Trout & Salmon (UK) - - TROUTING AT DAWN -

Hook Size 8-10 Ka­masan B170 Back and tail Rab­bit Zonker Body Cross-cut rab­bit strip palmered along the shank from the half­way point to the eye Flash Strand of Flashabou tied in each side at the lat­eral line po­si­tion Head Rab­bit fur spun in a dub­bing loop and stroked back Eyes Small epoxy eyes at­tached with su­per­glue

THE FI­NAL PAT­TERN I take on an early-morn­ing walk is a sim­ple Streamer, quite small as these things go and al­ways ready in the cor­ner of my box along with a slow-sink­ing polyleader of some sort. It’s an in­side bend, slack wa­ter sort of fly, or in­deed any­where that holds shel­ter for the huge num­bers of fry I see on the Usk. For this to work, it’s es­sen­tial that you are the first per­son around in the morn­ing be­cause bank­side ac­tiv­ity ru­ins the op­por­tu­nity for the rest of the day. Search these ar­eas thor­oughly by vary­ing the re­trieve and putting some life into the fly and you can be re­warded with a hand­some spec­i­men. I’ve been ty­ing and fish­ing the Bunny Fry for years and it has ac­counted for many of my bet­ter fish and not only trout. Pike, bone­fish, sea-trout and tiger­fish have all fallen to its charms. It is a sim­ple pat­tern to tie: just two strips of rab­bit – one straight cut, the other cross cut – a bit of flash and, if you want, stick-on eyes. I don’t weight this pat­tern as it tends to take the life out of the fly. Sink­ing lead­ers achieve the re­quired depth and main­tain the al­lure. In the very early morn­ing, even in the shal­low­est wa­ter, it’s per­fectly pos­si­ble to find a spec­i­men sum­mer fish on your stretch of river. They reg­u­larly and con­ve­niently give their po­si­tion away by slash­ing at small fry. Gen­tly drift a Bunny Fry down­stream into the area and give it a lit­tle life. Takes are never gen­tle – an­tic­i­pa­tion is every­thing. It’s even worth greas­ing the Bunny Fry and pre­sent­ing it as a dry-fly in ar­eas of ac­tiv­ity.

RIVERCRAFT PLAYS A huge part. By get­ting to know the wa­ter you can qui­etly ap­proach dif­fer­ent wa­ter types in turn, fully ex­pect­ing to find feed­ing fish. Don’t walk blithely down the banks: stay back from the edge as much as pos­si­ble. Take de­tours to avoid alert­ing the fish and only slip down to the wa­ter when you’re sure you can cover a fish. None of these flies re­quire long-range casts. I of­ten find my­self cast­ing over dry land to present the fly. Wher­ever pos­si­ble, avoid break­ing the sky­line – the fish will see you and slip away to their shel­ter. These sum­mer-morn­ing ex­pe­di­tions come to an end as soon as the sun hits the wa­ter. Nor­mally by 8am, they are an­cient his­tory. I rarely meet other an­glers. If you meet a dog­walker, go home or go some­where else as it’s a sure bet the morn­ing’s sport will be ru­ined. But there is al­ways to­mor­row.

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