Mulberry Whin 2016 Mid May Report
It has been a cold start to the trout season with mixed results. However things are starting to warm up & the trout are starting to look up. Dry fly is now becoming more productive than the deep nymphing that has been required much of the time during April & early May.
The Hawthorn Flies have come late & are only just starting to get blown onto the water during warm, sunny, breezy conditions. The numbers of Black Gnats have been disappointing so far (18th May). The sparse, sporadic hatches of Large Dark Olives seen earlier have now subsided & hopefully the Pale Wateries will start to emerge soon.
The emergence of tiny Agapetus Caddis pupae started early (late April) & is now getting well underway. If you see trout rising quite aggressively to something tiny in the surface film then you can be fairly sure that they are taking these 5mm long pupae as they swim to the river bank prior to emergence of the adult from the pupal exoskeleton. Fish that are preoccupied on Agapetus are hard to put down, even with careless casting, but can be virtually impossible to catch unless you are using a suitable imitation fished in or just below the surface film (Stuart Crofts’ size 20 Agapetus Pupa is the best imitation or a trimmed down Griffiths Gnat with just a few side fibers left). Only yesterday I had a 3lb 6oz brownie that refused all but an Agapetus pattern.
River levels are still high & flows are fast. Make sure you bring Wellingtons as some banks are wet & muddy. Also if nymph fishing you will need some very heavy tungsten beaded flies to get down to the fish if they are lying deep.
As usual long rods (9 feet or longer), light lines (2 to 4 weight) & long leaders (12 to 18 feet) ending in 5x tippet are recommended as the fish can be very spooky in the clear water & are very fussy about good presentation. 5x tippet will ensure that you have a chance of landing one of the big (4lb plus) fish should you hook one. Don’t forget Polaroid glasses since sight-fishing is vastly more productive than search-fishing; time spent looking for fish that are on the fin & feeding is never wasted time.
Recommended flies are, size 18 & 20 Black Gnat, size 14 Hawthorn, size 18 Olive (such as Adams or Shuttlecock), Size 20 (or smaller) Midge, Size 20 Agapetus Pupa, Daddy, Size 14 or 12 Elk Hair Caddis or F Fly, Bead-head nymphs (with up to 5mm tungsten beads), leaded Shrimps.
PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL BROWN TROUT & GRAYLING MUST BE RETURNED TO THE WATER as some folks have not noticed this rule change on the hut notice board.