Tuesday, 31 March 2015

My early season essentials.

Tomorrow is opening day, Thursday is the day of my first fishing session. A hatch of large dark olives isn't guaranteed but it wouldn't be unrealistic for me expect to come across a few. Even if the duns don't appear, I'll certainly be using appropriate imitations, and with a bit of hope, I won't have to resort to river-bed dredging with heavy nymphs.

To imitate the nymph of any baetis, my number one pattern is Oliver Edwards excellent Baetis Nymph. To look at the fly it appears complicated; the individual processes used to make the fly are simply enough and once you've learnt the "route" you can tie them reasonably quickly, but they are by no means a five minute fly. Sizes 16-20 will cover all of the common species, all you'll have to change is the colour.

Oliver Edwards baetis nymph

Oliver Edwards baetis nymph

Oliver Edwards baetis nymph

Oliver Edwards baetis nymph

The next stage to imitate is the emerger. I don't have many emerger patterns and one that I've recently tied is a variant of the Cul-de-Canon. This is a pleasantly quick tie along with being a simple pattern; I feel the addition of a squirrel thorax enhances the suggestiveness.


Once the emerging fly has hatched into the dun I won't hesitate to tie on my Barbour Paradun. An amalgamation and rip off of two Peter Hayes patterns. I have taken the shape of the PhD and combined it with the silk thread body soaked in liquid wax of the Muskrax. 

Barbour Paradun

Barbour Paradun

I'll also have a few PhD's tucked away if needed; this style of fly is very versatile and will even imitate large mayflies if tied in the appropriate colours.

PhD (Peter Hayes Dun)

If the trout won't take a hackled fly then a sure fire bet is the JT Olive.

JT Olive


  1. Good luck Ben, I hope its a tad warmer where you are. We're still in the grips of winter here in the North East. It would be nice if you could do an SBS of the olive nymph sometime? tight lines

    1. Hi Peter I have a couple of SBS that I would like to do, so watch this space.