I normally spend a good few days on Lough Owel during the months of March and April, due to the Leinster Qualifiers been held there for the last number of years. While it dose get good hatches of duck fly during this time of year the fish will also take wet flies, more so dabblers that are tied with some sparkle in them to represent fry. The trout will fed on the small fry or minnow as there eating habits increase from their winter rest; this along with the introduction of a fresh stock of fish into the lake could produce some good results pulling wet fly's along the rocky shelves between the shallows and the deeper water.
I have had mixed results off this water over the years, some occasions it seems impossible not to bag up and other days you would swear there was not a fish in the lake. However constantly searching the water in front of you with a team of dabblers you do have a great chance of picking up some fish.
My normal team of wets that make my starting line up would be a claret dabbler or stimulater on the top dropper, the claret dabbler in the middle or an olive dabbler and for the last number of seasons my sliver dabbler has been my point fly on the Grand Max Soft Plus tippet cast normally 8.2 or 10.4 depending on the wind.
Last year I added a new factor to that point fly that seemed to give me another option if the fish were feeding that bit deeper or looking for something a little different, I added to a size 8 sliver dabbler a beaded head which not only gave the fly a different look but also allowed it to fish deeper in the water.
Hook: Size 8 Kamasan B175
Bead: Sliver 3mm/ or White as below
Thread: Hot Red
Tail: Several Strands of UV Polar Chenille
Rib: Sliver Wire
Body: Sliver UV micro fritz
Cloak and Wing: Bronze Mallard (but not to dark)
Cheeks: Jungle Cock
Thorax: Red Thread
You could also try any preferred colour bead with the fry patteren I am sure, but I found the white and sliver to be the most productive during this time of year. One thing I will warn you about though is watch out for them beads when the wind is swirling around in the spring time, they can be quite destructive.
They truly are great looking flies and even better when they are wet with the early sun shimmering off the UV in the body and tail, well worth having in you arsenal heading out on the Irish Loughs this springtime and going in search of hungry fish.
I hope you enjoy tying these patterns and enjoy fishing them even more then I have had. If you would like any of these flies or any other patterns of you choice you can find my contact details on the right side of the blog. Thank you for reading, tight lines and safe angling for 2017.