Kieron Jenkins shares an early season favourite which served him well during the winter months.
Early season trout fishing can be tough going. There are many variables which make for a good start, and the last few years have been pretty tough indeed. As much as we hope for a great start to the season, this year looks like it’s going to be another test – even for the most hardened anglers. The lack of cold, wintery weather certainly knocked the grayling fishing, and with a pretty similar weather pattern emerging as last year, the start of a good trout season looks uncertain.
The one thing I have noticed over the last few years is that it seems to have taken longer for the trout to fall back into their usual lies from their spawning activity. Trout will head upstream to reproduce and spawn, and with the colder weather setting in later each year, it takes them that bit longer to turn up back in the main rivers. In my opinion, especially on our rivers here in South Wales, we’re fishing for fewer fish early on in the season than before, so taking advantage of what is there is key.
Ensuring your flies are fishing in the correct place is the biggest hurdle, with the recent influx of ‘Euro Nymphers’ we tend to fish lighter than ever before and sometimes a team of 3mm nymphs just won’t do. My early season trout box is full of 3.5-4.5mm tungsten nymphs, and I very rarely use anything lighter until the warmer weather kicks in around the end of April. These heavy bugs ensure I can cut through the extra water early season river fishing brings, and allows me to fish my flies as close to the bottom as possible. Early season trouting is much the same as grayling fishing in my eyes, – if you don’t get the depth, you don’t get the fish, especially on freestone rivers like the Taff and Ebbw.
- Early season trout aren’t fussy. Don’t be afraid to use larger than normal patterns; a size 10 or 12 nymph is a tasty mouthful for a hungry, post-spawn brown. My most effective nymph is by far this Black and Purple Nasty.
- Experiment with the collar colour, Glo-Brite No.5 is purely my favourite and catches me a lot of fish – but Glo-Brite No.11 (green) is exceptional if there are a number of large dark olives hatching too.
- I much prefer to spin the dubbing in a dubbing loop, especially for the thorax. It gives the fly a much buggier look. Although not essential, the thorax cloaks the body and gives it a more nymph-like appearance.
Born and raised on the rivers and lakes of south Wales, Kieron Jenkins has become one of the leading competition anglers of our time. With multiple ‘Brown Bowls’ under his belt, along with a creditable fourth position at World level, fly fishing and fly tying has become his life, passion and obsession for Fulling Mill’s Digital Marketing Manager.