Jan's Flies - Early Bird flies to try

by Jan Spencer

This time of the year is always an exciting time for me as it is for many anglers. There is great anticipation with the coming trout fishing season. Hopefully it will be one to look back on with great hatches and many fish landed.


Anglers will be slotting their free days into their diaries - planning a variety of trips from a few hours to a weeks backpacking to waters all over our beautiful state. Most fly tiers will be busy at the bench creating some new fly designs that they are sure will land that trophy trout. Place to look at early season.

Flood waters in the rivers, where backwaters and side ditches fill. These can be very productive if one is lucky enough to be there at the appropriate time - when the water is breaking and banks are filling into these depressions. The trout will forage for worms and beetles and anything else that moves. Our Tasmanian lakes are normally slow to start fishing well. Middle of September is around the time I start looking towards our highland lakes, and earlier than that you will have to break the ice to find the water. Some really good early season flies to have in your fly boxes are a Wigram's Robin, Green Woolly Worm, Fur Fly in a variety of colours, Mrs Simpson and a Hamill's Killer just to name a few.

Fur Fly

I carry a variety of sizes and colours in fur flies with black being my favourite.

Hook - Kamasan B175 size 10,8,6

Thread - Black

Tail - Small bunch golden pheasant tippets

Under body - 4 strands peacock herl

Body - Natural black rabbit or Zonker strip

Head - 1 strand peacock herl

Notes for tying

1. With thread start at the eye and take the full length of the shank

2. Tie in small bunch of golden pheasant tippets

3. Now tie in 4 strands peacock herl, bring thread forward and then wind peacock herl around shank to form an underbody finishing back from they eye allowing enough room to place the rest of the material.

4. Place a small slip of rabbit fur or substitute left on the skin over the shank and tie down firmly, with a sharp pair of scissors cut away the skin.

5. With one really good peacock herl make three turns to form a nice large head, Whip finish and varnish.

How to fish the fur fly

For river fishing early in the season especially in flood conditions, the Fur Fly fished into backwaters or ditches and retrieved in the area. If one is lucky enough to be fishing when the water is filling into these depressions it is quite common to be able to see the fish and the fishing can be fantastic. The Fur Fly fished in the lakes margins can bring great results particularly when our famous Western Lake Browns start tailing, it is the pulsation of the fur that fives the fur fly such a life like action.

Rubber Leg Nymph

This fly is quite large although nymph is in the same it is probably more an exciter fly taking in a nymph shape.

Hook - Kamasan B800 This hook has an extra long shank which is ideal for this time.

Thread - Brown

Tail - Natural colour goose biots

Thorax - Underbody - brown velvet chenille

Body - Brown Chenille

Wingcase - Slip the pheasant tail feathers

Legs - Rubber leg material in brown

Notes for tying

1. Thread a third the way down the shank

2. Now tie in a short piece of chenille across the hook shank and tie in with a figure eight. You should now have a short length of chenille each side of the shank, pull the two ends forward and bind the thread finished well back from the eye of hook, trim chenille ends off.

3. Now take thread back to the end of the shank.

4. Place goose biots in for tail.

5. tie in body chenille and bring thread forward in thorax.

6. tie in a slip of pheasant tail feather

7. bring thread forward and tie in three strips of leg material spacing them evenly.

8. With the body chenille come forward making sure the turns betweens the legs are even, tie off well back from the eye.

9. Bring pheasant wingcase over the top and tie off. Whip finish and varnish.

Fishing the rubber leg nymph

This fly fished in the margins both of the rivers and around the lakes can be deadly. Cast and let settle then move slowly. Tailing fish - cast to one side and let settle, as the fish approaches just give the fly a twitch, this action normally brings great results. I am sure the life like rubber legs on this fly brings the response from the trout.

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