8 Effective Flies for fry-feeding trout

Large lures, though they may seem rather crude to imitative purists, are essential for late season action. If trout are taking 10cm (4in) long roach, there is no point trying to fish with a team of size 16 Buzzers, for example. Fry patterns in sizes 2-8 account for more specimen brown and rainbow trout in stillwaters than dries, nymphs and wets combined.

Flies for fry-feeding trout

Above are some top big flies for late season fry-crashers.

1. Mylar Zonker

2. Appetizer

3. Blakeman’s Tandem

4. Blakeman’s White

5. Troth Bullhead (variant)

6. Ethafoam Fry

7. White Muddler

8. Silver and Gold Tubes

Key ingredients

Colour and mobility are the common denominators in most successful fry patterns, including the following.

1. Mylar Zonker

Simple patterns often perform better than overly elaborate ones. Hare’s fur, pearl Mylar and a turn of grizzly for the hackle are all you need for this top pattern, the example on the right was tied by Stillwater expert Peter Gathercole. The ultra-mobile hare’s fur pulses enticingly with even the slowest of retrieves, and the scale-like Mylar provides a realistic impression of a roach’s body.

2. Appetizer

Created by Bob Church in 1972, this fly is still one of the best all-round perch patterns; it takes trout at all levels. Green and orange hackle fibres and mallard breast feather fibres form the tail and beard. The wing is made from white marabou and squirrel hair. White chenille, ribbed with oval silver tinsel, creates an attractive body.

3. Blakeman’s Tandem

Inventive lure tyer Tony Blakeman devised this pattern for Draycote Water where trout feed on large coarse fish.

Only the front hook on this fly is weighted – this causes the fly to dive nose-first in the water. Many trout take the tandem on the drop. When you retrieve in short strips, the fly zig-zags through the water, mimicking an injured fish.

4. Blakeman’s White

This superb lure is deadly for trout feeding on roach. The underbody has 72 turns of fine lead wire around the hookshank, so it gets down quickly. The marabou wings and tail are the key to the fly. Whereas black is a good general colour for the beginning of the season, white is the late-season killer.

5. Troth Bullhead (variant)

Al Troth from Dillon, Montana, USA invented this pattern, a bullhead imitation. The body is white wool, and the head is spun deer hair clipped to shape. Black ostrich herls run along the back and form the tail. The ends are curled by trapping each strand between your thumb and a closed pair of scissors and pulling through.

The Troth Bullhead is an effective still-water lure, but it makes an even better river pattern. Using bullhead imitations for river fishing in Britain isn’t common, but in Canada and the USA they regularly take large trout.

6. Ethafoam Fry

Trout often drive a shoal of fry upwards, causing the small fish to leap clear of the water to escape. Browns and rainbows alike may not eat the prey as they pass — instead they slam into the fleeing fish and then return later to mop up tin dead and dying.

If you see fry jumping frantically from. the water, attach an Ethafoam Fry to imitate injured or dead baitnsh. Fish it motionless, giving it a small twitch now and again. The body is dressed in white polypropylene, with an Ethafoam back marabou tips for the tail and spun deer hair head. Adding eyes makes the fly more realistic looking and helps it to float better than a deer hair head without eyes.

7. White Muddler

This is another fly you shouldn’t be without during fry-feeding time. Because of the buoyancy of the deer hair head, it’s primarily a top-water pat tern which often catches well in a big wave

You can dress the White Muddler h many ways. This one has a wing and tail of marabou. Include six or so strands of Crystal Flash in the wing to reflect light and catch a trout’s eye.

8. Tube Flies

Silver and Gold Tube Flies are popular with boat anglers who us tubes with lead-core or Hi-Speed Hi-D line to catch big, heavy-metal browns from the depths of waters such as Rutland. All the Flashabout pulsating through the water certainly doesn’t go unnoticed for long.

Slow-moving, deep pools in rivers

Slow-moving, deep pools in rivers are ideal to try lures such as the Troth Bullhead, but make sure you have permission to use a lure on the water before fishing.

rainbow trout stuffed with small late-summer roach

To cast long distances with large, heavy lures, use a rod and line both rated AFTM8-10.

This rainbow was stuffed with small, late-summer roach. An Appetizer fished near the surface fooled the trout into taking.

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