Catching trout on spent may fly

Catching trout on spent may fly.

Some of the biggest trout I have caught, to date, have been on spent may fly.  Stalking these large trout, following them as they pick up spent flies, is some fun.


Some of the big fish swim with their backs out of water like dolphins, picking up spent fly as they swim along, they might cover distance of around 100 metres.  Then turn back, feeding again. As you follow them the trick is not to let the boat get too close.

lad and net

sun and trout

Big fish.


I was on my own this year when I landed my biggest fish, 7 lb 9 oz weighed him in the net. The nets weight was 1 lb 4oz

My fellow GAIA instructor Kevin Sheridan's pattern had worked again.  I followed that fish for surely 20 mins before I got to put the fly where he and I wanted it.

measureing fish2

Measuring up... Now cover your eyes!


Flies having sex, ha!  The bigger female on left smaller darker male on right.

First thing to do is check the shoreline or Islands for spinners, like in the video above.  After dancing and mating females usually go out in the same direction as the wind, laying their eggs in various places.  After that, they just drop on the water and die. Sad, but not for the trout.  This glut of readlily available good can result in some great trout coming up to the surface to feed.


Wind Lanes -  Look at photo above closely, can you see corduroy ripple on the right and on left?  In middle, you see the shiny water?  We call them "slicks", fish love to move up and down feeding in this area.  Or if you have a wave causing foam to build, flies get trapped.  Fish love to feed in these wind lanes.  Don’t do too long of a cast!  Fish can come down these lanes very quickly and if you have to pull fly line in, you can put fish down.


I always use a single fly, after all you're only trying to catch one fish!   Listen out for fish sipping down flies. We usually end up whispering "Did you hear where that sip came from?" Ha!  I use slightly bigger fly at dusk not type of spent that sits flat, too hard to see.

dusk boat

In the early stages of may fly season, when you get the first big fall of spent may fly, they got out early this year, we were fishing spent at 1pm in the day and had some cracking fish.

fish in net

Please remember holding the fish in water, until they swim away, is very important.


Tight lines.

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