A FLY FISHING AND FLY TYING BLOG FOR ALL PASSIONATE ANGLERS TO ENJOY THIS EVER CHANGING AND DEVELOPING SPORT

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Black is Best for Times when the hot spots stop working.

A lot of very effective nymphs are used and tied on a daily basis that have either shiny flashy bright beads, hot collars or hot floss tags and butts; glowing trigger points and flashy dubbing's. They do work a major percentage of the time and in my nymph boxes you will find my interpretations of nymphs with these attractive hot spots in the dressings. But there is occasions when the fish in a river that want something a bit more plain and simple.
I also have quite a few natural and very effective patterns that  are so simple in their make up and wouldn't contain any attraction components.  Of all these nymphs it is the pure black nymphs that will be the most effective for me when the hot spots and flash stop working.
Here is two nymphs of these simple nymphs I wouldn't be with out when approaching a river. The first one is one I would use mostly for a euro nymphing style and the second nymph I find is far more effective under a dry fly in the Klink and dink set up.


This nymph is tied on a size 18 Dohiku Jig hook with a Black Nickle 3mm slotted bead. The tail is dark Coq De Leon and has a medium thickness black wire rib. For the body it is Sulky Black Tinsel which I picked up from my local sowing shop and the nymph is finished off with a pinch of black Sybai super fine Dubbing just behind the bead. 
For this little nymph, it is tied on a size 20 Dohiku 301 dry fly hook. The bead is 2.5mm black nickle again and the tail is the same as the above nymph also. While I use the same tinsel as the first nymph this time to give the body some strength I use my super strong silk thread and colour it black with my sharpie pen; after spinning the thread I go down and back up the body to act as a rib. The Dubbing collar here is a small pinch of black CDC twisted onto the thread and whip finished in. So simple in there make up, but yet so effective in there ability to catch fish. It is worth your time experimenting with some really plain and simple nymphs that could catch you a lot more fish. 

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and enjoy tying these flies. If you have any questions or queries please feel free to contact me. Also make sure and check out my website www.piscari-fly.com for all your tungsten beads, Dohiku barbless hooks, the amazing Syndicate Fly Rods, Reels, leaders and much more. Thanks for reading.

Friday, July 27, 2018

What is the best tungsten bead to use: Choosing the right beads to catch more fish.



I think of all the questions I get asked this is the one most common "Whats the best beads to use" , and to be truthful I ask that question to myself all the time when I am fishing. The best bead, the best colour, the best size ect is a serious of questions that can be only answered in the moment and time of when you are fishing.
The colour will matter on the fishes humor, environment and possible conditions on the day. The size of the bead will depend on the size of the nymph or hook you are using and the depth of water you want it to get down through. There are factors that will determine what is the best bead to use at any given time you are on the river. Through experience and having confidence in the beads you like using or a certain type and colour bead that gets you a lot of fish can be the best possible answer to choosing the right bead. But lets take a look at a few aspects on choosing beads I have discovered through my years of using them.
Colours
There is a multitude of colours you can get tungsten beads in these days, and if you are into flashy and different colours then you can load up on beads all colours and with different effects. Most of these colours will catch fish some better than others depending on the fish you are after and where you are fishing. But there are four main colours that I find the stable diet of fish world wide and they are Copper, Gold, Sliver and Black nickle (and of course pink for Grayling).
Some other colours I find effective at the moment are white, brown, dark copper and metallic orange. I will mostly use different colour beads when I am going through a beat of water for the second time to show the fish something different than the more common colours that they have seen before.
It is important that when you are buying your beads to ensure they are anodized beads and not painted, as the colours will not last on them and it wont take long at all for the paint to chip away.  If you want to try and get some different colours for yourself then try burning your beads, this can result in some nice shades of the standard colours.
Sizes & Weights
The size of the bead matters greatly; as it is this that will determine the look and shape of your fly and the depth it will reach in a certain length of time.  So I will normally have a whole selection of my best nymphs tied in several sizes to accommodate the different depths I could be fishing on any river or beat. Having different size beads on the same pattern could be the difference of catching or not. The size range of beads is around from 1.5mm up to 4mm generally you can get something bigger if you desire but generally this is the range most common. They tend to go up in .5mm in sizes and you can get the odd sizes such as 2.3mm 2.8mm ect also. I do stick to the 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 3.5mm and 4mm beads as I find this range of sizes is enough for me and the way I fish. If you were to tie in all sizes you would need a wheel barrow to carry the boxes with you to the river. Try not over complicate it and stick to a simple system of choosing your size beads you use.
There is one aspect of a bead I am very fussy with however; and that is the cutting or molding of the holes in the bead. I like to have a bead that has the maximum amount of metal in the bead so there for the holes at at the minimum size they can be, to give me the heaviest possible bead for that size. I don't see the point in putting on a bead on the hook with half or more of it missing. As for fitting on to the hooks the majority of beads 2mm to 3mm I tend to use size 20 or 18 Dohiku jigs if they are slotted beads and size 16 Jigs covers the other sizes. No bead on the market is 100 percent tungsten so some beads will have a better percentage of tungsten in the mix than others and all beads are made in China bar none, but take a good look at the cutting to ensure you are getting the best weight for size when you are purchasing again.
Counter versus Slotted
Again this is another debate depending on your personal preference, it will be determined by the style you tie your nymphs and the hook types you have most confidence in be it standard hooks or jig hooks. Sense the emergence of jig hooks and slotted beads most anglers tie there nymphs on them and they are very effective indeed. I use a lot of slotted beads, but I also have a lot of countersunk beads or barrel beads as they are known by some. If I am tying on light wire hooks for slim nymphs I can use Dohiku 301 dry fly hook and put countersunk beads on them. I like this combination for my dry dropper set ups as I like the way the standard hook hags under the dry. For euro nymphing it is a majority of slotted beads unless the nymphs are grubbers then I am using countersunk on curved hooks. They both have there uses and advantages. So don't be afraid to tie up a selection in both types of beads as the do fish different and on occasions can produce different results.
A good question I was asked one time was, whats more important, the bead or the fly on the hook, in seasons of late I find my self fishing less and less different patterns and having different bead colours and sizes on very simple nymphs certainly has not decreased my catch rate. Also I would find my self asking my fishing buddies not what fly are they using when they are bagging up, but what bead size and colour they are using. I do think we can put to much emphasis on the fly or nymph on occasions and get caught up in the disbelief, am I fishing the right fly when perhaps it would be more beneficial to question am I fishing the right bead, colour and weight.
I think a lot of it comes down to a personal confidence thing in the
beads you find best for you, but maybe going forward if you haven't put much consideration into the importance of sizes and weights and the right molding it could help you catch more fish.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and take something from it going forward. If you have any questions or queries please feel free to contact me. Also make sure and check out my website www.piscari-fly.com for all your tungsten beads, Dohiku barbless hooks, the amazing Syndicate Fly Rods, Reels, leaders and much more. Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Choosing a New Fly Rod? Pick up the Syndicate Pipeline and Join the family


I get asked a lot over the last year or so about Syndicate Fly Fishing and their rods so I just decided to give you the story behind why I choose to use these rods above all others now and why you should consider them as the best rod for value and performance 
It’s been just over a year now when I first put one of these sticks into my hand. I had been researching rods for a few months before and I was keen on moving over to 10 foot 2 weights for my competition fishing but I didn’t want or have the mad bucks some company’s wanted for this rod type. The name Syndicate had been mentioned in a few forums I was looking at. I read through some reviews and after checking them out a bit online I decided to buy one as they were affordable and with many good reviews, how bad could they be for the price. I never looked back sense and it was one of the best decisions I have made in purchasing fly fishing gear for a while.
As most of you know I am a keen competition angler travelling throughout Europe for competitions all of the year, so I take them pretty serious. Finding the right rods that I can trust in performance wise is crucial for me. I like to have all the same rods so when I set up on a river session no matter what rod I pick up I know it inside out and I don’t have to adjust casting, striking or how I am playing fish because of having different type rods set up on one session. Also it is fantastic to have a rod that I can use for all my methods of fishing, be it dry fly, nymphing or dry dropper. The Syndicate rod is a medium to fast action rod with a very sensitive tip that detects the slightest of bumps on the rig. While the Syndicate pipeline is an out and out nymphing rod it has the ability to do so much more as I find out every day I hit the water with it, and again I can afford to have a couple of them on the bank of the river. When casting with them though it did take a little practice and adjustment in waiting time on the back cast but once you get it they are superb. 
When the rod arrived initially and once I had fished the Syndicate 10 foot 2 weight I had just bought; I did something that I had not done before with any rod company, and that was to email them to bow my hat to the rod they built, I was very excited. Not only did the rod look and feel magnificent but after reading through the ethos of the Syndicate rod company where they really focus on the customer and there experience rather than their wallet I knew this was the rod for me. 
The pipeline range of river rods offer superb tippet protection that is crucial for only for comp anglers but all fly fishers so when you hit that big fish not only dose the rod have the backbone to land the fish but the soft tip section will give you the required protection with even the finest of tippets. Marius form the West of Ireland was thankful of that with this lovely fish he landed on the 11 foot 2 weight on 0.12 tippet. When I can fish super fine tippets and not crack off it gives me great confidence in the rod I am using and the rest of my set up, tippet and leaders. 
 I have found the rods are very responsive to my requests in casting and accuracy while they are also outstanding in the sensitivity department, you feel everything with that fine tip. Be it micro beading, French nymphing or deep bugging the contact I have with my nymphs throughout the cast and drift is nothing like I have felt before with any other rod; and for setting the hook, well its more than able. They are very light in the hand also, here is some stats on the range for you to consider:
Length
10 feet
10 feet
10 feet
11 feet
11 feet
Line Weight
2 weight
3 weight
4 weight
2 weight
3 weight
Rod Weight
84 grams
87.5 grams
91 grams
92 grams
96 grams
Grip
Half Wells
Half Wells
Half Wells
Half Wells
Half Wells with Fighting Butt
I fish with a good group of guys and we have a good bit of experience between us all, sense the discovery of the Syndicate range we have all switched over to them. I now only fish the Syndicate range and over the last year I have had some great results on them. It is also a comfort to know the fantastic guarantee offered with them, if we break one it will be fix within days and we are not waiting around for new tips running up to a major competition for weeks or months. The Syndicate boys have hit the nail on the head here and there customer service is unlike any other rod brand I have encountered. 
Sense my first contact with Eric and Mark from Syndicate I have joined the family that is Syndicate Fly Fishing and you couldn’t meet two more genuine guys that have the angler at the center of their business and product objective. Even though I am now helping the guys into Europe, I bought my first Syndicate rod retail and it was the best few bucks I have spent in a long time in Fly Fishing. I have no doubt that they have improved my catch rate through the confidence I have in the rods. Between the 10 foot 2 weight and the 11 foot 2 weight pipeline they are a must for any angler that wants to take his nymphing to the top level, and the one of the best parts is that they are affordable. Here is the price range 
Part Number
Description
MAP (EUR)
Pipeline Pro Series


P21024
4 Piece 10 FT 2 WT Comp Rod
€ 370.00
P21034
4 Piece 10 FT 3 WT Comp Rod
€ 370.00
P21044
4 Piece 10 FT 4 WT Comp Rod
€ 370.00
P21124
4 Piece 11 FT 2 WT Comp Rod
€ 395.00
P21134
4 Piece 11 FT 3 WT Comp Rod
€ 395.00
Aquos Series


AQ1064
4 Piece 10 FT 6 WT Rod
€ 485.00
AQ1074
4 Piece 10 FT 7 WT Rod
€ 485.00
AQ1084
4 Piece 10 FT 8 WT Rod
€ 485.00
There is not to many bad rods on the market these days and the vast majority of rods are well able to do there jobs. However there is something about the Syndicates that sets them apart for, the customer service, the affordable price range, or maybe its just the good old Tennessee touch the boys have with there company. But, make sure and check out the range when you are considering a new stick, not only do they do a river range but also a still water range that is slat water compatible. 
There website is https://syndicateff.com/ and you can also find the range of rods in Ireland at www.piscari-fly.com https://www.flyfishingireland.com/ and https://southsideangling.ie/
Please feel free to give me a shout if you would like any other advice on the range and if you wish to purchase one you wont be disappointed. Make sure and check by the syndicate website now and again or contact them on facebook  https://www.facebook.com/syndicateff/ to see about the new and exciting developments they have in store. Thanks for reading my blog and I hope you find this information some what useful when you are considering a new fly rod in the future,  make sure and check out my website just follow the links to the right.  
WE MAKE THE WANDS YOU MAKE THE MAGIC!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Want a Dry Fly that will catch you a lot of fish? The Lopped CDC Olive Dry Fly

With temperatures finally starting to come back to normal and with some consistency, the fishing is getting to where it should be early to mid May. Over the last few days I have been on the rivers and getting some great action. The hatches have certainly improved and in turn the trout are feeding well, while I have been picking up fish on the nymphs regularly and they are plentiful, its the dry fly I enjoy the most this time of year. The fish are beginning to spread out in the glides and run and will take most opportunities to grab a snack as it passed by there nose. this simple little dry has been the stand out fly over the last couple of days and one you should have in the box if you plan on hitting the river soon. 

Begin with a size 18 -20 301 Dohiku hook and add in some Coq De Leon fibers for the tail. I then add in some olive UV reflective thread by Tommi-fly that will be my rib. After securing all that in I use some olive pheasant tail for the body and rib it with the olive thread. 
Then taking two CDC feathers one Natural Grey and the other is light blue I tie them in by the tips. Take a pinch of olive CDC and dub on to your thread and make a thorax between the eye of the hook and the CDC. 

Catch the CDC feathers together and form your loop over the thorax. Secure it well in at the eye of the hook and remove the remaining CDC. You can make the loop as small or large as you wish. Brush back any fibers that may be at the head of the fly and tie off your thread. 
This fly has great float-ability and is pretty easy to spot in the faster water. It sits lovely and low on the surface and is a very tempting fly for the waiting trout. I hope you have as must sport with it as I have had. 
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post. If you have any questions or queries please feel free to contact me. Also make sure and check out my website www.piscari-fly.com for all your tungsten beads, Dohiku barbless hooks, the amazing Syndicate Fly Rods, Reels, leaders and much more. Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Fly Tying with Piscari-fly



This nymph has been really producing cracking fishing for me at the moment and I hope you get the same results. Make sure and try out different colour beads with different colour floss also. 



I hope you have enjoyed watching this video and if you have any questions or queries please feel free to contact me. Also make sure and check out my website www.piscari-fly.com for all your tungsten beads, Dohiku barbless hooks, the amazing Syndicate Fly Rods, Reels, leaders and much more. Thanks for watching.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Fly Fishing Italy: The River Noce

Some months ago I posted about a trip to Italy and fishing the Sarca River, which is one of the rivers chosen to host the 38th World Fly Fishing Championships. The other river that has the honor of hosting a session in the World finals is called the Noce River and this was the location for my most recent trip to the region of Terntino Italy.
During this trip myself and two of my fishing buddies David O Donovan and fellow Irish Team member Tom Beecher took part in the Val De Soil Fly Cup competition on the Noce river. This competition was held over three sessions of one hour and fifty minuets long. While you steward a session the beat above it will be your beat in the second half of the session and the angler fishing first then controls you for the same length of time. This format is a very educational one as you get to watch some of the top Italian competitors in action on there own rivers.
We flew into Milan on the Friday morning and had a two and a half hour drive up into the mountains to our location, with the competition starting on the Saturday morning we were keen to get a couple of hours on the river before dark. Our good friend Alessandro had been fishing that morning and the report from the river was that it was fishing very hard and after a few hours spent searching the river this was indeed going to be a tricky river to crack. We began the Saturday morning unknown as to what lied in store for the competition and unsure what sort of catches were expected from the beats. I was glad to be controlling first, for one to see how the locals approach the river and secondly the sun would be on the river when my session was on, which made a huge difference to catching fish. The Italian competitor had 3 fish for his session on slim but heavy nymphs varying in colours and beads, his beat was a fast flowing section and he approach was to search all the margins of the river for fish lying in out of the current.  Following his hour and fifty minuets it was my turn and on the few hours practice the day before we had some fish on scruffy plain Hares Ear nymphs and some with orange thorax's so I began with the same nymphs and through out the session I managed to pick off six trout and take second place in the session, a good start. Results over all were mixed with Tom doing well also and Dave who fished first thing and in a incredibly fast beat found it hard to locate some scoring fish. During the second session Dave had 11 fish and I had the very same, with Tom picking up another good score from his beat; at the end of the first day we were doing ok I was lying in first place, Tom in fourth and Dave and Alessandro in mid table, it was all to play for. 

The river flows down a steep gradient of rock at the foot of the mountains that tower over it and with the snow tops thawing into the river it made the water temperature quite cold. So fishing the first half of the morning session before the sun warms up the air makes it for tough fishing indeed. I began the last session picking up a fish in the first five minuets, but that was to be my score and with only hitting one other fish I fell back down the leader board and finished the competition in tenth place over all. However Tom managed to climb up into third and bronze position for the competition, a great result away from home.
Alessandro finished in 9th place and Dave in 18th over all. It certainly wont be a river that we will fear later this year when team Ireland heads over for the World Finals, its brown trout and pocket fishing waters is similar to our own fishing here and the result was a great confidence boost for Tom who will be competing at the event in September. 
To finish off our four day trip we drove over the mountains to get the evening session and next day on the other competition water, the Sacra River. This river as always served up an abundance of fish for the day and is a contrasting venue to the Noce River, with its gliding pools and clear shallow water. The venues for the World competition in September surely will test all the skills of the anglers and I cant wait to see the array of tactics used to get the fish on the score cards. 
We will make one more practice run to Italy for a competition on the Sacra River in mid May. Hopefully it will be another successful adventure to the Italian mountains with great fishing, great fiends and good results.  
The competitions over here are very well organised and we would like to thank all the organizers and sponsors of the events. They are very sociable tournaments and great opportunities to lean more and more about this ever developing sport we love. i would recommend this location not only for a fishing trip but if you want to develop your skills and learn then theses competitions are a must. I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and if you have any questions or queries please feel free to contact me. Also make sure and check out my website www.piscari-fly.com for all your tungsten beads, Dohiku barbless hooks, the amazing Syndicate Fly Rods, Reels, leaders and much more. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Fishing the Dry Dropper: A dry that catches the fish

This method of fishing rivers has been around for a bit and takes on several names including Klink and Dink, some calling it New Zealand style fishing also; however, I like to call it Dry Dropper. This name describes best how I find it should be set up, well for me anyway. I am no expert on this form of fly fishing, but I have spent a lot of time over the last few years trying to better my self at it. This is due to its importance in catching fish, especially in the water that is difficult to nymph euro style. Here is a couple tips I have picked up along the way and for this post we will really look at the importance of the dry fly more so than the nymphs. 
It is my understanding that the dry has 3 fundamental functions in this set up. One, it must float well, second you must be able to see it and thirdly it must be able to support the weight of the nymph or nymphs below.  But there is another one I would like to add to that and this is; it must be able to catch fish. For some anglers a lot of the emphasis when it comes to the dry fly or indicator fly is the first three components and they sacrifice the important aspect of the dry not catching fish. 

I often get asked what dry I use for my set up when fishing this way, and often this comes from anglers that are struggling to see their dry, its not sitting right for them or they are not catching fish with the ones they are using. This is the dry I find that ticks all the above boxes.
 Hook: Dohiku 611 from size 12 to 14 
Thread: Fine strong Silk 
Post: Pink or Orange Para wing 
Rib: Fine Pearl Tinsel 
Body dubbing: Natural Hares Ear 
Hackle: Grizzle Cock Hackles 
Thorax: Mixed natural hares ear, gold lite bright, purple dubbing and red light brite all blended in a coffee blender. 

I always tie the dry fly on a short dropper as I find that I catch more fish when the fly is on a dropper rather than attaching tippet to the bend of the hook to connect the dry fly to the nymph. 
The distance between the dry and nymph is crucial for this method to be effective also. I have a general rule to begin with, that the distance is the depth of the water to your best guess and half that again to the nymph. I tend to use a short aggressive dry leader and I like to fish the set up as close to me as possible to save lining fish by casting any distance away from my position.  
I normally treat the post of this dry with water shed to help it float for longer periods of time, this also make it easier to dry off with less false casts. This dry will count for 15% of fish caught on the dry dropper the majority of days fishing it. It is highly visible, floats extremely well and sure as hell catches fish. Have a selection of sizes and colours in your box to suit the conditions and requirements on the day. on different days you may need larger ones to support two or heavier nymphs and on other days the one different coloured post could be more visible than the other. 
Also it is important to remember that the dry dose not have to disappear or sink to indicate a take, a slight movement which is unnatural to the current of the water can be an indication that a fish has picked up your nymph. the high visibility and fishing the set up in close proximity will aid you in spotting these tell tale signs of a fish. 
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and it has sparked some thoughts in developing your fishing and fly tying going forward in the new season. If you have any questions or queries please feel free to contact me. Also make sure and check out my website www.piscari-fly.com for all your tungsten beads, Dohiku barbless hooks, the amazing Syndicate Fly Rods, Reels, leaders and much more. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Want to Catch A Fussy Trout: Try Beadless Nymphs

For the last season or two I have been tinkering more and more with beadless Nymphs and getting good results.
We all know that the bead has several purposes on a nymph; one, to add crucial weight to get the fly down to the feed zones; secondly, the colour can be the factor that attracts the fish to take the fly.
But as we all know the colours vary and one day when sliver works the next day it will be gold or some other choice from the array of colours now available on the market. So is there a time and occasion for weighted nymphs with out beads, the answer is yes.
When I like most other anglers began fishing many years ago the nymphs we were using was a pheasant tail maybe with a lead shot up the cast to drag the nymph down to the trout or a sinking line would do the same job. However with the evolution of fly tying the tungsten bead has allowed the angler to present their nymphs to the depths very quickly.
As a competition angler I am always aware the the fish can become used to the different colour beads especially when you are fishing 3 to 5 sessions in a competition. So having some beadless Nymphs can be the answer in those late sessions or fishing in over fished waters and when you are looking to catch those fussy trout.
Tying the nymphs slim and getting some good quality lead and a few small tungsten beads in there will allow the nymphs to penetrate to the required depth, just as quick as a beaded nymph.
Fishing shallow runs and glides you will have no problem in getting the nymphs down to the fish and maybe you will have to punch them up stream a little further in order to allow them more time to get to the bottom.
Also a good addition to this approach is an aggressive leader set up so that when you make the cast the natural turn over of the leaders will ensure the nymphs will enter the water at pace and the nymphs will get down faster. This leader set up is something you will have to make up your self to get the best results. A good light weight rod with a good responsive action will aid you in getting these lighter nymphs to there destination also. Make sure and check out the Syndicate 10 foot 2 weight as this is the rod find good and the one I use for this approach.
Here is some of the beadless patterns that I have useful over the last couple of seasons and are we'll wort having a go with this year for some fussy trout.
The pheasant Tail 
Hook: Dohiku 611 size 16
Thread: Fine strong silk 
Tail: fibers of pheasant tail 
Tag: Glo Brite No.4
Rib: Copper wire 
Body: Pheasant tail 
Thorax Cover: Pheasant Tail
Thorax: Olive mixed dubbing 
Legs: Natural Partridge Hackles 
Another option you have is fishing the dry dropper set up with one or two beadless nymphs under the dry just make sure the distance between the nymphs and dry is long enough so that the flies are where they need to be. Make sure and secure in the beads and lead well with a good strong thread and some super glue. Also, lead and tungsten beads or sheets are the best option for adding weight to your flies using wires don't contain much heavy metals to make a difference and can be more expensive that flat lead. 
The Olive Quill  
Hook: Dohiku 611 size 16
Thread: Fine strong silk 
Tail: Coc De Leon
Under Body: Flat lead covered in olive thread 
Body: Transparent synthetic quills 
Thorax Cover: Pheasant Tail
Thorax: Olive mixed dubbing 
Legs: Pheasant tails tips folded back . 

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and it has sparked some thoughts in developing your fishing and fly tying going forward in the new season. If you have any questions or queries please feel free to contact me. Also make sure and check out my website www.piscari-fly.com for all your tungsten , barbless hooks, Syndicate Fly Rods, Reels, leaders and much more. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Want to up your catch rate this season? A few points to consider for effective fishing

I get a lot of fisher people asking me for tips and tricks on better approaches to effective fly fishing out side of having the right set up and good quality nymphs. Firstly the answer is not spending the winter filling your fly boxes with patterns un-tried and un-tested, if you want to do a winters tying only tie the flies that worked last season and tie them in all sizes and weights. Over the years, I have spent a lot of time working on, and thinking about the small details that result in productive approaches and the things we as angler can do to try and shift the odds in our favor a little bit more. I am no expert but I have some thoughts on the matter. There is a fair bit of stuff to consider when you break everything down, such as beat management, fatigue, fish behavior and the like. However, here is a few important pointers and hopefully there is somethings in this post that you will consider in the coming season when you approach the river that will aid your ability to catch more fish. 

1. Identify the predominant lies and protective lies of the fish in the beat.

It is crucial to discover this from inspecting your beat before you start fishing or enter the water. The predominant lie is where the

fish sit undisturbed and feed away naturally. This could be the shallow margins or the side of the main current near by. But not to far away there will be a place where they go for protection once disturbed, this could be a deeper pocket, behind or under some object in the water. Once you begin fishing and wading some fish will move from one to the other once they are aware of your presence; so you must know when to also move from one to the other to keep catching fish. There can be many of each of the lies in one beat. Discovering these will save you time fishing all the water on your beat and fishing water where there is less or no fish. Moving quickly between the predominant lies in the beat will result in clocking up early scores on the card or fish in the net and knowing where the fish go once you have gone through the honey holes will save time in finding them the second time around and allow you to target pockets of fish in their protective lies.

2. Fatigue and body posture

This is something a lot of anglers don't spend enough time on; you cant fish or wade a beat properly if you are tired and you will lose

your focus during a fishing session. The single biggest problem I encounter when coaching anglers is them getting tired and lose concentration on the water, leader, dry fly or indicator and miss the signs of the takes. So we must focus on how to conserve energy and slow down fatigue of the legs, arms and especially the eyes. Your posture during fishing can help, having an open stance not only will allow you better and safer wading but it will engage your core and help support your back and arm as you reach forward while nymphing. This stance will also allow for better netting practice as when you hook a fish you are now in a position to take a large step forward and move several foot closer to the hooked fish and scoop the fish within seconds of a hook up.
Having good glasses (dont have to be the most expensive) that suit the day light is crucial as the wrong lenses will cause you to having to try and focus harder on the small indicators or dries. Therefore your eyes become tired and you stop looking and miss the signs of a take. Another aspect for good vision and tired eyes is your hat. A long billed hat pulled down over your eyes will tunnel your vision and save on fatigue, this will also allow you to see smaller objects further away. Also it will save you from be distracted by the view or the passing wildlife.

Good core strength will allow you to wade quickly through heavy water, it is worth considering this and some simple exercises will give you better strength in the water and more confidence.

3. Be a predator
Another aspect of posture. Standing straight up is not only bad for
your back and makes it easy for the fish to see you, it is also takes it toll on your concentration levels. If you can imagine any predator in the wild before they strike and their posture before they do so; there body position is curled up ready to strike. This is not only for the speed of the attack but to also have full focus and concentration on its prey. Being a hunter instead of an angler is a lesson I learned many years ago and one that stuck with me and I regually remind myself of. I often say to anglers imagine a photog you is going to feature on the front of your favourite magazine and this photo could be taken at any moment when you are fishing. So do you want to be seen standing straight up in the air sticking out or do you want to be published where you are on one or two knees totally focused on your prey and reaching out to full length in complete control.

4. Hearding and moving fish
In long beats where the fish are spread out it can be good practice to heard or move the fish into pods to maximize your chance of a
good catch rate. Fish will move in different ways depending on the species and the time and place. For brown trout sometimes you need to gently push them to the head of their territory. This is not necessarily the head of a run as there can be several heads of territory in one run, depending on on its size and volume of fish in the section of water. In doing so, you will also heighten the aggression levels of the fish and they will attack your flies out of that aggression rather than looking to eat food. Of course the best thing is if you heard the fish you know where they are.


Fishing from wading up one bank will manipulate the fishes behavior differently to wading up the middle. On larger rivers I like to wade up the middle and push the fish into the banks where they feel safe (into protective lies) and they tend less to run down stream behind me where they are no longer in my catch zone if I am fishing up stream. Fishing a smaller river I tend to fish along one bank and push the fish ahead of me and by casting kind of across the stream (lining the fish) will keep the majority in my catch zone, before the head back behind me.

5. Chain reaction within the beat
It is important to be aware of the chain reaction within the beat once you disturb the fish. This will save you time fishing water where the fish have moved from because of ten minutes ago you pushed the fish from there or spooked them when you were fishing 50 yards down river. Be aware when and where you release your caught fish, I tend to release fish behind me. Also wade in and out of the river well behind the area that you are catching in if you have to bring the fish to a controller.

6. Be aware of your surroundings
Getting caught up in trees, rocks ect is a big problem and one that
will never leave an angler. Wading to release your flies from rock and trees is one of the biggest mistakes of beat management. Tie plenty of your best flies so losing a couple will not matter in a session. A lot of anglers will spend some time looking at the water before a session and rightly so, but few will look at the trees and objects they will encounter fishing and casting in that section of river. I will make a mental map of the beat as I study it and I will identify the sections I have to be on my knees to open up a larger casting gap into tight spots. Ill know the spots where there is some weed on the bottom so ill speed up the drag on my nymphs so they stay just off the bottom and not get stuck in the weeds. This is also the same for rocky bottoms. Allowing a dead drift will allow the nymphs to settle between the rocks and get caught up. However, dragging them through a slight bit faster means the nymphs will bounce off the rocks and are less likely to get caught.


When you have your hat down around you eyes and you are
focusing on you fishing, if you are not aware of your surroundings you will spend a lot of time in the bushes and trees when casting. This will result in you breaking your concentration, disturbing the beat, getting in tangles and loosing nymphs.

It is the lack of focus on these details that cost most anglers from maximizing there catch in a beat and with some time spent on these aspects and errors of the anglers will increase good beat management and more time for your flies to catch fish.
Three most important three words I have learned for good effective fly fishing is DETAILS, SIMPLE, DETAILS

I hope some of this will be useful to you, and there is some points that you will consider focusing on this coming season. Its a bit of a whistle stop to effectively fly fishing a beat, and if you have any questions or queries on any aspects of this post please feel free to contact me.

Thanks for reading my blog. If you have any questions please feel free to give me a shout on my contact details and if you are interested in Dohiku hooks, top quality tungsten beads, or Syndicate competition Fly Rods and much more, drop me a line or check them out on my website, Just click on one of the links to the right.