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  1. #11

    Default Re: Its not the fly you choose but how you fish it

    Quote Originally Posted by raphael View Post
    Hi!

    Apart from my limited experience (I wish I could fish salmon for more than 12 days a year...), it is clear that one reckons easily that fly diversity is to provide miscellaneous baits for anglers rather than for fish...
    That said, presentation is a key rule for any fish you're about, whether in fresh water as in saltwater. This include the depth, the speed and the quality of its animation.
    Nevertheless, as I'm fishing in Ireland I would always start with confidence with a Cascade but it happens I know there is fish and they do not take. Then I change to another pattern, e.g more redish or blackish and here is the pull!! Sometimes nothing is happening and riffling the hitch or a stripped sunray rises the fish... This is a well known story anyway.
    I would not say that you have to have your boxes stuffed with all the available flies but to be able to propose a bit of diversity can be a key to success. That said you have to propose a few different colors but also take into account the height of presentation. May be a dozen of patterns in different sizes and weights are enough to face any situation... but a well filled box is so pleasant to the eye.

    R
    No I'll still stick to 2. If you get a missed take I will immediately put the fly back over the spot a couple of times, if nothing happens I go back to the top of the pool or 15 -20yds up and have some coffee. I then change the fly after 5 mins has passed and put the other fly over the hot spot - the change of fly at this point often brings results.
    I've got flies tied in the two styles that cover all the techniques you have touched on - but a well filled box is pleasant to the eye.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    France, near Sancerre
    Posts
    250

    Default Re: Its not the fly you choose but how you fish it

    Quote Originally Posted by codyarrow
    If you get a missed take I will immediately put the fly back over the spot a couple of times, if nothing happens I go back to the top of the pool or 15 -20yds up and have some coffee. I then change the fly after 5 mins has passed and put the other fly over the hot spot - the change of fly at this point often brings results.
    Yes, I already did that successfully!!
    What is civilization? A distinct thing or an advanced stage in barbarity? (H.Melville)

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    1,220
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Its not the fly you choose but how you fish it

    As regards to river fishing it can be a bit of both as long as you are pretty competent and have good technique . When out nymph fishing I use 2 nymphs , after a dozen fish I can see what nymphs are working , once this is sorted then its down to me to fish the pools in a orderly manner .

    Come the 25th of March I seem to do well with bigger nymphs , the last 5 or 6 years I follow my own fishing trends for early season nymph fishing , size 12 Flash Back PTN tied with a 3 mm tungsten bead have proved very effective . The dropper nymphs that are smaller can get ignored or just catch a few fish .

    But things will change over the trout season , river conditions will dictate , low and gin clear rivers are a real challenge , small drab flies are often the way forward . When we get a spate then attractor flies can be taken by both trout and grayling , Pink Shrimps and Red Tags stand out better than drab flies .

    80 percent of the time I stick to PTN and Hares Ears , in different sizes and weights , all depending on the depth and flow of the pools I fish .

    Trout can be opportunistic feeders and selective feeders , I would be confident of going through the fly box and catching trout on many different patterns , particular in the faster and heads of a pool .

    Nymph fishing in dry fly pools is a very difficult style of fishing , lack of flow and the fish have more time to make there minds up , that is when fly manipulation comes into its own , induced takes and jigging of nymphs can incite fish to take your fly , many a time the dead drift failed , it can be a tedious way of fishing , I call this grid fishing with fly manipulation .

    Again often dead drifting can fail , coupled with fly manipulation and swinging the flies can prove deadly in certain situations .

    Swinging Spiders is another good way of catching fish , is it when the Spiders ascend that triggers the fish .

    Dry fly fishing on rivers can be different , big bushy Sedge type flies can work in faster glides and riffles and pocket water . Many a time as I enter a slower moving pool I find trout that are more selective , sometimes smutting , the bigger bushy dry fly gets ignored on the whole .

    A lot of anglers often watch the water before going into a pool , makes sense to watch and observe what the fish are feeding on , could be a hatch on .

    On the whole after the end of the LDO hatches I tend to find small size 18 , 20 and 22 flies work very well on the flat , slower moving dry fly pool . A handful of patterns seem to work for me , Griffiths Gnat , IOBO , F Fly and Parachute Adams .

    These are just my findings and I use the different methods and techniques that work for me . Last year I was pottering about on the local river and was looking at certain pools , small mini glides that were around 8 inch and up to 18 inch deep .

    Just out of curiosity , I thought 4 methods would work , light nymphs , Spiders , the Duo and prospecting a big dry .

    I did try all 4 methods and all worked fine . Trout can be opportunistic at times and as I mentioned also selective .

  4. #14

    Default Re: Its not the fly you choose but how you fish it

    Yes whether its trout/grayling or salmon Danny it's nice to take stock of your approach from time to time. But given the fact that the former are more numerous we are more willing to experiment and bring in the changes. As Codyarrow said above, the sheer scarcity of salmon tends to make you a bit too unadventurous in your approach.

    Going back to Wyatt's books, I find him such a readable author who talks so much commonsense. He made me think of how many superfluous flies I carry with me when trout fishing. I think if I were to limit myself to 6 or so it would be his DH emerger (or variants of it) a black klink, a deer/elk hair caddis without and hackle, a hares ear nymph, and a PTN - the nymphs in different weights and all in different sizes. And maybe some real micro flies for when they are on the biro dot stuff. And some woolly buggers for the streamer fishing.

    Hoping to fish with you some time in early summer Danny - all the best mate.

    Mick
    Last edited by micka; 18-03-2019 at 01:12 PM.

  5. #15

    Default Re: Its not the fly you choose but how you fish it

    Quote Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
    My primary haunt for posting in on our North American Forums where there are a prolific number of in depth articles I've offered in the effort to help people understand how to better fish subsurface flies. I don't post the same here because I think it would be rude for some American an Alaskan one at that to start telling everyone here how he thinks it is.

    With all that as a preface I'll tell you this, I don't use Skagit lines, I do things rather differently. Differently although my results are hard to argue against, maybe you'll see some logic in this...

    Thanks for that upload, that was really informative.
    Great info, that I reckon will be extremely useful in a number of different scenarios - trout of even bass fishing in coastal current, where you really don't want to use a sinking line.
    Best 30 mins spent for a while.
    Cheers,

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Home at Wasilla Alaska, Bush Camp at Skwentna AK.
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    434

    Default Re: Its not the fly you choose but how you fish it

    Thank you and I'm happy to hear it made sense to you. I've had written versions of that posted on forums for years, even made drawings to go with them but they were not getting through to people.

    I made the video version because I have been guiding for people for years and have had some folks show up unprepared. The video gave me something I could send to people, something they might watch and then practice before spending thousands of dollars coming to Alaska.

    In the old days I don't think it mattered, there were so many fish that even people who had never fished before caught them. It was like carnival games. Not anymore! You better know how to work your gear or you can fish in Alaska and not catch a fish...

  7. #17
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    London
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    1,015

    Default Re: Its not the fly you choose but how you fish it

    Quote Originally Posted by micka View Post

    They were fairly damning (in a very polite Scandanavian way) of the British approach to fishing a fly - "too slow, too near the surface, too much mending (to slow the fly)". They favoured fishing the fly 'dynamically' a bit more like a lure fisherman. Much more emphasis on upstream and square casting. Mends were mainly downstream to speed up the fly and they would regularly strip the fly to accelerate it even more. "Don't give the salmon too much time to see the approach of the fly, bring it quickly and intrusively into their window so they HAVE to react
    Of course, there's nothing either particularly new or "un-British" about this approach, and it would be wrong for your Scandinavians to suggest - however politely - that we always fish the fly too slowly! By coincidence, the interview in the latest T&S with my friend Maurice Hudson, who caught his first salmon over 70 years ago, includes the following lines:

    "I use an overhead cast, square across the pool...I prefer not to give the fish too much time to inspect the fly. I try to trigger a response, to get them to grab the fly before it escapes them...it's a bit like upstream spinning".

    As to your point about whether the fly really matters, I'm sure there's a good deal in what you say. The fact that salmon aren't feeding in the rivers means that we cannot say with any certainty why a salmon ever takes a fly at all, and any notion of "imitation" is probably even less justifiable than with trout. Can anyone say what a Willie Gunn, a Shitey Whitey or a Stoat's Tail imitates, and whether a fish takes these three flies, each different both in their colour schemes and profiles, for different reasons?.

    A few years ago I lost two of my main fly boxes. When I set about replacing the contents, it brought home to me that my boxes contained an awful lot of flies that never got wet. So I limited myself to tying about four patterns in which I had confidence, making sure that I had several of each in a range of sizes, which could be carried in a single pocket-sized box. Of course, since then other flies have caught my fancy, and that single box has multiplied again, but in truth I don't think I would feel significantly handicapped if I were again limited to three or four patterns.

    I'm not a great one for changing flies, and would happily fish for a week with the same one, provided I felt it was broadly in the right ballpark and river conditions didn't change unduly. When I see someone changing flies two or three times in the course of a fishing session, that makes me think that he's not got confidence in what he is fishing. And confidence is more important than almost anything else.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Devon
    Posts
    2,020

    Default Re: Its not the fly you choose but how you fish it

    Iíve no background in Salmon, but certainly with trout I really only fish 5 or 6 dry/emerger patterns (and out of those 3 probably account for 90% of the time), in sizes 14-22 (plus size10 for mayfly); this winter iíve butchered my nymph box, scrapped loads and have nearly finished re-tying them all, but in perhaps 5 patterns... again with different sizes a colours.

    For me itís size, colour and presentation that are key... I donít think the pattern really matters that much as long as the size and colour are in the right ball park.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Devon
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    2,020

    Default Re: Its not the fly you choose but how you fish it

    Quote Originally Posted by rough diamond View Post

    Come the 25th of March I seem to do well with bigger nymphs , the last 5 or 6 years I follow my own fishing trends for early season nymph fishing , size 12 Flash Back PTN tied with a 3 mm tungsten bead have proved very effective . The dropper nymphs that are smaller can get ignored or just catch a few fish
    That’s interesting Danny, I think most of our real success comes down to confidence.... is it the larger point fly that’s key or being in the right zone?

    You find the larger 3mm ptn on the point completely outcatches the smaller dropper early season..
    Is that due to size, or is it due to position?
    If the heavy fly is on point with a smaller lighter fly in dropper then the lighter fly will be higher in the water column, especially as I think you will be tightline nymphing?

    If you put the size 12 3mm ptn on the dropper with a smaller fly on the point, but say only 12” behind the dropper, the smaller point fly would also be fished closer to the bottom....
    would you still get nearly all the takes to the large fly or would there be an increase to the smaller point fly...
    So if I was thinking about it I’d be wondering is it the larger fly size that’s important early season or is it actually the position on the water column that is making the point fly more successful.

    Similarly, you could argue as the water warms up and the fish become more active the larger heavier point fly helps set the rig for good strike indication but the dropper fly should take an increased amount of takes compared to early season as the fish will spend more time higher in the water column?
    I’m sure you’ve already played with and thought about all these variations / explanations as you nymph fish far more than I do.... but interesting to ponder on
    Last edited by boisker; 18-03-2019 at 02:37 PM.

  10. #20

    Default Re: Its not the fly you choose but how you fish it

    Thanks for that Charlie - yes I read that very interesting article too in T and S, and as a slight aside isn't the paper quality in that rag rather rubbish now - sadly a fact of dropping circulation no doubt! And you're right about his approach anticipating the Scandi boys by many years. It's just that its become more an an established 'culture' if you like for them to fish more dynamically. And if I'm honest most UK anglers I watch on the rivers are very much 45% downstream, a few upstream mends, fish to the dangle, move a few feet then next cast exactly the same!

    On the Eden in 2017 I noticed how many fish were taking just as the cast was fished out and you began your first strip. Or, even, as you lifted the head just off the water at the first stage of your cast when all the line had been stripped in! Again it seemed to be that escaping prey stimulus. And clearly many salmon follow our flies without us being aware of it a lot of the time.

    Given the fact that we spend a lot more time casting than catching then we might as well vary our presentation to take into account the sort of advice the Guideline boys were giving and with the shorter heads many of us fish nowadays it's much easier to position it upstream and square without any effort.

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