The Olive Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear nymph GRHE is the right colour for imitating mayfly nymphs and small fry. Larger hungry trout will feed on baby trout. They don't care as long as they eat something edible. In fast flowing water trout will snap at anything passing in the current and spit it out if it is not something they like.
GOLD RIBBED HARE'S EAR FLY PATTERNS. Hook size 10 12 14 16 18 20 - $US each
In slow moving water they have time to be more choosy. They can inspect what is on offer and if it looks like something good to eat. This is the type of water conditions the angler has to try to match the type of food that is on offer. I always dislodge a few stones and see what is carried down stream. If the nymphs are olive then that is the color of Gold Ribbed Hares Ear Nymph I tie onto my line. I try to match the size as well. In clear water I also to establish where the juvenile trout are holding up. Some get carried away in stronger currents. That is where I aim to cast to and then let my Olive GRHE just float away dead drift in the current, hopefully into the mouth of a hungry waiting bigger trout.
If you use a fly that looks exactly like the real insect you still may not get any takes. We have all seen these pieces of amazing art at flyfishing shows, on the internet or in shop fly magazines. They are exquisite but why don't they work. The simple answer is that to the trout they do not look like they are alive. They are too stiff. There is no movement that suggests life. This is where the olive Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear nymph is so superior. It is dressed in a scruffy finish. The fibers move in the water and look like the legs of the natural insect swimming in the water. The shorter ones nearer the body imitate the gills on the side of the real insect that oscillate as it breaths. Flexible fibres are the answer to producing artificial flies that catch more fish because the movement of the fibers caused by the current on the retrieve or dead adrift suggest life.
Many nymphs have translucent bodies that appear to change color depending on the environment they are in. It is a very clever camouflage system. If they are crawling around the gravel river bed they appear brown when viewed from above. If they are clinging to weeds they appear olive green to a passing trout. The colors the trout sees is made up of both transmitted and reflective light. When you are thinking about what artificial nymph to tie onto your line consider the location. What are the background colours. If there is a lot of vegetation then this olive green Gold Ribbed Hares Ear nymph pattern GRHE would be the right choice.
What fly should I use to catch Grayling?
The answer to that question is an olive gold ribbed hare's ear nymph fished as part of a team of flies. The sail finned grayling is instantly recognisable to most fly fishing anglers. They have large scales arranged in parallel rows. Their body colour is often silver-gray hence its name Grayling. Some mature fish you catch will be darker, particularly the males around spawning time. You can tell and adult male Grayling by its larger and differently shaped dorsal fins. If you hold the rays of the fin erect on a male you will notice that the rear rays still trail loosely whereas the female's rear rays are held up erect and parallel to the front rays.
These fish are not native to all cold water rivers and lakes. Many were introduced deliberately by enthusiasts during the late 1800s. The graylings you find in Europe are of the same species called simply enough, the European Grayling. There are other species of grayling found in Asia and North America.
Spawning normally occurs upriver during March and April in the shallows where they can find beds of fine gravel in which eggs can be laid. Most lake grayling try to lay their eggs in the inflowing or outflowing streams, or failing that near the lake shore. Male Grayling vigorously defend established territories during the mating season. The females remain in deeper water until they decide to mate and spawn. Then they enter the shallows. I have often seen spawning grayling in water so shallow that it does not cover their whole body. You may be lucky to see the act of courtship. When the female enters the riffles, males from the territories nearest her erect their dorsal fins and move laterally towards her. The female grayling may dismiss the advances of a number of males before finding one to her liking.
When she finds her new boyfriend she responds to his display by erecting her dorsal fin and moving laterally towards the displaying male. The undulations of their bodies intensify as the get closer and become more intense as they touch. His dorsal fin covers her back as the wrist of his tail crosses over the female's in a loving embrace. This helps drive the rear of the female's body into the gravel which assists her deposit her eggs underneath the top layer of gravel. The male then fertilised the newly laid eggs. As both fish swim away the movement covers some of the eggs with gravel and river debris to help hide them.
To encourage a healthy population of grayling in your local river system maintain the gravel beds in the upper reaches. Spend some of your fishing clubs profits on a delivery of fine washed pea-shingle grave. Get your club members to meet up during the winter to help spread the gravel out in the spawning area of your river system. Ask permission first from the land owner and river authority. Most will welcome your help to maintain a healthy stock of fish in the river. The planting of aquatic plants like flag iris on the river banks will help provide a protective environment for the baby fry fish after hatching.
Grayling eggs are very small. They hatch after two to three weeks depending on weather conditions. When the larvae emerge from their eggs they are about ½ inch (12mm) long. You can often see shoals of them swimming near the surface in calmer sections of the river or stream near the bank. At this stage they look like two eyeballs on a thread. They grow rapidly and soon develop the characteristic Grayling dorsal fin. As they get bigger the shoals move into deeper faster water after only a few weeks in the shallows. Grayling fry are light tan coloured. They grow faster than trout and salmon fry and by their first winter are around 4 to 7 inches (100-175mm) in length.
Grayling spawn for the first time when they are three years old. They would have grown to 8 to 16 inches (20-40 cm) long depending on the availability of food. They range from 3oz to 1 3/4lbs (80-800grams) in some food rich water systems like the chalkstreams found in southern England a few male grayling may mature a year early. The grayling's growth spurt now slows down. You can expect a fish aged five to ten years on average to reach a maximum of 18 inches (450mm) and weight 2 1/4 lbs (1kg) though not all of them will get that big. In some rivers fish over four years old are rare. There have been some record breaking grayling catches that are double these figures but they are an exception to the norm. In colder waters the life span of a grayling is longer than in warmer locations. A 20 year old fish is not unusual in northern Europe. I believe Scandinavian rivers still hold the record for the biggest graylings where some monsters have been caught on a fly rod weighing over 14lbs (6kg). They regularly feed on smaller fish unlike most other grayling that whose diet consists of molluscs, leeches, worms, crustaceans, larva, nymphs and other insects. In the winter they often take salmon and trout eggs where they have been washed out of the gravel beds.
Grayling feed by intercepting food drifting downstream by grazing over the debris on the river bed and the aquatic vegetation. This is where the grayling's underslung mouth is helpful. They also take floating food they see just under the surface or in mid water. There are a wide variety of flies that can be deployed to catch grayling. I find the best approach is to dead drift a team of nymph flies on droppers under a floating strike indicator or large buoyant dry fly
I went fishing this last Saturday and caught a good sized rainbow on one of your Olive GRHE. He absolutely slammed the fly and I had a hard time releasing him. It is nice to see a fly that fools the fish that well! When I finally did get him loose he held right at my feet for about five minutes before he swam off. What fun! Dan in Georgia