Early Season Trout Flies

Trout Flies for Early Season Fishing

Paul Fairhurst
Buzzz Flies

Don’t get me wrong, I love fishing for Grayling through the winter. It’s often quite a social affair, fishing in tandem with friends or at competitions such as the Grayling Festival on the Dee, or the Grayling Masters on the Wye. But to me, there’s nothing quite like the 15thMarch and the beginning of the Trout season.

The weather’s often unpredictable, the river still looking cold and drab with Spring struggling to break through. However under the surface things have begun to stir and the Large Dark Olive (LDO) is about to provide the first significant hatches of the year and herald the beginning of Spring.

Hatching around midday, the duns often spend some considerable time at the mercy of the currents and the trout are usually quick to take advantage. Large trout, keen to recover condition after the winter are sometimes off their guard and a watchful approach can provide some sizable fish.

Here’s a few of my favourite flies for early season Trout Fishing.

CDC Quill Olive Dun Dry Fly

Hook: #14-16 Hanak H130 BL 

Thread:  UNI-Trico 17/0

Tail:  Coq de Leon

Body: Polish Quills Golden Olive

Wing:  CDC

Thorax: Squirrel

CDC Quill Olive Emerger

Hook: #16 Hanak 230 BL

Thread:  12/0 Nano Silk

Body: Polish Quills Golden Olive

Wing: CDC

Thorax: Squirrel


Warmer weather can lead to a frenzy of activity, but the increase in temperature allows the duns to quickly harden their wings spending very little time on the water. In such conditions the fish can be less inclined to rise and spiders can be a good option.

Glitter Thread Spider

Hook: #16 Hanak H500 BL 

Body:  Textreme Dk Green Glitter Thread

Hackle:  Jackdaw Scalp

A few weeks later and its the turn of the March Brown, a larger fly with mottled speckled wings. The size and shape is very distinctive, and must look very appetizing to a hungry trout.

Jingler Dry Fly

Hook: #12-14 Hanak H130 BL 

Thread:  UNI-Trico 17/0

Tail:  Coq de Leon

Body: Olive/Brown Rabbit

Rib:  Textreme Glitter Thread

Hackle: Brown Cock Hackle + Partridge

Successful fishing is often about adaptability, so we need to be prepared to fish emergers, duns, spiders and of course nymphs. Surface activity may be brief and in such cases a few nymph patterns can make all the difference.

Tungsten Baetis Nymph

Hook: #16 Hanak 230 BL

Thread:  12/0 Nano Silk

Tail:  Partridge

Body: Olive Rabbit

Rib:  0.18 Olive Wire

Legs: CDC

Thorax: Black Hare


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