Towards the end of September there was some great fishing to tailing trout. Apart from rising trout, tailers can be very exciting, as well as being difficult to catch.
When fish move into the shallows they will almost certainly be food hunting as shallow water can be life threatening. Trout will feed hard at these times, watch the twisting of the body and if they have their head down the flickering of the tail are all tell tale signs of them feeding intently.
Early in the season crustacea or as they are sometimes referred to, scud are high on the trout's diet. Because these small aquatic beings are slow moving and crawl the trout have their heads down and tails out and really forage for these little morsels. At this time of year water levels will usually be up in the grasses. The only way fish will get the scud to move is to nose about in the grass.
There are many fly patterns I have seen to represent the natural all with the ability to catch fish, it all goes back to having faith in the fly being used. Over the years there have been three flies which have reasonably successful for me. These flies are a very small olive green Woolly Bugger, a Nymbeet and my own pattern of a scud, all have had success in their own right.
To fish these patterns I find it essential not to cast straight at the fish, fish off to one side a little. When you think the fish is close enough, give the line a short twitch to get the trout's attention. Hopefully the quarry will respond this and a hook up will be achieved.
Most fly tyers will know a Woolly Bugger pattern to use, just keep it small (size 12 is good).
Hook Wet fly hook size 10-12 down eye
Tail Black cock hackle fibres
Wingcase A strip of crow's wing fibres
Body Black marabou silk and a strip from a clear plastic pot cleaner (a strand of well weather gut will do the job)
Hackle Black cock hackle
1. Take thread full length of shank and tie in small bunch of cock fibres for tail, these should be the length of the hook shank.
2. Tie in a strip of crow's wing and a strip of clear pot scrubber or gut line, now a small length of black marabou silk.
3. Bring thread forward to just behind the eye, now wind marabou neatly forward to thread, tie down firmly and cut excess away.
4. Wind the pot scrubber or gut line over the marabou body finishing at the thread, cut away excess body material.
5. Pull crow's wing over the top toward the eye forming a wing case, tie down with thread, and cut away any excess crow fibres.
6. Take a small cock hackle, tie in and make two turns, tie down and cut excess away. Finish with a well formed head, whip finish, cut away thread and varnish.
This fly is the original tie of Stuart Napier and was highly used by flyfishers of that generation. Note the body, I have done this with the original flat pot scrubber which belonged to Dick Wigram.
Hook Scud or shrimp hook - size 10-12
Tail Grizzle marabou fibres (olive green)
Back Clear elastic (obtainable from a sewing centre)
Rib Fine copper wire
Body Olive green seal's fur
Antenna Grizzle marabou fibres (olive green)
1. Take thread at least half way around the bend of the hook, take a small bunch of green marabou fibres and tie in as tail.
2. Tie in rib and then a small strip of clear elastic for back.
3. With olive green seal's fur dubbed on thread bring forward to just behind the eye. As the seal's fur is brought forward, shape a scud body.
4. Pull elastic over the top of body, tying in with thread, cut away excess elastic. Now bring rib forward with nice even turns to thread, tie down and cut away excess rib.
5. For the antenna take a small bunch of green grizzle marabou and tie in over the hook eye, make sure the feather excess marabou, whip finish, cut away thread, varnish with a small drop on the head area.