Chris McCully


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Black gnats and hawthorns

Monday, 1 May 2023 at 08:05

Black gnats and hawthorns I paused yesterday to watch a small flock of yellowhammers and realised the air was full of flying hooks - hawthorns. Of late I've also seen some small black gnats. 'Black gnat' is a phrase which distinguishes a number of smallish, black, flat-winged insects but whenever these small black jobs get onto the water at this time of year, the trout (often) take them well. The fish are fond of hawthorns, too, if and when the flies haphazardly find themselves on the surface. It pays to carry some representations. I've never found it vital to carry both gnats and hawthorns - a generic size 14-16 black artificial, particularly a parachute dressing that fishes in the film, works adequately to mimic both insects. I'm looking forward to fishing these dry/damp flies because so far this spring the sunk fly has been much more effective than the floater and I've seen little rising on the Yorkshire rivers I've fished.

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