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Suggested Flies to use during May

Effective flies during May:-

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May’s Suggestions for this month are :-

Good flies to use in May when you should see plenty of fish rising!

May is often dry and should be the five driest weeks of the year, which means water temperatures are rising. Unfortunately, common during May can be north-easterly winds which are most unwelcome to all anglers. Wind from the West fishing is best, wind from the East fishing is least!

Towards month-end strong winds often prevail making casting difficult. However, these winds are usually warm and can excite the trout to feed continuously throughout the day making May one of the most productive months of the year. Whatever your style preference or method of fishing plenty of trout are likely to be caught.

Hatches of chironomids (buzzers or midges) become increasing heavy as the month progresses. South westerly winds and broken clouds encourage good rises of trout, and sometimes all-day through. However, northerly winds kills surface/sub-surface fishing forcing you to fish deeper.

Spend some time observing the rises as this should indicate where and how the trout are feeding. An upthrust of water usually indicates that chironomid pupae are being intercepted. If the rise is a leisurely head and tail view meaning that the trout are taking pupae just under the surface film as the pupae are hatching or "emerging". This means that your flies should not be fished deep just under the surface or the top couple of inches, an inch or two deep can make all the difference between success and failure. So, spend time learning the correct depth and speed of retrieve to become successful, once found stick to it to guarantee more sport.

Towards the end of May buzzer hatches are at their peak. Some Hawthorn fly may still be about, and swarms of "Black Gnats" will be forming dancing columns of flies over the water. Always a distraction for the trout away from gorging on buzzers.

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.

I had to pick a single fly to fish through the winter it would be a toss up 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.

A Shipman's Buzzer

Shipman's BuzzerTry it at about 4ft deep

A simple, scruffy looking, and scruffier the better Fly. Just perfect for tricky surface feeders locked onto hatching buzzers.

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A good winter fly - the Haemoglobin Buzzer

The Haemoglobin Buzzer

Generally fished deep and close to the bottom always useful to have a few in your box.

There are many variants of the so called “Buzzer”, fishing with one on a bright sunny day can be effective. The fly can be fished like many buzzers on either an intermediate or floating line using a very slow figure of eight retrieve. Takes can be about 2-4ft deep fished close to weed beds in shallow water. In winter this type of fly can be excellent when trout are still taking buzzers as part of their diet.

A good winter fly - the Ice Buzzer or A red Matchstick Buzzer - an excellent fly for April too

Matchstick Buzzer

The Matchstick Buzzer is a simple, awesome fly for still-waters. A very basic buzzer pattern that gets it’s name from looking like a match with a slim body and rounded head. There are many colour variations for this fly, but the most common are black or red body and heads in Fluorescent green, Fluorescent orange, red, pink or yellow.

Wide gape hooks patterns in larger sizes are usually favoured and believed to aid hookups. The rib can be wound in tight or wide turns and it is worthwhile to keep a few different rib variations 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 excellent example of a Hawthorn Fly

Hawthorn Fly

The Hawthorn flies begin to appear during the first few weeks of May. Use a floating line, either as a static fly or with a slow twitch on retrieve.

It is useful having a variety of Hawthorn patterns with you as different patterns will be preferred during the day. On some days, only an exact match of the Hawthorn’s size and appearance will work!

The little Devil

Diawl Bach

The Diawl Bach (Little Devil) should be used when buzzers are on the water. It can be fished on any line, from floating to fast sinker and at almost any depth. It can be fished up and "on the hang" on a fast sinker or fished slowly on a floating line.

At this time of the year we would recommend a dead slow retrieve.

The Alder Fly - an excellent fly for April

Alder Fly or Buzzer.

Last but not least, usually starting to emerge in April the ever popular Alder fly or nymphs. The most popular imitations for Alder nymphs are of flies like those below. It’s not important if you don't have these exact patterns, as anything which has the same general colour, profile and size will do. Fish these flies as you would any other nymph. Use them as soon as you see the adults in the air; at anytime during daylight hours. When fishing deep use a gold headed variant or nymph pattern

All of the above are representations of various patterns of Suspended Buzzers, so any fly pattern that places a buzzer at or near the surface at this time of the year should be an effective fly to use.

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