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Thread: Help with flies

  1. #1

    Default Help with flies

    Hello everyone,

    First if all, I am still relatively new in world of fly fishing. I recently bought bundle of flies from ebay and I have some flies here, which I am not sure how to fish them and what they imitate (dry fly, wet, etc.). I would appreciate any help here
    BTW... anyone here based in Spalding and would like to go fishing at some point?

    Thanks,

    Dominik
    Last edited by dominik_t; 13-06-2018 at 03:39 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help with flies

    They're mostly "wets" use them in a team of three if you can manage that many.

    Are you fishing rivers or stillwaters?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help with flies

    Save yourself some frustration. Just use them one at a time till your casting gets beyond "beginner".

    The bigger ones left hand column and the second from left on the bottom row would be called lures, though where the line is drawn between a wet fly and a lure is a matter of (futile) debate.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help with flies

    Quote Originally Posted by dominik_t View Post
    Hello everyone,

    First if all, I am still relatively new in world of fly fishing. I recently bought bundle of flies from ebay and I have some flies here, which I am not sure how to fish them and what they imitate (dry fly, wet, etc.). I would appreciate any help here
    BTW... anyone here based in Spalding and would like to go fishing at some point?

    Thanks,

    Dominik
    All of them except two don't imitate anything.

    When did you last see a real fly swimming powerfully underwater?

    Don't worry about this. It's only called fly fishing because a long time ago only posh people did it and 'upward mobility' is all the rage nowadays
    Last edited by Mark Powell; 14-06-2018 at 02:21 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help with flies

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Powell View Post
    All of them except two don't imitate anything.

    When did you last see a real fly swimming powerfully underwater?
    You mean beside the different species of caddis, stoneflies, and upwings which deposit their egg underwater? Or those that emerge underwater (like Epeorus in North America)?

    And who said anything about swimming strongly anyway? They can all be fished dead drift. Haven't you ever watched trout taking winged adults that have been swept over a rock in a riffle and pushed underwater? (I took my best rainbow of the summer last year by observing just that and drifting a matching wet over the same rock?

    Roughly a third of the flies shown I would (and do) fish in specific hatches. Don't be so dismissive of imitative wet flies.

    Of course, the attractors will probably still catch some fish. (Not that I fish them very often, with exception of the Micky Finn in the lower left.)
    Bob

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    Default Re: Help with flies

    Quote Originally Posted by redietz View Post
    You mean beside the different species of caddis, stoneflies, and upwings which deposit their egg underwater? Or those that emerge underwater (like Epeorus in North America)?

    And who said anything about swimming strongly anyway? They can all be fished dead drift. Haven't you ever watched trout taking winged adults that have been swept over a rock in a riffle and pushed underwater? (I took my best rainbow of the summer last year by observing just that and drifting a matching wet over the same rock?

    Roughly a third of the flies shown I would (and do) fish in specific hatches. Don't be so dismissive of imitative wet flies.

    Of course, the attractors will probably still catch some fish. (Not that I fish them very often, with exception of the Micky Finn in the lower left.)
    I'm certainly no 'purist' and I use them too, but I don't pretend they imitate anything, certainly not when being pulled vigorously through the water (equals 'swimming strongly'). And he did ask what they imitate

    A popular UK one is the Daddy Long Legs' or Crane Fly. It flies very weakly and can hardly stand up, let alone swim

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Help with flies

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Powell View Post
    I'm certainly no 'purist' and I use them too, but I don't pretend they imitate anything, certainly not when being pulled vigorously through the water (equals 'swimming strongly'). And he did ask what they imitate

    A popular UK one is the Daddy Long Legs' or Crane Fly. It flies very weakly and can hardly stand up, let alone swim
    Are you fishing still waters or rivers? I seldom "pull wets vigorously through the water", unless the fish are chasing insects ovipositing underwater or emerging rapidly, and in each case chose a wet that imitates the natural. The rest of the time it's dead drift.

    I once had to throw away a pair of waders because they were covered from thigh to ankle with caddis eggs after an evening's fishing (and I couldn't get them clean.) I could the winged adults swimming vigorously around me underwater. The fish were being fairly selective, and it took several changes of fly and retrieve to settle on a size 16 Wickham's Fancy, swung hard to start catching. It's a great imitation of several caddis species. I could match a number of flies in the photo to specific insects (or baitfish -- the Muddler to a sculpin, for example.)

    Over here, we tend to just use the term Crane Fly ("Daddy Long Legs" usually refers to a harvesterman spider.) I don't think I've ever fished an imitation -- wet or dry -- other than dead drift.
    Bob

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Help with flies

    Quote Originally Posted by redietz View Post
    Are you fishing still waters or rivers? I seldom "pull wets vigorously through the water", unless the fish are chasing insects ovipositing underwater or emerging rapidly, and in each case chose a wet that imitates the natural. The rest of the time it's dead drift.

    I once had to throw away a pair of waders because they were covered from thigh to ankle with caddis eggs after an evening's fishing (and I couldn't get them clean.) I could the winged adults swimming vigorously around me underwater. The fish were being fairly selective, and it took several changes of fly and retrieve to settle on a size 16 Wickham's Fancy, swung hard to start catching. It's a great imitation of several caddis species. I could match a number of flies in the photo to specific insects (or baitfish -- the Muddler to a sculpin, for example.)

    Over here, we tend to just use the term Crane Fly ("Daddy Long Legs" usually refers to a harvesterman spider.) I don't think I've ever fished an imitation -- wet or dry -- other than dead drift.
    I mostly fish rivers and then only the southern UK chalkstreams.

    As it happens there are only about 200 chalkstreams in the entire world of which 85% are in the UK. The other 15% are mostly in northern France. They are fed from deep 'aquifers' in the underlying chalk, are very clear, have strong waterweed growth, so are cut 2 or 3 times during the season, tend to have a steady temperature, and don't rise or fall much with the weather.

    My experience of still waters is very limited though I fish the local ones on rare occasions. The ones in my locality are all small, mostly artificial (old gravel workings, now 'naturalised'), and heavily stocked with Rainbows, which are not indigenous to the UK and rarely breed 'naturally' here. (I believe the whole stock came originally from Lake Shasta.)

    As for the Crane Fly, which we also call the Daddy Long Legs, it is very common in the UK but is not particularly associated with rivers or lakes. I'm no expert but from my backyard I get the impression it lays its eggs in dry ground. We do have the harvestman but it's not as common as the Crane Fly.

    Wickhams Fancy. I believe it was invented for the chalkstreams as a dry fly. Two members of the very old Wickham family, closely associated with Winchester, which has a major chalkstream running though it, claimed to have originated it.
    It doesn't seem to be much used on the UK chalkstreams these days.
    Last edited by Mark Powell; 15-06-2018 at 04:30 AM.

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    Default Re: Help with flies

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Powell View Post
    I mostly fish rivers and then only the southern UK chalkstreams.

    As it happens there are only about 200 chalkstreams in the entire world of which 85% are in the UK. The other 15% are mostly in northern France. They are fed from deep 'aquifers' in the underlying chalk, are very clear, have strong waterweed growth, so are cut 2 or 3 times during the season, tend to have a steady temperature, and don't rise or fall much with the weather.
    Many of the streams that I fish are the same, except we call them "spring creeks" because the aquifers are a different species of limestone (chalk is a species of lime) and the weed doesn't get cut. Pictures of the Test and Itchen don't look much different than the Letort. I'm surprised they let you "pull" flies through that kind of water. (Ironically, most of the fish I catch are wild browns.)
    Bob

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Help with flies

    Quote Originally Posted by redietz View Post
    Many of the streams that I fish are the same, except we call them "spring creeks" because the aquifers are a different species of limestone (chalk is a species of lime) and the weed doesn't get cut. Pictures of the Test and Itchen don't look much different than the Letort. I'm surprised they let you "pull" flies through that kind of water. (Ironically, most of the fish I catch are wild browns.)
    I always thought your spring creeks look much the same as our chalkstreams.

    As for 'pulling' That's mostly on still waters. Though river 'upstream nymphing' as practiced in the UK can involve short pulls, which some call the induced take. But who defines a short pull from a long one

    Personally I think we do too much weed cutting. On the Test it's two weeks in June, a week in July, and a week in August. It's done by the owners of the fishing rights (usually the owners of the land the river runs through) and simultaneous over the whole length of the river to minimise the periods of disturbance.

    But it still means a lot of disturbance of the nymphs habitat and then they wonder why the fly life is often so poor. Anyway very few UK chalkstreams are defined as environmentally 'good', whatever the reasons, by the relevant government body. Not that they care of course, they just perform endless 'further investigations' so as to avoid any meaningful actions.
    Last edited by Mark Powell; 15-06-2018 at 07:16 AM.

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