Early Season River Fly Fishing Tips

The UK river fly fishing season has just started in Wales and Scotland, with most of England soon to follow! Fishing can be very tough at this time of year, so former Welsh rivers international Tim Hughes has put together his essential early season river fly fishing tips.

An early season river Usk trout

An early season river Usk trout

1. Concentrate your efforts at the best times. Fishing from 10am to 2.30pm is our preferred slot for early season. Why? It’s the warmest time of day when flies start hatching and the fish become active. Early and late can be way too cold, and could result in a blank. So optimise your fishing times.

2. Bring Two Outfits. Early season fly hatches are short lived sometimes only half an hour round mid-day, so maybe have two outfits made up ready – one with nymphs and one pre-rigged with a dry so you can make the most of this narrow window.

An iron blue dun from the river Usk

An iron blue dun from the river Usk – the hatch only lasted 30 minutes!

3. Wrap up warm. Weather conditions can quickly change early season so make sure you have the correct clothing – concentration isn’t good if your wet and cold. A thermal under-suit beneath your waders is an essential at this time of year, as is a fleece and breathable waterproof wading jacket.

4. Search the water. Don’t spend to much time in one spot, make sure you keep moving, searching the water. Fish concentrations can be very localised at this time of year, as the trout are often still in their overwintering haunts. Some pools may be empty and others will have fish holed up in them.

Early Season on the Ebbw

Searching the water – keep moving until you find fish.