Essential Early Season Fly Lines

The clock is ticking down towards the UK fly fishing season opening days on many of the UK’s large reservoir fisheries. We are talking of famous and popular venues such as Rutland water, Grafham, Blagdon, Chew valley , Eyebrook, Stocks, Draycote and many more.

Thousands of fine rainbow trout are being stocked in readiness, and the fully finned overwintered residents are bound to be hungry and ready to rip that fly line out of your hands! (Check out their facebook pages for more information on stocking)

A rare calm opening day on Rutland water

A rare calm opening day on Rutland water

We tend to have a mental image of a balmy spring day as the perfect season opener, with the trout gently sipping buzzers off the top in mild and calm conditions… The reality however is almost always very different in mid March – its often way too wet, windy and cold for top water fly fishing to be successful. The trout will have a much slower metabolism due the very cold water temperatures, and will invariably be inactive and deep down in the water column or hugging the bottom.

Thankfully to make things much easier for us, the team at Airflo have come up with the ultimate early season fly lines, the Sixth Sense range! They are perfect for those dour cold windy days – when you really need that deep and slow presentation, or for fishing a booby static.

Gareth Jones, Airflo Sales Director describes the uses and benefits of the whole Airflo sixth sense range:

For us the Airflo Sixth Sense Di7 in particular is the ”must have” early season line

If you are a bank angler early season can be even more of a challenge than on the boat. Airflo’s answer to this is the 40 plus range of fly lines. Airflo have successfully updated the old fashioned ”shooting head” tradition. Long gone are the days of hearing that annoying rattle of the crude lumpy join going through your guides, and the frustrating hours spent unpicking your curly mono running line. With the latest generation of forty plus lines, Airflo have seamlessly integrated the head and running line into a smooth tapered join, with a continuous non stretch core for superb take detection. The result is much easier casting execution combined with superb longevity.

Here’s Gareth explaining more about the forty plus fly lines:

For early season bank fishing we’d recommend the Airflo Forty Plus Di 5 & Di 7.

Fly Fishing at Llyn Gwyn

I decided to visit Llyngwyn, run by Rhayader AC. Llyngwyn is a place I hold fondly in my memory as a place I caught my first ever fish on the fly, some 18 years or so ago before the lure of football and Rugby left the fishing behind. Now back fishing at any given opportunity it was only natural I would get back there.

I went along with a friend, Tom who was keen to fish there too. We met early, around 8 and made the relatively short journey to Rhayader where we picked up our lunch and permit for the day before heading to the lake. On arrival, the wind was up and it was rather cold. There were a few anglers on the left bank towards the boathouse so decided to head around the opposite bank to an area of Lilly pads. A check of the catch return saw fish we generally taken on Cats and Montana’s.

Having climbed into my thermals that morning, by the time I put on my Simms freestone waders, Guideline jacket and Anglers Buff I was toasty. I tackled up 2 rods. A 6wt Flextec with an Airflo ridge intermediate line to pull the lures, I added 10ft 8lb G3 leader and a black Zonker. I also tackled up my 4/5wt Sreamtec Nantec rod with 15 ft 7lb G3, with an apps bloodworm on the point and two black buzzer imitations on the droppers. To be fished under a strike indicator.

Given that there were a few anglers on the boathouse bank, I struck up a pleasant conversion with two of them on how they were fishing and what was working for them and kindly asked if I could set up my fly fishing tackle between them.  With no objections I sorted my self out and cast out. Having fished various tactics and flies, lunchtime came and still no fish, I was worried another blank was on the cards! I stopped to feed and had a think about what to do next?

The weather was still bitter cold and I had a feeling the fish were holding a little deeper. I waded out over the shallow, around 15-20ft from the bank so I could get my flies over the drop off comfortably and hopefully bring them back through the patrolling fish. My first cast I let sink down 20 or seconds before a short, sharp, jagged retrieve – only five seconds in the retrieve the line locked up and my delayed reaction saw a fish the first missed fish of the day.

Next cast and a fish was on and to the net in seconds, a rainbow trout of around 2lb. Next cast and another 2lber. A few more fish were hooked but some aerial acrobatics saw more hook pulls than I care to share! Before the end of the day another two of similar size came to the net. Tom had 2 to the net, including this one of 2 1/2lb. All fish were taken on lures; the buzzers didn’t have much of a look in to be honest!

With the conditions getting colder we called it a day around 4pm. After completed the catch return and a quick look at what had been taken throughout the day it appeared tough all round, only one angler had more fish than me that day and there was a blank earlier and the previous day. Not that I’m one motivated by being better than everyone else buts it’s nice to get the reassurances your doing things right even after a break.

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