the perfect answer! We sell a wide variety of these, from amazing value fly selections at under £10, to the award-winning Turrall Fly Pod, which provides a quality double sided fly box as well as a fistful of deadly flies. Click here to see our various fly selections – there’s something to suit every angler and every budget.