It is cold – I want to see an olive.

One month until the start of the season and it is still very cold.

I am currently wondering if the temperature is going to rise and give us a good start to the season. The first fly we should all be looking out for are “Large Dark Olives” – an absolutely lovely wee insect:

Large Dark Olive on Windscreen

The above picture was taken a couple of seasons ago – It was early season (late March early April) and I realised as I walked up to my car and drove away that all the flies were busy buzzing around the main road as opposed to being on the water – all very inconvenient.

I am looking forward to hearing about the work that Louis Kitchen will be doing on the river regarding insects – for those of you at the AGM you will know about this if not check out the FORK newsletter and his piece is on page 11.

Even if you do not fly fish you have got to realise just how important this study is – essentially all the wee fish in the Kelvin feed on beasties and other creepy crawlies – they are the life blood of the river – if their is something wrong with them then there is something wrong with the very foundations of the river.

If you have got the time – contact him to become part of the project – I am pretty sure he can be contacted through Willie Yeomans.

The Large Dark Olive is the first important hatch that occurs on the Kelvin – damn right I am looking forward to seeing them – I always remember catching a few nice trout during a LDO hatch under some trees on my first day out a couple of years ago – they were the only trout rising at the particular section of river I was fishing.

If you are looking for a handy guide on insect life I cannot recommend this book highly enough:

I think if you look at other posts you will see my favourite fly for just about any olive hatch..

My Olives are not THAT big!

Anyway – looking back in the old diary I notice that some years we get a good early season hatch and other times not – looking forward to finding out what happens this year – I am being pessimistic though after all the cold weather – we really need some good high temps – like around the 12 degrees point to really make the flies hatch – and even then we need some trout that are crazy enough to actually eat them.

Anyone seen an olive….anyone?


  1. No Olives yet but there are plenty little stoneflies around the trib I fish. Trout are ignoring them so far.

  2. I wouldn’t worry too much about the cold weather affecting hatches later in the year. This will seem like quite a normal winter for the trout and olives alike, and the presence of hatches and rising trout will be more down to the weather on the day.
    I will be looking out for air temps in the teens, a rising barometer and a bit of cloud cover.
    That doesn’t mean I will actually catch anything!!


  3. Totally agree Alex. However,with opening day for all you trout fishers only a few weeks ahead, I would be wanting to see milder conditions and some rainfall. I remember when I used to fish for trout on the Kelvin and early season could be very productive, given a bit of water and mild conditions. The last few springs have been cool with very low flows and the trout just didn’t seem to be in the mood

  4. Hi guys – I am not talking about how the cold weather will effect fly life – I do not think insects are too bothered with sub zero temps above the water – what I do think about is how the temps effect fly life at the start of the season – Alex you mind the great start to the season we had a few years ago when we had the very mild spring?

  5. I plan to re- acquaint myself with trout fihsing this spring and will be looking for temps of at least 10 degrees, with good cloud cover and little or no wind. There’s nothing quite like a stiff easterly to put a stop to a potentially good session in the spring.

  6. Yes, I remember it well Alistair. We had some cracking weather that April, with temps regularly hitting mid to high teens.
    I usually find that it’s not until May that we get consistently rising trout on most of our rivers. I have a photo taken last March on the Kelvin, showing a complete blanket of olives on the water. Only a couple of trout were rising!

    I think we just have to be ready to capitalise when the weather is just right (easier said than done) but as you know the rewards can be large, golden and slimy!


Comments are closed.