So winter has finally started to ease its grip and already the systems are
showings signs of life. There have been reports of tiny black buzzers
hatching all over the country which is an encouraging sign.
With the harsh winter I hope it has sterilized the systems and nature is
about to explode into life. Reports over the last few seasons suggest mild
winters have adversely effected the fly hatches and there doesn't appear to
be these huge buzzer hatches. In the mild winters are the fish feeding all
winter and not having the same urge to feed voraciously in spring?
Early season on the large reservoirs are about finding stocked fish and the
larger over wintered fish. The stocked fish will appear easy meat for a
while, the only challenge is finding them, usually when you find one there
will be more. Once located Its a matter of finding the correct depth and
having fun. Soon however the stocked fish will wise up and head for 2
things. Water temperature and feeding.
Both the stocked fish and over wintered fish will head for the same areas.
I can think of no better way to target these fish than with a washing line
set up. You would be hard pushed to beat two size 10 black buzzers and a
FAB on the tail. Just vary the line in accordance to fish depth. Always try
to start above the fish and work your way down if required. For the early
season when the waters are heavily stocked the new FNF Block Jelly will be
a great choice of pattern. At this time the fish are fresher and really
drawn to the strong block colour. In the morning I would tend to go bright
and as the day wares on If the bright pattern is slowing down try a softer
colour like the Iain Barr Candy.
Another great tactic for the very early season is using a sunk line (Airflo
Di5 or Di7 40+) and free drifting looking for pods of fish. Recently I
spoke to Kieron Jenkins and Adam Peach after a very successful trip to
Penderyn. In the really cold weather fishing was challenging to start with,
however a switch to the Airflo Booby Basher line and an Atomic Yellow Block
Jelly Blob with white 6mm eyes really got them into fish. They had a
brilliant day with everything taking the Atomic Yellow Block Jelly Booby.
Just goes to show the fish are there, just have to get on them. I would
tend to try and stick to structure while searching
So when Spring starts to fade and the fisheries huge initial stockings are
thinned out fish will gradually become trickier to catch between stockings.
Its at this time I would really start to migrate on to Jelly. The complete
translucency seems to find favour on pressured fish, sometimes tying the
pattern smaller will also make a huge difference. with more and more
anglers adopting catch and release by summer time there are a lot of fish
in the system that may have been caught more than once. They will still be
attracted to different colours of blobs but to induce a take I would tend
to hedge my bets on Jelly Fritz.
Another pattern very worthwhile trying is the new UV Jelly. FNF have spent
a lot of time improving the material to encourage it to flair in the water
and have more mobility. As the summer creeps in and the sun moves higher in
the sky sometimes UV Jelly is unstoppable. I find it works best in bright
conditions, I've seen the UV Jelly work extremely well in the bright
conditions when other patterns seem to just stop. In fact you could see the
fly 30 yards out glinting in the sun, then vanish as a fish rolled over it.
We hope to catch up with you at the waters side in 2018.