The fishing is starting to liven up on the beck despite the cool, wet weather. Hawthorn flies are appearing in decent numbers and the trout are already taking them and their smaller cousins the Black Gnats should appear soon. Midges are abundant and most of the rising fish are midge-feeding so unless you see fish taking anything else a size 20 (or smaller) midge imitation (Griffiths Gnat, F Fly or IOBO Humpy) is the “GOT TO” dry fly. After two years with poor hatches of Olives I am hopeful that this year might see some improvement as increasing numbers of Baetis and Blue-winged Olive nymphs are starting to show up in my monthly invertebrate kick samples. Furthermore a few Olives are starting to hatch off from about 10am into the afternoon. It is also worth having some Daddies in your fly box since one or two are to be seen on the water and the trout soon learn what they are. If fish are seen on the fin but are not rising a well presented Daddy will often tempt them to take.
From mid May onwards we will start seeing Sedges and it will be worth trying an Elk Hair Caddis or F Fly in sizes 12 to 20. In particular keep an eye open for vigorous rises to an invisible food source during the day. The fish may well be feeding on tiny Agapetus Sedge pupae swimming just below the surface on their way to the bank side where the adults will emerge. A size 20 Gold-ribbed Hare’s Ear nymph twitched through the surface should tempt these fish.
The recent persistent and often heavy rain should (hopefully) result in improving water levels and flow in a month’s time, when the water has had a chance to work its way through the aquifers to the springs. This should make the fishing much easier. The fish will have less time to inspect our flies for imperfections in presentation and they will also be more likely to stay on station rather than cruising about in search of food.