Do you know how February Red nymph spends its time? It eats and grows of course. While growing it exuviates its skin time to time. That is why some of the nymphs are dark and some are light in brown colour. Nymphs that have recently exuviated their skin are light brown. When time elapses the chitin case turns darker. When the time of maturation is getting closer, the nymphs start to migrate towards decent solid emerging platforms.
In winter, the living ground of February Red nymphs is covered normally with ice. Reeds and stalking grasses penetrate the ice cover there. With help of warming beams of the sun the ice melts first around reeds. The sun shines like the stars through those formed holes attracting strongly February Red nymphs. Towards those stars, these stonefly nymphs roam and finally find their way to our side of the ice cover.
If there weren’t ice the brightness of the sky would be prevailing. In these circumstances there are no clear focal point for nymphs to be targeted. Then whatever reed, stalking grass, or other weed pointing upwards from the bottom is a potential way to emerging platform. If this way has dead end, in other words it doesn’t reach the water surface the nymph has to find another way. Sometimes the nymph throws itself swimming. It tries that way to find another potential path upwards. The swimming action is like a lizard running on sand. When it exhausts it starts to sink motionlessly legs pointing out. It is sure that trout are following this action.
Several years ago I studied how trout reacted at February Red nymphs during this sinking period. All trout in aquarium fed on sinking February Red nymphs. Only the smallest trout had slight difficulties to swallow their prey. Sometimes they had throwing up actions while gulping these “leggy” nymphs.
I normally fish on two kinds of wet flies close to FR hatch. I have succeeded with standard black nymphs and flies like in the picture. This time I tied a bunch of these.
|In March I go with these.|