Early season sees many of our lowland rivers and streams running high and carrying some snow melt. Water temps are still low and many fish will be still recovering from the long winter, so go big with your first choice of nymph, give them a reason to move and eat your fly! Large Dobson fly patterns and big rubber legged nymphs will grab the attention of fish.
I like using Simons Uglies in red/green with a small Hare and Copper,pheasant tail or blood worm tied off the hook bend early season as it has a little added “bling” to catch the fish’s eye.If fish are holding in deeper faster water and your just not getting down to the “zone “add some split shot. You can put the split shot wherever you want. Distance from the fly generally doesn’t spook the fish. I’ve used split shot directly in front of the fly, but generally, 12-18” above the fly is where must anglers place it. You can also leave a tag end on your tippet knot, and place the shot on the tag so that if you snag up the shot pulls free, and you do not lose your nymph rig. Just remember not to crimp the shot on to tight as this can damage the tippet.
Big streamers such as articulated Sex Dungeon streamers, Dores Mr Glister and big scary Woolly Buggers fished down and across on a sink tip fly line worked across drop offs, along undercut banks and in and around snags are sure to produce a few fish. These flies represent a big protein meal for fish and they some will move a long way to eat them.
Treat each fish you come across as a puzzle to be solved, mix things up if the “usual “methods are just not cutting it. Don’t be afraid to change leader configurations, fly sizes and weights etc be flexible and ready to change tactics as and when required.Have you checked over all your equipment? No good realizing the night before the “big day” that your waders have a hole you can poke your finger through, your tippet is old, brittle and keeps breaking or that you never got around to replacing the tip of your favourite rod you broke at the end of the previous season.
Check over everything a couple of weeks out from the start of the season and get things sorted early on!
But most of all be safe on the water, look after your mates and have fun!