Grannom & Stonefly on the Usk

As I look back over the last two weeks I cannot remember a year in the last fifteen that has produced such dense hatches of grannom, and, in addition, that huge fly that literally crawls out of the river, ‘the stonefly’ has been in evidence.
The water has been relatively cold and the result has been of a lack of rising trout for two reasons. One, trout like stonefly, and a stonefly represents breakfast, lunch and tea all in one so collecting the groceries while it is around for eating is dead simple and the old trout takes a rest in between. Secondly because the grannom are being taken under the surface just deep enough not to show. Feeding on grannom as stonefly hatches dwindle is the next dish on offer.
There was a great article in the Trout & Salmon (March) by Louis Noble featuring the grannom and he concludes that the most successful patterns are the ones devised by Dave Collins – the Shuttlecock Suspender and Parachute Emerger. I have friends who have successfully used them, I have not but will make certain I am properly prepared next time.
With the big Dark Olives and March Browns over what is on the menu next. The sort of armory one needs are Light Olives, Iron Blues, Blue Upright  and Usk Naylor and as May progresses Blue and Evening Dun, Ginger Quill, Alder and Pheasant Tail.
We could really do with a top up on the rain front though the river is a delight to be on with all the wonderful wildlife busily building, sitting or feeding. Swallows, house and sand martins, and sandpipers are all in evidence not to mention the wagtails.
Nick Brabner
You might find this post about fishing with grannom on a fishing forum of interest.