The March Brown soft hackle wet fly should be drifted past hungry lurking trout. I will show you how to find out where the best places to find trout and graying are by just using your eyes.
SOFT HACKLE NORTH COUNTRY SPIDER WET FLY PATTERNS. Hook size 12 14 - $US each
How to fish the March Brown Soft Hackle Wet Fly pattern
The soft hackles of the March Brown give realistic natural movement to the fly as it is retrieved and paused, This attracts the attention of lurking hungry fish. The March Brown is an ideal imitation for drowned spent male spinners or exhausted egg laying females caught in the current. It can also imitate caddis pupae struggling to swim to the water surface just prior to a hatch. When you go to a new River to fish for Trout or Grayling, you are like a beginner. You must learn how to fish that particular stretch of water on the best tactics is to seek information about local conditions from regular anglers in location, nothing beats picking the brains of experts. All too often flyfishing anglers seem to be in a hurry to get into the water cast the first line. Stop and slow down, approach the River stealthily, otherwise you will disturb and spook the fish. Most trout that have been disturbed become very difficult to catch as they are now hyper wary of anything in or near the water.
Many flyfishing anglers make the mistake of believing that the trout are always on the far side of the river. In their excitement to start casting they stomp around the rivers edge and inadvertently scare the trout that were lying under their own bank. If waiting is allowed many anglers do not take care approach was gently as they can. They slosh around the water disturbing rocks making waves. This again just scares the fish away. Use your eyes and brain before you start flyfishing. Observe the lie of the land, what is happening on and below the water surface. Work out where the best chance of finding feeding fish is. You want to become a great reader of the water, if you want to catch fish.
Many rivers have the same characteristics. In the lower and middle reaches many rivers meander across wide flood plains. The current produces small eroded pools of water that are separated by riffles. Pools can be the best fish holding areas on the River. It is essential that you understand these features. Pools that have water flowing in at the top neck and passing out the tail are called meander pools. The main water flow swings across to a steep cliff like bank that has been carved out by erosion. It leaves a band of slacker water on the inside of the band where you will find gravel or sand deposited. If you drew a cross-section these pools characteristically will have a deeper water section immediately below the cliff bank and become shallower towards the inside of the bend.
A lot of these pools have back eddies, and display a distinct line between the slack water and the main flow. This is referred to as a crease. You will find fish congregating around the best flies which are normally in the neck of the pool. This is where the water is deepening and the flow is restricted to a narrow band. It carries the greatest concentration of aquatic food. Fish just wait for something interesting to pass by which they can snatch. Another place in a pool that has a good concentration of food is by the crease. Trout and Grayling will wait in the slacker water and take food from the edge of the faster main current including your March Brown soft hackle wet fly . This is one of the best locations to find larger fish.
If there are weirs present in your stretch of river there is normally a pool on the down side of the current. Again, look for creases, those lines that separates the faster flowing water from the slacker water and back eddies. This is the important fish holding part of a weir pool. There are many reasons for landowners and water authorities to install weirs. In the past they were used to provide a head of water to power watermill. They are also used for irrigation schemes to provide a water abstraction point. River keepers have used weirs to help oxygenate the water, encourage scouring riverbed and the formation of deeper pools in sections of shallow water. For best effect, many weirs are constructed with the middle section being further upstream and the two ends.
Plunge pools below natural waterfalls often hold a lot of trout or Grayling. You can normally find in concentrated in the bands of moderate to slow water flow were they can maintain their position whilst checking for food drifting past them in the faster flowing water. Look for them at the creases between the fast flowing water and the slow flowing or. Don't fish at the top of the waterfall as it is normally poor fishing.
River keepers often build artificial groynes that jut out into the river, to help increase the amount of deep fish holding water in a River beat. They are also useful to reduce the amount of water erosion on River banks. The water behind the groynes between the end and the bank is normally slack or has a slow back Eddie. Increased deposits of gravel or silt are likely to occur. Again the main fish holding areas are where the slower water meets the faster main current. The trout can maintain their position along the crease in the slower water whilst inspecting what is on offer in the main channel. These sort of pools are called Groyned pools.
When a bridge is put over a river, the supporting buttresses act as groynes. They speed up the flow around them because compression. This causes increased scouring and erosion downstream. Trout like the cover provided by the bridge. They often lie close to the supports near where the river depth is a maximum flow carries in more food. Again, look for the creases which appear between fast and slow moving water. This is where you will find feeding fish.
Other river features you should look out for close to the bank are areas of deep water. This occurs through undercutting by the river current or where vegetation like rushes, reads and grass provide cover and a barrier to the main water flow. On a clear water limestone River or chalk stream use your polarised glasses to look for trout that are lying just a few feet from you.
Natural vegetation along the riverbank, not only provides an area of slack and possibly deeper water, it also provides for freshwater shrimps, nymphs, tadpoles, Fry, larvae and pupae. All yummy food that trout and Grayling love to munch on. The faster moving water on the upstream section of weedbeds, flag iris outcrops or ranunculus water Buttercup clumps dislodge some of these insects and push them along the crease immediately downstream from them. The trout and Grayling lie up in the sheltered water and ambush this floating food as it goes past their head. Tree roots provide similar homes for aquatic insects and you will often find big trout sheltering in the lower water flow sections behind them.
The eddies that form behind large boulders dig out deeper pools. The slack water sections make excellent feeding lies for trout. Look for submerged boulders. They can normally be located by looking for a bulge in the water surface. Fish tend to my besides, or just in front of these obstructions. It is normally to turbulent for them to maintain a position directly behind the boulders.
Sometimes an obstruction in the River will act like a dam and collect floating twigs, grass and weeds that have washed downstream at times of high water. This debris floats on the surface, in the form of a raft. Many River trout enjoy the protective cover these natural rafts provide. Large tree branches that hangover or trail in to the water also offer excellent lies. Many flyfishing anglers avoid these locations because of the difficulty of casting a fly. But if you want to catch some of the river's biggest trout, then it is a skill worth learning. Observe the current and use it to float your fly to where you wanted to go. In conclusion take time to study the river features to work out where your best chances of catching a fish are going to be rather than just rushing into the water or going to the back to make your first cast.
I fish the upper stretches of the River Tees. I like to use a three fly rig of soft hackle northern style spiders. I always include a March Brown even during the middle of the season. It scores well. Although there are no hatching duns the March Brown Nymphs are still active. I believe the trout are also fooled into believing it to be a larva of the many brown stoneflies that live in this part of the river. From August onwards the Autumn duns appear and the March Brown spider pattern is so similar in appearance to the natural insects that a separate pattern is not necessary. Ken Starling
Last April I was fishing in the upper reaches of the River Wye in the Welsh Boarders when I saw a good hatch of March Browns. Your March Brown soft hackle spider wet fly tied on the middle dropper was the killer fly. The trout ignored the dry fly. James Bucknell
Yes, I use soft hackle spider flies as droppers frequently. Mostly on caddis rich water even when bugs aren't hatching. I treat them like an attractor. By Ken Hume
I often fish soft hackle spider flies12 to 14 inches behind a dry fly on a dropper 1x less than my tippet. I do this for both caddis and mayfly patterns. I tie my soft hackles on fine wire dry fly hooks which gives the option for adding floatant to fish them dry. They do a good job imitating dead adults as well as emerging flies. By Bill Anderson