Fly-fishing during late winter and early spring can present its own
unique set of challenges. Not only do anglers often face cold, wet, and
muddy conditions, which can deter all but the most determined, but it
can also be disheartening when your efforts yield little to no success.
However, early season fishing can be a rewarding experience if you know
how to navigate the prevailing conditions. We are going to discuss the best fly patterns to use when targeting fish during those
first sunny days, when the sun's rays begin to feel warmer and more
potent, yet water temperatures remain low, and a lingering chill
permeates the air; especially in the shade or when clouds obscure the
Recommendations for Sunny but Cold Conditions
The Prince Nymph is a versatile nymph pattern that works exceptionally well in colder water, imitating a variety of aquatic insects. It is regarded as one of the top ten nymphs of all time, and proved to be a universally productive buggy bug fish taker that has caught fish all over the world.
Beaded Pheasant Tails
Pheasant Tail Nymphs are effective during colder months, when fish are less likely to chase after fast-moving flies. Since nymphs are a significant part of a fish's diet, and their movements are generally slower in colder water, using a Pheasant Tail with a Gold Head can be particularly effective. The Gold Head allows you to get down in still waters or hold a depth in
rivers. Big Trout and Grayling sit quietly hugging the bottom and are
often tempted by this fly.
Blue Flash Woolly Bugger
The Blue Flash Woolly Bugger is a variant of the legendary Woolly Bugger. It is highly effective in bringing fish to the net because it is such a good imitation of so many of the various morsels fish find so tasty and easily entices fish in cold water conditions.
A classic midge imitation that can be highly effective during sunny spells when midges are hatching.
It is such a tempting morsel mimicking a variety of insects that sit in the surface film, which makes it an excellent searching pattern when no surface activity is evident. It can be fished static or on a varied retrieve via a floating line.
A Popular Muddler that can provoke aggressive strikes from fish in search of a substantial meal, especially during colder weather.
Klinkhammers are designed to sit just in the surface film, making it irresistible to fish feeding on emerging insects in sunny conditions. The Klink n Dink is especially effective, as it can be used as a dropper allowing to fish at multiple depths
A simple yet effective pattern, perfect for targeting trout and other fish feeding on midge pupae in cold water.
A low-profile dry fly that imitates emerging mayflies, making it a great choice for sunny, chilly days.