As in any river in Norway, Stoneflies are the first one out. They can give rises, but they are uneven and both trout and graylings are refusing to rise steadily to flies floundering to get to the shore. Stoneflies are best fished as nymphs or when they, 2-3 weeks after hatching return to the water to lay their eggs.
In May this year we had a couple of fantastic weekends with difficult and rewarding fly fishing stoneflies and midge. As an extra reward this year, a few good brownies were rising partially steady under the bushes from which the Stoneflies kamikaze dived to lay their eggs.
It’s fascinating watching this scene every year. Under the frozen and und un-leafed birches, flies pregnant with eggs dive and splash into the ice cold water. And the trout know it all. They now exactly what to wait for and rise to.
We fish these situations with pretty simple flies. Any F-Fly pattern will do. A dubbed body with a CdC wing and a fuzzy thorax made with touch dubbed squirrel creates an interesting imitation that the trout is more than willing to rise to.
There’s no need for a soft presentation. The originals are splashing into the water, and it seems that this behavior attracts the feeding fish. This is really the time to bring your best buddy who wants to learn fly fishing. A brutal presentation and a drag free drift with the right fly, is really all it takes to catch the first of the season or the first trout ever on a fly rod.
The early Caddis
One remarkable fact about this river is that the Caddis come early. Many find it hard to believe, but as early as 17. May this year we experienced hatches of small caddis (size 14-16). Although the hatches of caddis in periods were heavy, no large trout seemed attracted to the situation at first. I guess they had enough with all the Stonefly nymphs under water getting ready to hatch.
But the super-early Caddis hatch always gets the trout keyed in on those caddisflies. Especially the grayling seems to enjoy feeding on the emerger and the egg laying caddisflies. Early in the season one seem to appreciate anything above half a kilo (1,6 lbs).
The early Caddis hatch is fished either with a detached body imitation, the CdC & Elk or my own pattern, The Rivendale.