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Worthwhile fly suggestions during the winter months:-

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A Shrimp Fly, Scud or Czech pattern

Shrimp Fly, Scud or Czech

Fish it deep or close in to the bank where the trout are hunting for food.

This fly comes in a variety of colours, materials and tyings, but is still essentially an imitation shrimp.

If I had to pick a single fly to fish through the winter it would be difficult to choose between the ubiquitous Pheasant Tail Nymph and the nutritious shrimp.

Shrimps, especially during winter, are one of the staples in the Trout diet during this time of year. Just compare the shrimps to the nymphs - in fish food terms it is the difference between a T-bone steak and a cocktail sausage!

The fish will go to great lengths to find shrimps. The bright pink and orange patterns are easier to track, but try other colours too.

Another Fritz pattern - The Orange Fritz


This is an all round lure, fished on a floating, intermediate or sinking  line at various rates of retrieve and it will still catch. It can be fished using many methods, under a bung, on a sinking line, using the washing line method. It can be used as a lure or nymph, from a retrieve that is static to one that is very fast.

At Nine Oaks, a variant tied with gold holographic tinsel instead of Marabou tips can create be a really deadly fly for use during the next few months.

A typical tying of a 'muddler' fly

The Muddler

Use this fly when small buzzers and nymphs are on the water. Fish the fly on a floating line with long leader using a slow figure eight retrieve. It can be used singularly or as a team of different sized PT Nymphs, however at Nine Oaks it is single fly only not teams!

This version of the pheasant tail nymph uses micro UV straggle fritz for the thorax.

Blakestone Buzzer Black

A winter fly the Blakestone Buzzer Black Fly

One of many buzzer patterns that will catch fish. The other most popular colour is olive but red, orange and even white are worth having in your box.  

A good all-round lure - the Viva

Black/Green/Yellow/Red Viva

A really good all round lure, The black and green, black and yellow or black and red colouring makes it an ideal fly for the early season. Fish it on a floating, intermediate or sinking  line at various rates of retrieve and it will still catch.

At this time of the year, a Black/Green fished on a sinking line on or near the bottom with a slow retrieve - deadly!

An Olive Zonker Fly - good when fry are being chased.

Olive Zonker

In january the trout are often looking for fry and a zonker of some description is one to have in your box.

The Zonker can be used as a general purpose lure but is most effective when tied in grey or white and used in the fry season. The wing is highly mobile which makes this fly so effective when fry are around. It can be fished static on a long leader using a floating line or on an sinking line and retrieved at various rates of retrieve.

Another Fritzy pattern - The Dawson's Olive

Dawson's Olive with fluoro pink tail

Fish it close in to the banks where trout are picking up nymphs.

An excellent fly during the winter months using a floating line and long leader with a slow figure of eight retrieve, or an intermediate or sinking line with a varied rate of retrieve.

This example is tied with Straggle Fritz rather than the traditional Chenille Body and uses a thorax of Olive Ostrich Herl to give a bit more pulsating movement at the head.

The Orange Fritz fly is another good winter pattern

Orange Fritz or "Blob"

The Orange Blob is a fritz mini-lure and works superbly when fished very fast, ideal when trout are taking Daphnia.  The pattern can also be tied in a mass of colours from dark to very bright on the colour spectrum. The darker coloured fritz’s are usually fished more slowly than the lighter coloured ones.

Also, try the modern equivalent "plastic blob" that looks like a legless tadpole in orange or green.

All of the above are representations of various patterns of WET FLIES, so any fly pattern that is under the surface or on or near the bottom should be an effective fly to use.

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