When going to fly fish for the first time what flies should you take with you? This is a question I was asked frequently while working in the tackle shop and I think it is worth answering here.
Silver Invicta Trout Fly
Trout have many variations around the world and each has its own set of flies that work well. Checking with the local tackle dealer can produce a good selection of proven patterns that have been producing results.
It is always prudent to check with them from time to time to see if new patterns are working or variations in fishing style are producing results. I would always check in with the hut before putting a fly on the water where ever I go as local knowledge is supreme when getting yourself set up.
Tip: Check the fishing forums before setting off!
If however you are going somewhere away from the beaten path then some prep beforehand can be fruitful. Fishing forums can be a good place for advice. You can usually ask the question what patterns have proved successful on this water recently or last season around the same time and someone will more than likely have been there and can tell you how they got on.
Seasonal changes in insect life and trout habits!
Note: The following is descriptive of European Brown trout and Rainbow trout but may also prove effective for trout from other areas around the world.
There are four seasons as you are aware however these can be divided into segments of smaller size frames in respect to the hatch of insects taking place at that time. Although we are taking in seasons let’s be clear that insects don’t work to the same time line as you and me. It all depends on weather conditions as to the timing of a particular hatch. (more…)
What is matching the hatch? If you are new to fly fishing you may be unaware of the insects that fish eat along the rivers and lakes. Each season of the year produces new species of insect that the trout have become used to and will feed upon when they are in season.
As new insects become available the older insects will die away. Trout that are a few years old will be savvy to the food available and so it becomes increasing difficult to entice them to take an artificial fly.
This is where matching the hatch techniques come into play as the angler needs to learn to get as close as he can to the natural insect life when presenting his fly.
So how do we go about matching the hatch?
First thing we do when approaching a fishing venue is to take a few minutes to scan the surroundings to see if there is anything naturally hatching. You need to check the grass beside the river the trees and if nothing is showing then check the insect life at the edge of the river or lake.
Be careful not to disturb the water too much as you will spook any close trout away and it may take some time for them to return and spoil your chances of success. When checking for the insects it is good to have a fine mesh net with you so you can catch some and get a closer look as flying insects can be very hard to imitate.
OK if you have read my last post on matching the hatch techniques you may have wondered what happens when I have tried every fly in the box that looks close to the insects hatching but I am still not getting any takes. Well then that is when you change tactics and try un matching the hatch techniques.
When you are an accomplished angler you will have an array of items with you when fishing that cover all sorts of situations and in that arsenal, you will probably have different types of tippet or leader materials and you will be considering changing line colors. You may try floating your flies with floatants or trying to sink them further with different poly leaders and trying to get that all illusive trout to take your fly. It is times like this when you have gone through your usual changes that you are thinking it’s time to pack up and go home. However, rather than doing that there is one more thing to try.
So what is un matching the hatch techniques?
Just as before when we tried to match the hatch as closely as possible, this is when we now try to go the other direction and get something completely opposite to the hatching insects. This sounds easy but a bit of thought is required. You have a few things to consider the color, the size and the shape of the insect that is hatching. All these things need to be reversed or changed considerably to invoke a response from the trout.
We all have our own idea what flies we think should be good to fish for wild brown trout but just because we think it doesn’t mean they will work. Here we will discuss some of the best flies for brown trout and ones you would be wise to carry with you on your next fishing adventure.
I have short listed seven flies that according to Pat O’Reilly in his book “Matching the Hatch” are called his magnificent seven. These flies when carried will give you an option for most every situation you will come across when fishing for wild brown trout. Although we are talking about seven patterns in total we will need several sizes of some patterns to really cover all situations.
Darting and Stonefly Nymphs
Nymphs of pond and lake olives are agile darting creatures and can be found in any depth of water close to the surface, in the middle and at the bottom. To represent these creatures the gold ribbed hares ear has become the anglers favourite.
The tying pattern is not really that important but more the movement and size of the fly. When trying to get the pattern down deep a lead bodied fly has been developed as well as the gold head both of which are very successful. Letting the fly sink to the bottom then a quick lift of the rod to induce life into the fly will usually bring a take from a cruising trout. Sizes 14 and 16 work well with these.
Check out Best of Fly Reels
Fly fishing anglers around the world will be getting ready today to go out onto the water. It may be that they are going to their favorite river, lake or lough, or some may be going to the sea to fish for salt water species.
Regardless of venue they all have one thing in common, they are going to try to catch fish. Most of these men and women will be successful in their quests and bring home food for the table but not everyone. It is these guys and girls I want to discuss here as I show you that there is more to fishing than catching fish! (more…)