Thursday, 29 September 2011

Pre-laid ballast for Czech Nymphs:

Olive shell back:

Dark red shell back:

All are tied on Partridge CZF Fine wire #14 and #16.


Sunday, 25 September 2011

Hard day at the office...

September can go one of two ways. Trout feeding hard in preparation for the spawning season and colder months ahead; or tough, spooky, fickle fish that seem to sense your every move even before you've made it. Being a small stream, the Wellow can really test your skill and your patience, especially when faced with less than ideal conditions.

I was introducing Dennis Suehr to the river and, although it was tough for the most part, being on the stream was, as ever, a pleasure.

Dennis searching a likely run under the trees. Fising the 'duo 'seemed to be the best method for exploring the foam lines in the absence of any consistent rises:

The water clarity was superb and this gem of a stream was showing off all of its chalkstream-like characteristics:

The rain just seemed to be becoming more and more intense (was that forecast?) and the spotting rises was tough. But the water remained crystal clear and the levels good. But it just wasn't enough to really get the fish in confident feeding mode. Searching the likely runs and pools, it was encouraging to see some fish making the most of the odd crane fly dribbling across the surface. These fish were easy to put down, even with the most delicate of casts.

Alongside a few olives, stonefly were showing themselves. But were the fish really going to lock onto them?

I tried my newest Gammarus imitation amongst some deeper holes. This juicy, translucent heavy weight is superb and will be on the River Fly Box soon:


Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Wellow on Sunday: pristine, inviting water. However tough fishing for wild brown trout.

Is that the start of the grayling season I sense?


Saturday, 17 September 2011

Small Stream Success - Ten Top Tips

Follow the link to find my full 'Fly Fishing Point' article on the Small Stream Success.

Fly Fishing Point: Small Stream Success


Friday, 16 September 2011

The warmer air seems to have kept the fish interested in feeding right into the darkness. Small perhaps, but this pretty brown trout was sitting in just six inches of water feeding confidently as the light disappeared. A beetle imitation was it undoing - a fly that has been catching me plenty of fish of late.


Saturday, 10 September 2011

Terrestrial Patterns - part 3

Brown trout relish the offering of terrestrials. Using a suitable imitation gives you a great chance of success, even in the absence of any decent hatch:

I hope the last few entries to the blog have inspired you to tie and fish some terrestrial imitations.


Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Terrestrial Patterns - part 2

The terrestrial-imitations fly box has holds just a few trusted patterns. Choosing which to use may be a little more complicated than when identifying what is hatching. But careful observation will often help you make the right choice. Are there aphids about? Are the fish rising under leaf filled trees? Are there explosions of ants? Are the fish rising persistently? Remember that fish are opportunistic and will rise to even the odd offering that passes over-head... be that a steady trickle of aphids or a one-off fallen caterpillar.

The odd off-target cast that catches the leaves (does that ever happen..?) may pay dividends as you induce a fall off aphids as you free your fly. It has happened!

So here are a few more patterns that can produce the goods when the fish are feeding on terrestrials:

Tie them small; my preference is for a #28 and #30 and have been really favouring the dual fibre thread called Hends Synton. Neat compact bodies with good colour can be achieved even in the smaller sizes:

There are plenty of patterns suggested for ant imitations, but a CDC wing makes a good sighter for this imitation, whilst allowing the body to pierce the surface film. I like the Varivas 2200BL-B for these patterns:

The Super-Pupa
This pattern was originally produced from the vice of Lennart Bergqvist and was devised for use when sedge were taking to the wing. However it is a devastatingly effective pattern and works well even when the fish are taking terrestrials. I first came across the pattern when I was handed a version by Johan Klingberg whilst tying next to him at the British Fly Fair a couple of years ago. A simple palmered hackle with the upper and lower hackles trimmed, this pattern seems to suggest everything and nothing:

The 'FP': Fully Palmered
This is very similar to the superpupa, but simply leaves the palmered hackle in place. This is a superb pattern. It takes fish dry, wet, upstream and downstream. Simple to tie, it just requires a sparse dubbing and a Rooster hackle palmered through the dubbing. I also prefer to trap the hackle in place using my tying thread - rather than using a more traditional ribbing material:

Perhaps the fish see the 'FP' with its generic shape as a spider, beetle of small caterpillars:

Big Klinkhamer
I know I have already mentioned the Klinkhamer in part 1, but it warrants another picture - this time in larger sizes. A black / peacock Klinkhamer in larger sizes will often induce a fish to take even when your other offerings have been ignored. An essential addition, I prefer the pink wing post and in larger sizes value the Partridge Klinkhamer and the extreme versions too:

As ever, fly choice is always second to good presentation. Make sure you aim for accurate casts and drag-free drifts.


Saturday, 3 September 2011

Terrestrial Patterns - part 1

September can be a great time to pursue brown trout and it's also the the time I really start to think about targetting grayling. However, the end of August and on into the new month can be lean pickings when it comes to fly hatches - which in turn, can make finding feeding fish a little more tricky. Sure, you can fish a nymph, but before you open the nymph box, try a terrestrial pattern.

Take a look at the bankside flora and you'll find that it is (and has been for the last few months!) literally crawling with insect life - some of which will find itself falling onto the surface, directed down the food lanes and ends up as a decent meal for a stationed trout. Here are a few of the patterns that sit in my terrestrial fly box and have found me some success:

The Hawthorn Fly
Whilst used as a Hawthorn fly imitation early in the year, this imitation continues to bring success right through the summer (and Autumn) months. It's a simple tying with Pheasant tail fibres knotted for legs and a folded CDC wing. I prefer a curved hook - with my preference being for the Varivas 2200BL.

The Procter Beetle
A brilliant, simple pattern that I picked up from Paul Procter. Whilst we usually aim for our artificials to land on the surface gently, this foam backed beetle lands under the leafy bows with a resounding 'plop' - and this can be part of the attraction. The fish respond well to its dark outline and silhouette. My preference is for a pink or orange tag so it is clearly visible on the water.

This has become a favourite pattern of mine when rains brings the water levels up and the river is carrying some colour.

The Klinkhamer
OK, this works in most hatches, but a small, black version can take some beating if the fish are feeding on terrestrial patterns. I prefer it tied in a #22 with an orange wing post. Again, the Varivas 22ooBL takes some beating for this small offering.

A tying sequence for tying the Klinkhamer can been here: River Fly Box - Klink