Next up is the Grannom. I have a special place for the grannom as it was one of the first testing grounds for the scruffy klink that I use almost exclusively these days. Paul is a good client of the fly fishing school and he wanted some help tackling the Culm. It was early in the season as we hit the river early as Paul is keen as me and we made the long walk to the bottom of the beat. There wasn’t a lot going on at first but I tied on the scruffy klink and if memory serves correctly Paul was in to a fish first or second cast. We worked round a left bend into a slow moving deepish pool where the grannom were hatching and the fish were rising all over the pool. It was one of those magical moments where we were in the perfect position as everything started to happen. Paul and I were beside ourselves with excitement and he picked off fish as they liked the look of what he cast at them. This was one of the first times I thought we might have been on to something with this fly. I had last used it the last day of the previous season and it had worked perfectly through a caddis/sedge hatch. A week or so later I was on the water with Jo and my only prototype was lost on what looked like a really nice fish. Jo was a little upset that he had lost it but I thought it was a fitting way for the fly to go.
So a couple of facts about grannom. It is a member of the sedge or caddis family (Trichoptera). The easiest way to spot or think of this family is that they have roof shaped wings. I find an easy way to spot them from a distance is that appear and look more like moths flying around rather than how the upwings would fly. It is then a case of working out size and colouration to get you in with a shout. There are about 200 species in the UK but rather than having a multitude of patterns I find tan, green and black cover most conditions. As for patterns I am a fan of Al Troths Elk Hair Caddis and the G & H sedge. I have some G & H sedges in some big sizes that The Dude and I used one time we were fishing the Suir in Ireland at 11 o’clock at night in darkness. All we could hear were the rises so we would throw our flies in what we thought was the right direction! As a whole though there is no need for a huge variety of sizes and for fly fishing in Devon I find sizes 14 and 16 work really well. Another pattern worth considering is the excellent balloon caddis. The adult fly has greyish wings and green/brown body.
Hatches tend to occur in April from around lunchtime although the one I hit with Paul must have been around 10 to 10.30am. The larvae build a case which is pretty easy to spot if you lift up a few stones. Always remember to put the stones gently back though.
In todays impress your friends section the name is slightly more difficult to remember than the other flies I have covered as it is Brachycentrus subnubilus.
I have been a great fan of the work Al Troth has done since reading about him in Wisdom of the Guides (he’s on the cover) and whilst writing I found THIS on You Tube.
Main site: www.devonschoolofflyfishing.com
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