A Tip for Late Winter/Spring Trout

by “ Matuka”

I always look sideways at fly fishers who say “I don’t care if I catch any fish or not, it’s just nice to get out there.”

Sure it is. But then if you think that way why not leave the rod home and avoid the trouble of thrashing around in the bushes with a 9-foot stick?

Let’s be honest – after a long winter most of us are eager to go out to the river and hopefully hook a trout on the first day out?

But early season fly fishing can be frustrating— much high water to cover while cold  water makes trout sluggish to feed, and often there’s no insect hatch so trout don’t feed


My tip is to fish a fly lure sometimes called a streamer early in the season. Typically, when water temperatures are cooler even with snow melt affecting temperature, trout

may not move a foot to take a fly and they’ll seldom chase a fast-moving fly. They tend to be deeper in the water too.

So you have to get the streamer near the trout, using perhaps a sinking tip line. Slow and deep.

Flies with some movement, like those with marabou and rabbit fur, work best under these conditions. Woolly Buggers work well

particularly in olive. Near the estuary lighter coloured flies like a Rabbit, Grey Ghost or Parson’s Glory may score.

But remember to get as deep as you can. Even flies with brass or tungsten beads get the fly deep.

Fish the streamers slow, even dead drift at times. To get deeper if need be, pinch a couple of split shot above the fly. Throw mends in

the fly line to get the fly even deeper. Colour does not seem to be that important, although if the water is a bit discoloured, black is a good choice.

Try a size 6 or 8 streamer fly which wiggles with plenty of enticing action. 

, A Tip for Late Winter/Spring Trout

Olive Woolly Bugger

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1 Response to A Tip for Late Winter/Spring Trout

  1. ian DOIG says:

    Isnt it fishing not catching.If you dont enjoy carrying a fly rod around use a spinning rod.What would you rather do walk around all day and fly fish or sit around watching youtube watching people fly fish.At least if you get off your arse and go fly fishing[not catching] you do get to have a great day out plus the chance of at least hooking a fish if not catching it..

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