This post reveals our top 10 trout flies for the River Tweed.
Top 10 – Best trout flies for the River Tweed
Firstly we start with a well trusted fly pattern, The Jingler. This fly pattern has been tied with CDC wings.
Recommended Size 10-16.
This fly can be used from the start of the trout season from march to June and the smaller size would definitely do well to the end of the season.
This fly is a great dry fly at representing March Browns , brook Duns and Olives .
The fly it’s self looks like a adult fly stuck in the surface film as it’s emerging and the trout find this a easy fly to take off the top of the water
The Para Dun Olive
Secondly the Olive Para Dun, a lethal dry fly pattern.
Recommended Size 12-18 on barbless hooks.
Conveniently, this fly is easy to spot on the top of the water, with the white post.
Alternatively, you could use this fly as a searching pattern, on fast moving water to induces takes. In addition it’s deadly when fished like a static dry fly through flat glides too.
The Olive Para Dun looks like an insect trapped in the surface film. Generally, this fly is a good representation of all olive types of flies.
Ideally, this Fly pattern can be used from the start of the trout season in March all the way to the end of the season but again using smaller sizes, like 16 and 18. Lastly, the fly can represent anything from Duns and spinners. You can see how to tie this pattern on the video below:
The Emerger Dry Fly – one of the best trout flies on the Tweed
Here is our third choice, the Emerger dry fly.
Recommended Size 10-18 on barbless hooks.
You definitely need to have plenty of these in your box. When the fish look like they are rising to something and there is nothing on the surface , try this pattern. You’ll find the fish will confidently take your fly.
Often trout don’t take the insect off the top of the water they tend to take the insect as it hatches on the surface. Indeed when the fly is suspended in the surface film, trout are more likely to take the fly as its less likely to fly away at the last second.
This manifests as a little dimple rise In the surface . Mostly, we would use this fly from the start to the end of the trout season.
In March to June in the bigger sizes, and then smaller sizes from June to October. This fly could represent March Browns, Olives and Iron Blue Duns, therefore can be tied with hares ear body, or black to represent a greater range of insects.
Cinnamon Para Dun – trout flies for the afternoon and evening menu
Introducing the Cinnamon paradun with extended tail.
Alba recommend sizes Size 12 to 18 on barbless hooks
Usually this fly is spotted in the evening and afternoons. Therefore we tie it an orange sighter to make it easier to see.
The Cinnamon Dun represents any spinners that are trapped in the surface film.
Typically the Spinners fly in groups over the top of the water, and sometimes collide with each other, falling to the surface. Also, on windy days, the spinners can be blown onto the surface, where trout will rise to feed on them.
Often, fish will leap out the water to gobble these flies in mid air. Lastly, this pattern is used in may through to October.
To conclude, Brook Dun spinners are best in the bigger sizes. In addition Olive upright spinners tied in smaller sizes, would represent medium olive spinners, and blue wing olive spinners and others.
Our next fly is the Black Klinkhammer .
Our recommended sizes from 14-18 on barbless hooks.
The Kilinkhammer is good at representing Midge patterns, and also does well imitating the iron blue dun emerger . Ideally we would use this fly in May for the iron and blue Duns hatching off, and again in August up to October, when more midge and terrestrials are hatching. Definitely use this fly in size 16 and 18 from August to October.
The Pheasant Tail Nymph – surely one of the best trout flies ever?
The Pheasant tail nymph is a classic trout fly, on any water.
We tie these from size 12 to 18 on barbless hooks.
Universally this fly is used from the start of the trout season right through to the end of the season.
Collectively, this fly represents so many insects you find under the stones.
Most of the time the trout subsurface feed, feeding on these nymphs throughout the day.
Often if there is no surface activity, this can be fished under a dry fly. Secondly, if euronymphing, you can fish these in a team of 2 to 3 Flies. Finally, from July to October this fly is best in smaller sizes 14-18.
The Woolie bugger is one of the world’s best trout flies, and it works well on the Tweed too.
Our preference is to tie in sizes of 6-12.
Typically after spring, when fish fixate on eating fish, this fly becomes effective.
Undertsandibly, Trout need protein and nutrients, lacking in small insects. Therefore they need a bigger meal to survive and thrive.
Also, bigger fly patterns are more effective after a flood. Ideally, you would add a sink tip to your fly line, to get the fly down to the target. To conclude, fish this as erratically and annoyingly as possible and use it anytime from March to October.
Water Hen Blow Spider – Soft hackle flies for the Tweed
A regular pattern when fishing the Tweed is the Water Hen Bloa Spider.
The optimum Size for these flies are 12-16’s.
Interestingly, this is a wet fly that can also be fished subsurface.
Generally, it’s great for imitating, a wide range of insects such as Olive patterns.
Preferably this is best fished, before the main hatch of insects, or at the end of a hatch of Olives. The reason for this, is that fish will be looking for surface flies, and anything in their window, is fair game.
Paradoxically you can fish this fly upstream on a floating line, or cast the fly straight across the river and let it swing in the current.
If you let the fly swing in the current, you will a savage take and tightening of your line.
In summary, use these flies throughout the season, aiming for bigger sizes until June, and then smaller sizes July to October.
The Worm Fly
Sometimes called the Squirmie Wormy, we prefer, “The Worm Fly”.
This more subtle version, is deadly when the river is high and has some colour on it. Following a flood, the worms on river banks get washed into the water, hence these flies become very effective.
Preferred sizes are from 12-14
Often bigger fish will be captured after a spate, with the Worm, as they prefer a bigger meal with more protein. Lastly, worth mentioning, this colour shows up very well, in murky spate water.
Balloon Caddis – Effective trout flies on the Tweed
Our final fly is the Balloon caddis dry fly
Usually we tie this on a size 10-16, using black , olive and hares ear for the body.
Sometimes this is effective as an indicator fly, when hanging a nymph underneath, The best size for this is 10 and 12 to give the buoyancy.
Secondly when using as a dry fly, the olive colour works at the end of April during a grannom hatch. Ideally fish them in a size 14 and 16 for this.
Ideally stick to smaller sizes during June to October. Typically Caddis swarm over the top of the water in big numbers during the evening, and find smaller numbers in the afternoon.
Whilst they are swarming and bumping int each other, the fall out gives trout the opportunity to grab them on the surface. Lastly the profile of this fly keeps it right in the surface film, mimicking a Caddis pupae emerging or adult insect stuck in surface of the water.
Flies tied by Alba Guide Cuillin Rae- article by Stewart Collingswood and Cuillin Rae © 2023