Written by: Paul Procter
With a slow start on his home rivers, Pro Guide Dave Martin headed to the Derbyshire Wye in search of dry-fly sport. Even here, insects remained lethargic until late in the day, when from mid-afternoon rising trout were experienced. Although Large Dark Olives put on a good show, fish seemed to favour a size-18 sandy-coloured parachute pattern, which no doubt passed off for early-season midge. Known for its population of wild rainbows, the Wye introduced Dave to a range of these—from 6 ounces to specimens nudging 2 lb. Although many covet larger fish, those 6-inchers are fin perfect and pretty as a picture. When trout failed to show, more bushy creations like a Humpy or Grey Wulff run through streamy pots or pockets tempted them up.
Bumper Season for March Browns:
Judging by initial reports it’s been a bumper year for March Browns. A good few weeks ahead, hatches in the south tend to occur first with the Welsh Usk boasting some prolific flushes of this mottled winged fly. Gradually, though, the carnival stretched further north with the iconic river Wharfe seeing decent hatches. A good few weeks behind, Scotland is currently enjoying their March brown season, which is yet to peak. Odd, I know; but March Browns in the most northern reaches of Scotland have been documented even into May, so there’s still a chance of bumping into them, if you’re prepared to travel, of course!
A True All-Rounder:
Many believe Orvis pulled off a master stroke with the launch of the original Helios. Ultra-light, responsive, and crisp—it was hard to imagine how this could be bettered. I, for one, have been reluctant to relinquish my faithful 10' 4-weight Helios. However, through extensive R&D, Orvis have yet again come up trumps with the Helios 2. It goes with the territory these days, but much of the development has been material based, resulting in lightweight, strong blanks that are a delight to use. Needless to say, old trusty has been levered from my grip, and in its place sits the 10' 4-weight Helios 2…the perfect all-round river rod.
One species of caddis that seems to thrive year on year is the grannom. Common on both chalkstreams and spate rivers, this caddis remains important for river anglers, principally because it’s a diurnal emerger, giving dry-fly enthusiasts top-drawer sport during spring. Very much like mayfly, it’s not only the hatch period that produces a rise, either. Come evening time, egg-bound female grannom return to the river. They may crawl down bankside structure to deposit their precious cargo, but plenty of females are easily dislodged in this melee, only to be washed downstream to waiting trout!
Predators in Nashville:
During his recent tour throughout America, Orvis Pro Guide and ace fly-tier Paul Little took time out to chase largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), a predator with a voracious appetite! Interestingly, along with his host, Paul found himself flitting between the fairways and greens of Nashville’s local golf course, where bass prefer the many weedy ponds. In between dodging stray golf balls, Paul put his trusty Helios 5-weight through its paces with modest-sized bass to 2 pounds plus.
2015 Schools and Courses:
In 2015, Orvis look to extend their already comprehensive range of Schools and Courses. Aside from the usual chalkstream days and stillwater schools, they are offering beginners’ courses and remain committed to ladies’ days, following lots of interest and consequent success during 2014. Free beginners’ days are also scheduled at participating Orvis stores, and take place at the weekend. Click here for details on all of these exciting and informative days.