1 THE IMITATIVE APPROACH
“My favourite is a Black Pennell on a dropper and a Cove PTN on point.”
THE first insects to welcome the spring are the chironomids ( buzzers) and even before the f irst hatches begin, the pupae will be active in the deeper water. The trout know this and will be looking for the bloodworm and pupae. If you fish a leaded Apps’ Bloodworm, an Epoxy Buzzer or a beadhead pattern, they’ll sink quickly, and stay down. Use a long leader of say at least 12 feet, and almost always a dead slow retrieve will work best. Add a dropper about a metre or so from the point with another, maybe Superglue Buzzer, and you have a super-effective combo to f ish the f lies at differing depths. As time moves on and each day warms you may start to see occasional splashy rises. This tells you that some buzzers are starting to hatch but that the f ish themselves are still quite deep and must rush up to the surface to grab the hatching f ly, and hence the splashy rise. When the rise forms become quieter and even to the classic ‘head-and-tail’ rise you can now deduce that the fish are cruising much higher in the water and need only tip upwards a short way to take the hatching f ly. Splashy rises tell you to swap heav y f lies to slower sinking ones and eventually to using an emerger on the dropper. Finally, with f ish high in the water and hatches reaching their peak, f ish a Diawl Bach or Cruncher on point and an emerger on dropper, ideally of different colours and sizes offering options for the f ish. If you like more ‘traditional’ f lies then my all-time favourite would be a Black Pennell on dropper and a Cove Pheasant Tail Nymph on point (pictured above). These various two-f ly combos will cover all your early-season buzzer f ishing, but keep your eyes open to see what’s happening so you f ish at the right depths.