prospecting with dry fly

Spider

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I would add the CDC and Elk to that fine list ....great, great fly.

I would agree with Matt re nymphing, and I hope to get more french nymphing under my belt this season - i just wish the rain would go and stop flooding my rivers, and unfortunately they flood easily.

However, if there are any signs of trour rising, the dry goes on for me all the time.


And even if not, my CDC and Herl fits Matt's criteria perfectly and brings fish up a lot, for a big juicy stuck terrestrial.
 

Dingbat

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I can't agree with you on that. I would argue that the opposite is true - a fish on the nymph is worth five on the dry - from a skill level perspective (perhaps you meant from an enjoyment point of view, if so then apologies).

I do know a few guys who would rather fish the dry all the time - blind if necessary - than 'resort' to nymph, but I believe they are missing a trick and more importantly missing out on an opportunity to improve themselves as anglers....and to learn things about their river which perhaps they didn't know before. There is nothing difficult about nymphing properly (please don't anyone try to claim the duo is nymphing), it just needs practice, line control and a bit more thought into the reading of the water than necessitated by dry fly. Granted, it can never match the dry fly for the sheer excitement of marking, covering and rising a big, visibly feeding fish....but to my mind, systematically relying on the dry fly fished blind when nothing's rising is just plain lazy and you will end up a severely limited angler for the rest of your days.

M
I'm having a rough time with this post - none of the rivers I fish are such that nymphing is more demanding than dry. Given that most are fast flowing subtle takes are rarely seen/felt and I have rarely had the opportunity to fish a river where you can feel the nymph rolling on the bottom (and here takes can be very subtle). Nor are my fish so spoilt that they couldn't be bothered moving their arses up and across a couple of inches to take a nymph but one thing is for sure, you can get away with murder casting and re-positioning a nymph which you could never do with a dry and expect a take.

I'm also not sure I've seen a situation where nymph watercraft will tell you more about a river than observing it from a dry fly perspective. Given that three dimensional flow is comparatively rare in a river the only thing you can search for with a nymph are vertical seams and I challenge 99% of those on this forum to be able to identify one.
 

guest70

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Given that three dimensional flow is comparatively rare in a river
Are you having a laugh?!

Also have you considered that trout will move some distance onto feeding lies at certain times? Have you ever wondered where they go between times?

M
 

Dingbat

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Are you having a laugh?!

Also have you considered that trout will move some distance onto feeding lies at certain times? Have you ever wondered where they go between times?

M
Well you are not going to get matrix-like streams in a river, and a laminar flow over a whirlpool I have yet to see.

Of course, I spend half my life chasing the little buggers up and down the river. Nothin more irritating then seeing someplace there should be a fish and isn't. I'm "merely" disputing that rivercraft is better learned from nymphing than from dry, or more precisely that tracing a nymph through the water (by feel)gives you a better idea of currents and eddies and hence where the fish are likely to be.
 

guest70

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No I didn't mean that Dingbat. I'm talking about the fact that adding nymph tactics to your armoury:

a) keeps you fishing and observing (including invert activity) when otherwise you might just sit and have a fag whilst waiting for a fish to pop up on a known rising lie, and
b) encourages you to fish the whole river - not just the known rising lies - thereby gaining a greater understanding of the fishy workings of your beat.

I see so many 'dry fly only' guys who believe there are only trout in their river, where they've seen them rise.


I think we may have got our wires crossed re the 3D flow thing. I'm not sure what it is you are saying. My assertion is that given that truly laminar flow in a river doesn't exist, fishing with the sunk fly allows one to broaden skills from a line control point of view. I spoke to a predominantly dry fly guy once who wanted to have a go at fishing the duo. I tried to explain to him why a nymph tied to a dry with 2 ft of tippet wouldn't fish 2 ft deep and he honestly couldn't understand it - a perfect example of how limiting oneself to a single method is, well, limiting!

M
 

Dingbat

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No I didn't mean that Dingbat. I'm talking about the fact that adding nymph tactics to your armoury:

a) keeps you fishing and observing (including invert activity) when otherwise you might just sit and have a fag whilst waiting for a fish to pop up on a known rising lie, and
b) encourages you to fish the whole river - not just the known rising lies - thereby gaining a greater understanding of the fishy workings of your beat.

I see so many 'dry fly only' guys who believe there are only trout in their river, where they've seen them rise.


I think we may have got our wires crossed re the 3D flow thing. I'm not sure what it is you are saying. My assertion is that given that truly laminar flow in a river doesn't exist, fishing with the sunk fly allows one to broaden skills from a line control point of view. I spoke to a predominantly dry fly guy once who wanted to have a go at fishing the duo. I tried to explain to him why a nymph tied to a dry with 2 ft of tippet wouldn't fish 2 ft deep and he honestly couldn't understand it - a perfect example of how limiting oneself to a single method is, well, limiting!

M
I see where you are coming from and would essentially agree, there is a lot more to a river than what meets the eye.
 

JeffR

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Favourite prospecting flies:

CDC & Elk most of the time

If not working then Parachute Adams or Klink

Griffiths gnat if struggling
 
B

Becks and Brown Trout

Guest
I can't agree with you on that. I would argue that the opposite is true - a fish on the nymph is worth five on the dry - from a skill level perspective (perhaps you meant from an enjoyment point of view, if so then apologies).

I do know a few guys who would rather fish the dry all the time - blind if necessary - than 'resort' to nymph, but I believe they are missing a trick and more importantly missing out on an opportunity to improve themselves as anglers....and to learn things about their river which perhaps they didn't know before. There is nothing difficult about nymphing properly (please don't anyone try to claim the duo is nymphing), it just needs practice, line control and a bit more thought into the reading of the water than necessitated by dry fly. G
M
I make no secret of my fixation on dry fly. You only have to read my blog to know that. But this last season or two I have made a real effort to improve my nymph fishing and I dont mean just fishing the duo, it has been brought about by recognising just how much I am limiting myself by sticking to the dry when conditions arent really suitable.

Andy

Becks and Brown Trout
 
B

Becks and Brown Trout

Guest
Thanks everybody for their input to this thread but I have become a bit confused.
What exactly has nymphing got to do with my original question?

David
I would have thought by now you would have realised that when you ask a question on here you rarely just get an answer to that question...Have you heard of Pandoras box....

Andy
 

richardw

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I was on holiday in Devon a couple of weeks ago and fished the Little Dart a couple of evenings when it wasn't too high (how I wish that was at the bottom of MY garden!). I managed to catch 9 trout (best about 11") with a Mayfly pattern , even though there were no fish to be seen rising at all. I chose the pattern because I did happen to see a small yellow Mayfly flutter by.
Now I have had little faith in 'prospecting' up till now, but that has changed somewhat - though Mayfly is obviously not THE pattern to see me through the rest of the season.
So I was wondering which fly. easy to tie, might fellow 'forumites' suggest for this purpose, bearing in mind that I fish small 'country' rivers in Yorkshire and small 'urban' ones in Lancashire.
Do you use just one or two different patterns through the season, or more?
Will the same patterns do for both?
Clearly we are not talking of 'matching the hatch' here, 'cos there isn't one, so is it a 'generic' form? or something with a 'hotspot'? or something entirely different? :confused:

David
Charles Cotton's Black Fly http://www.flyforums.co.uk/fly-tying-patterns-step-step/107181-charles-cottons-black-fly.html

Double Badger http://www.flyforums.co.uk/fly-tying-patterns-step-step/89383-double-badger.html

Nondescript Sedge (NDS) http://www.flyforums.co.uk/fly-tying-patterns-step-step/94458-nondescript-sedge-nds.html

Red Hackle http://www.flyforums.co.uk/fly-tying-patterns-step-step/154153-red-hackle-very-easy-quick-tie.html

Are four very good flies for your prospecting tasks...

richard
 

jada0406

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Hi', Apart from fishing dry fly by preference over traditional wet fly or nymphing, because it is more pleasurable to fish the rise or to prospect (relying on one's ability to read rivers) there are those who stick to dry fly because they find it easier than fishing sunken flies of whatever form and in whatever style.
Commonsense tells me that no matter how well I know my river, and no matter how often I have taken trout from the multitude of hot spots stored in my memory bank, or readily discernable on a foreign stream because of a long apprenticeship of learning how to analyse what I see, if a trout is grubbing after shrimps or nymphs on the river bed when I present my dry fly overhead, in his pre-occupation he is just as unlikely to miss seeing my fly as he is to ignore it if pre-occupied with an emerger or dun that my fly fails to match at the surface. But under such conditions, I would not be relying on prospecting tactics. Dry fly prospecting is not a reliable means of bringing up a fish from the sort of depth at which nymphing approaches are able to interest them. Having said that, the two biggest brown trout that I have ever contacted, and lost, came up out of fast streams over which I was dibbling a size 10 dry salmon fly ( a Red and Yellow Dolly, which is a skirted fly )on a dropper. The water in these two locations wwas about three feet and five feet, respectively. Jada.
PS The appeal and the value of some forms of nymph presentation lies in their ability to explore and exploit the entire water column.
 
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jada0406

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Just back-tracked and read a couple more of your posts, Matt. I bet the guy who couldn't understand what you said about the duo didn't know that drag can affect sunken flies, as well as dry ones. Digressing a little, drag on sunken salmon flies is one of the reasons for mending lines, both up-and downstream. Some salmon fishers don't appear to realise that, judging by the very mechanical approach that the poorer ones or the beginners among them adopt.
The better salmon fly fishers of my acquaintance, tweek and tune their gear as they swim their flies, according to the flows before them. Jada.
 

kype

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Thanks everybody for their input to this thread but I have become a bit confused.
What exactly has nymphing got to do with my original question?

David

It has nothing to do with it! :thumbs:

Here is my answer to the question of what flies to use for prospecting with dry flies. I find the size, and makeup of the stream has a great deal to do with my fly selection. What the bug make up is and the dominant hatch at that time of year helps me select a fly. Fast pocket water fishes to blind dry fly fishing better than slow, flat water for me.
Basically I match the hatch using a fly that imitates a bug of moderate to large size that is in season on that river and fish it regardless of not seeing a rise or a hatch. Some small streams allow you to use attractor type flies like an old fan wing Royal Coachman for example. I haven't used it in years but it worked well for attracting fish which you had not seen rise. Attractor flies such as the Wulff dry flies, the Carters Bug, Stimulators, BiVisables and the list goes on all have a place and time for this job. No one can tell you this is THE FLY you need to try them and discover for yourself what works where you are fishing.
On small streams I use may #10 Crane Fly imitation which I shared in a post on the Small Stream Fishing section.
http://www.flyforums.co.uk/small-stream-fishing/259695-useful-small-stream-dry-fly.html
It works fine on small steams but I never put that fly on my large rivers because those crane flies rarely are a source of food here and I see the fly as an imitation of the natural but who knows? Perhaps if I tie it on a heavier hook I could put it over large fish and get lucky. The hook I use is not intended for larger fish 18+ inches long as it will become a harpoon in short order. :)

Bobby
 
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richardw

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Now that's excellent - something different.

I will have to get tying now!

thanks,

David
You are most welcome David.

richard

---------- Post added at 10:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:05 PM ----------

This one I like the look of a lot. When I get round to trying to tie my own this winter that will be right up on my list.

I imagine a small one works as well as a little f-fly when they are on the small stuff with the added advantage of being easier to see and not getting waterlogged?
Smaller than a 16 is not really practical with the aft hackle. 14 is the most useful size and still works very well for prospecting. If you want a similar but very small fly, try http://www.flyforums.co.uk/fly-tying-patterns-step-step/96366-sturdys-fancy.html it is an incredibly useful fly, especially for grayling in the late summer and early autumn.

richard
 
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