Get on the right track for the start of the new trout season with our latest top tips and a BRAND NEW video guide! Many of us will not have been on the bank for a few months so NOW is the time to spend a little time preparing to make sure that we are on the right track for the off.
Being organised doesn’t catch you fish as such but an organised angler is usually an efficient angler, and efficient anglers do catch – so now is the time to make the preparations to ensure that you can get amongst the fish right from the off and get that all-important head start, both on the fish, and on the other anglers on your fishery!
NEW VIDEO GUIDE: Jonathan “JT” Tomlinson, Trout Angling Specialist at Sportfish, gives you some useful tips and advice in this video to help you prepare for the new season ahead!
Bag and Waistcoat Checks
If you haven’t been out then whatever state you put your gear away in then, so you will now find it! If you are super-organised everything in your boat and bank bags, and in your waistcoat pockets, will have been checked, cleaned, re-filled, replaced and re-furbished…
Then again, if you are like the rest of us, it is all going to need close inspection to make sure that it is all there and that it is in a state that’s not going to let you down when it really matters so NOW is the time to go through all of those waistcoat pockets and make sure you have all of those important bits and pieces such as bottles of Gink and Xink, tubs of mud and a line cleaning kit. It’s time to check and clean all of your lines too – are those braided loops sound? Are there any signs of cracking? Are your backing knots secure? Small checks at this time of year can make a big difference when you are out on the water but don’t forget those larger items too, now is the time to give your rods and reels the once over and to arrange repairs or servicing if necessary.
Make the Right Leader Choices
For early season work most of us will be looking to fish sub-surface so we recommend that you include some pure fluorocarbon leaders in your kit for nymphing and pulling lures.
Fluorocarbon sinks well and, because of the closeness of its refractive index to that of water, it is less visible than most other materials, particularly if you keep it clean. It also has an excellent diameter to breaking strain ratio so you can afford to fish a little heavier without compromising your chance of a take.
On the Right Lines
For early season fishing we have four line choices, all of which cast well and give you the variety you need from the off, without having to reach for a fast sinking line.
First up is the Rio Aqualux Midge Tip, a floating line with a 3ft clear intermediate tip that is ideal for nymphing and presenting mini lures up in the water.
Next is the Rio Hover, a slow sinker with a fall rate of approximately 1in per second. This is the ultimate line for presenting stillwater nymphs and buzzers, it’s easier to control in those tricky early season conditions than a floating line and gives perfect nymph and buzzer presentation.
Third is the Airflo Sixth Sense series with Di-3, 5 or 7 options allowing you to get your line down a little quicker and to work deeper in the water.
Our final choice is the full intermediate Rio Aqualux, which has a faster sink rate so you can work the bottom layers with a slow retrieve, or speed up to search the upper layers – and do make sure you search out different depth profiles too, don’t keep working the same swims and the same lines, vary your approach until you find what the fish want.
Early season fishing typically brings very variable and constantly changing conditions so make sure you cover all bases with your choices and be versatile in your approach.
Check That Fly Box
For early season fishing we think it’s essential to have a few mini lures in your box to tempt those over wintered fish that will be feeding no matter what the water temperature is doing with big Zonkers and Cat’s Whiskers must haves!
It’s important not to neglect nymphs either; these will have been in the water throughout the winter so just because there is nothing hatching doesn’t mean that the fish are not feasting on them! Classics such as Hare’s Ear, Black Buzzers and Pheasant Tails should always be part of your armoury.
Finally, to take advantage of those small increases in temperature that might bring on a hatch make sure your box has a few CDC emergers and, to target the surface, a pattern such as a foam Shipman’s.
JT say’s “Early doors can be challenging fishing and no two days are the same; indeed, given typical British weather, no two hours are guaranteed to be the same! So take time out to prepare thoroughly so you are able to react and stay one step ahead and get on the right track to make this the best start to a new season that you have had!”
Get Involved and Let Us Know
Wherever you are fishing we hope you enjoy a terrific new season and don’t forget we want to hear about your successes – and indeed failures – so don’t forget to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter so we can hear – and see – how you are getting on!