59 - Top Tips - 5 Fly Patterns for the New Reservoir Trout Season
Top 5 Fly Patterns for the New Reservoir Trout Season
That most eagerly anticipated time of the stillwater fly fishing season is already upon us. It might still feel a tad chilly, but fly anglers all over the UK are busily sorting out their gear and booking boat and bank tickets for the reservoir trout season. But which flies should you bank on to get those first pulls of the season? Here are five proven patterns to put a bend in your rod in April.
There are two basic approaches for fishing this time of year. The first is a floating line such as the Cortland 444 Peach with the Heavy Black Buzzer (size 10) on the point with the Quill Buzzer (size 12) on a 6 inch dropper 7ft above it with another 6 to 8ft of nylon to the fly line.
Simple but deadly: the Black Buzzer
Given a good ripple and active fish in the upper layers, this is the nicest way of all to catch. As with all buzzer fishing, retrieve sparingly, just keeping in touch with the line and watching for pulls, which are not always dramatic.
The Quill Buzzer- one of our favourite dropper flies for the early season.
In an ideal world, you could happily fish a floating line with buzzers all day- but on those early season sessions you might need to be pragmatic and try something louder and more obvious! Hence our other approach is to switch to lures and use a Cortland 3 slow sink line with 10ft between two flies and a overall leader length of 18ft. It’s vital to find the level the fish are cruising at, and with this set up you can count the line down to different depths each cast until I locate the fish. I prefer to do this with the Cortland 3 because the line is so versatile.
The ever dependable Cat’s Whisker, ideal for the first few weeks of the season.
Start the season with a size 10 Cat’s Whisker on the point with a Blob on the dropper. The Cat’s Whisker is one of those classics that seems to work every new season. Keep the flies slightly smaller in a size 10, which can lead to fewer tail pulls and more full-blooded takes.
The deadly Blob- cracking as a dropper fly to draw fish with a dash of colour.
The infamous Blob, on the other hand, is a newer addition but too effective to ignore (our starting choice is a Hot Orange Blob, size 10). Even when you’re not catching on it, that dash of bright colour will draw fish to your other flies.
As with any fly fishing, however, you can’t always depend on the same fly or formula each trip. Stock fish get a little wiser and conditions change, so as March turns into April, the Cats Whisker tends to get replaced with the Fab Cormorant (size 10). This is the Turrall variant on a proven pattern, which has scored very well on Blagdon Reservoir in particular. This pattern should be fished with confidence on any reservoir though, and if the fish are particularly fussy sometimes try fishing two Cormorants.
The Fab Cormorant. Ideal for keeping the takes coming when the fish get more picky in April.
Our advice would be simply to get out there and fish, rather than waiting until the warmer spring days. With the introduction of new stocks and longer daylight hours, early season sport can be fantastic. Do keep an eye on the catch reports and keep active to find the fish, because the fresh stockies won’t always be evenly dispersed. You’ll often catch from the bank, but boat fishing can be even better and you can always compare notes and depths with a friend until you hit on the right formula.
Happy fishing and do share any great catches with us.
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