Where is old Jack Frost? Is he having a longer respite this year? Perhaps he over exerted himself in the early months and is still in recovery? It is now the end of November and I have yet to reach for the thermals for fishing, actually had to think about sun tan lotion on a few outings. Something is weird, not quite right, I can’t help but feeling we are going to pay for this with an extremely harsh winter when it does finally arrive.
The benefits of this milder weather are visible in the fly hatches, the little olives on our waters are still acting like it is a mild autumnal day and the fish are feeding on them. All of my recent outings on to the Taff have seen me leave the 4mm tungsten and 10’ 3# rod at home in favour of my (now fixed) dry fly rod and I have reaped the rewards. Plenty of fish have been taken on small CDCs and Griffiths Gnats imitating the midges and small olives (of unknown species as I am no entomologist). I may have caught more fishing the nymphs but if Jack Frost has been so kind as to leave the Taff alone for an extra month is it not rude to abandon this last dry fly bonanza?
The flipside to this has been the large number of out of season trout I have been catching. These guys and gals really need the hard frosts to switch their mind to more appropriate pastimes for a winter trout. They shouldn’t be bothering my dry flys so much at this time of year with their nasty teeth ruining my pretty, fragile CDC, but boy are they still hungry. I don’t feel as guilty as I normally do catching them out of season though, these fish are clearly not spawning yet and when they do they should be caught less frequently.
On that note I was recently reading a post on an American fly fishing forum about specifically fishing for spawning fish. The bloke was suggesting that large lures should be hung under a float and drifted past spawning fish to generate an anger attack. Is it just me or is this short sighted? Fish when spawning are far more stressed than usual right? Stressed fish produce less offspring, catching them stresses them out even more, you are going to ruin your friggin stream! At least we seem to have some common sense in this country and leave the spawning fish well alone. Salmon seem to be the only fish we deliberately target whilst spawning but that’s a whole kettle of fish I am not going to open here.
I am preparing a post on my favourite winter dry flys and nymphs, once I get around to setting up the camera on a bright enough day for some decent pics I will put my patterns on here. Hopefully there will be a few patterns included which make you think and perhaps even adjust some of your old favourites.