Catching coarse fish.....on the Fly!
by Alex Jardine
Fly-fishing, although constantly venturing into the unknown, is not yet experienced to its full. You can fish with fly for saltwater fish, and freshwater game fish, sometimes even the odd carp if you are adventurous, but there is a lot more fishing to be found.
Some fly-fishers do not live in places where access to trout fisheries is easy; I am one of these people as I currently cannot drive so my travelling distances are limited. As my love of fishing involves adventurous journeys on the river, that's the sort of fishing I look for. The nearest trout river to me is at least half an hour's drive, so I have looked for a replacement, and this has come in the form of the middle reaches of the river Severn. The river is devoid of trout, so I have had to adapt to its large amounts of chub, dace and barbel.
Now having spent over 2 years fishing this part of the river I have become more of a chub and dace angler than a trout angler. Although these fish are classed differently to the game fish they still have to eat the same food, so why should we treat them differently? This does not mean blobs or fritz which can be found woven around the branches at a still water; I mean more the flies that look like the fish's food, e.g. pheasant tail nymphs and hare's ear nymphs.
The method that I prefer to use to catch these fish is a method that was developed in New Zealand and aptly given the name 'The New Zealand Dropper'. In this method a big dry fly is used as an indication for any takes and then 1 or 2 nymphs are fished below. With this method most fishing is done casting upstream with only short distances of line used for maximum control.
For the fly-fisher who has the availability of local trout water, this type of fishing should not be cast to one side as fishing for chub and dace is a new experience (new experiences should be had by every angler - it's what improves you for your next outing) it also gives you an option for when the trout season is closed.
Editors Note.....Since writing this Alex has indeed learned to drive so we can expect to see him out on waters near and far!
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