If I just had six flies to fish all year, any small still water, it would be:
Gold head damsel
Chartreuse cats whisker
Black / green tadpole
Size 10 black buzzer
I’d concentrate on being on my toes looking for fish rather than being planted in one spot. Suck it up, fish into the...
Find the 5wt Demon sloppy, put a 4wt line on it.
Find the 6wt Orvis too fast, put a 7wt on it.
Casting lessons are way better than a new rod (still remember Hywel Morgan’s ‘Woolworths rod’ demonstrations 🤦🏼♂️) but some expert caster(s) at the factory decide the AFTM rating for us.
I’d start with a 2” gold bead damsel lure with some flash in the tail. Initially with a floater and then a fast glass, 8lb line.
Then black / green or white / chartreuse lure (taddy or small snake).
If I’m struggling, then out with the bloodworm / buzzer / okey dokey with a sightbob.