Thursday, February 27, 2014

Understand your process to fish effectively

I had an interesting evening recently with some people that I have been giving some help with on their fly tying and fly fishing for the coming season. A question they had was what is the best way to prepare yourself for a competition to give your self the best chance and have confidence in what you are doing while not getting distracted with what everyone else is doing all the time or wondering what might work instead of concentrating on what you are fishing at that time.

In fly-fishing and competitions we all have our methodologies for preparing to go fishing; strategies that we plan out and attempt to follow during our days on the waters. I have found recently that spending a bit of time understanding and getting these process correct to suit your ability and keeping your confidence level high can help you fish more efficiently which will result in better catches. Therefore if you have your processes right and if you trust them then you will catch more fish. "Trust the process"

A lot of the top competition anglers will tell you that if you don't have confidence in what you are doing then you wont get the fish, for example if you are fishing a leader to long, short, heavy or light than you like it dose effect your belief and confidence in fishing that set up correctly also the same can be said  if you are fishing a fly that you don't have faith in then it wont get the rises. But how many times have you put up your favorite fly and used your reliable set ups in strange situations and it has worked for you? This is because you have confidence in the set up and what you are using is part of fishing them correctly and understanding all this and spending some time on getting it right means you will always fish at the top of your game.

Over the last two years I have focused a lot on getting my processes down to suit me so when I go fishing I have no doubt in my mind that I have the set ups, systems and the right flies I need for that day. This has giving me the confidence I needed to go to a event or river and know that I have done all I need to do to be able to catch those fish, I stick to my game plan and I trust in my process and they keep me focused through out the day on the river or lake; leaving little or no room for doubt and questioning so I can focus in on just catching the fish.
Here is some of how I use my processes to aid my confidence to catch fish.

Preparation to fish a venue:
For several weeks before a competition day I will research the venue through online and other sources gathering what information I can, while also visiting the river or lake several times to do some homework on the style, size, depth and its environment. I don't like to over fish a place and I tend to find a local venue with similar attributes and spend more time there closer to the day. I would constantly take down notes of important information and start a broad tying list of what I feel I might need to fish there.  

I would spend a good bit of time before the event fishing different set ups and systems on similar waters deciding on a game plan or approach  that I will be using for the competition. I will have narrowed down my tippet choice, leaders and lines also. By the time the competition has come around I will have chosen my fly selection to a few nymphs, dries, wets or streamers depending on the water I will be fishing and they will be in a box separate from all other flies so they are easily accessed and there is no other flies to distract me from my plan. 

The day before:
I like to spend this day cleaning, stretching and getting ready all my fly-lines and gear. I will look at what I need to bring on the day closely and make sure I will only have what I need, less is more here, you don't want a load of stuff in your pockets dragging you down or getting in the way of effective fishing. Recently I have switched over to a chest pack that will only just take what I need and no more.

I will make up any leaders I will be using on the day and double check all my flies stocked up are ready to fish. This is the day I will also decide on my game plan for tomorrow, by now I know the water conditions and weather so I should be able to predict the conditions and the methods I will need for the day. Once I have decided this I stick to my game plan. 

During the day:
I am aware that anything can happen on any day but I do try my best to keep to my plan and for the majority of events I do, history has shown me that all the days I have followed my plan and trusted in the process is the days I have done well. 
I keep focused on this day it can be distracting heading to a check in at a competition and chatting to other anglers, they have there plan and its to late for you to change yours so I don't tend to stand around to much chatting and just get on with the job in hand; trusting I have done my homework good enough. 
I would go over the process of the day in my head before I start fishing and how I would like to approach and work the water I have been giving for the session. I double check my chest pack for all I need to have with me in the water and then begin to fish and move in the chosen direction. 
Not wondering what the next guy is doing on the upper or below beats, or whats even happening in the run at the top of my beat, or if I should change a fly, I am just completely focused on the fly's that are in the water and the fish I am trying to catch. You will only catch fish with your flies in the water and no where else so be efficient with your time, and if you have to make a change do it for a reason and not just because you are addicted to changing flies.
This is where I begin to trust my process and all the work I have done in the previous weeks. You have to believe in your ability and have complete confidence in what you are doing and it will work for you.  

The aftermath:
No matter where I finish on the day be it in first or last I do realize that there is only so much we as anglers can do to determine or days results, the luck of the draw and the fishes behaviors can have a huge outcome on results. But I have found that if I have fished well and done all I can do to maximize my fishing time on the day; I fished with purpose and confidence then I am satisfied with what I have achieved.  
I take what I can from the day in lessons and use them to improve my approach for the next event if you don't learn something that needs to be worked on to better your fishing then you are not being honest to yourself and you wont progress, if something is not right or good enough then work on it for the next day. 

This is my general approach to fly fishing and competitions and most anglers have other methods they find that suits them and work for them. You should look at yours and if you are not happy or confident in it then spend some time getting it right and your fishing will be more effective. No matter what though always trust the process. 

I hope you enjoy reading this post and if you have any comments or questions just drop me a line below, also if you would like to see whats coming next just sign in and follow us. Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Soft Hackled March Brown

The month of March for most of Irish anglers sees our return to the natural fisheries of the countryside, the river and lakes will become our second home for the next nine months of spring and summer. But we are not the only creatures heading out on the waters for the first time after the winter; insects and flies make there timely return also, few in numbers but hatching fly's can be about. 
This can be a challenging time for the angler trying to lure the trout who are barely awake from the migration of the spawning months, but with some attractive and simple patterens and a positive approach it wont take long before you are landing the first fish of this year. 
Here is a nice wet fly that has caught some fish for me in the early months and is a trusted point fly when casting across the rivers in the spring.

Hook: Size 14 B175 Kamasan or 12 -10 for lake 
Thread: olive twist thread
Tail: Natural grey partridge 
Tag: Glo-brite no 5
Rib: Fine gold wire 
Dubbing: Hares ear mixed with a little UV ice dubbing brushed out well
Wing: Paired hen pheasant wing 
Hackle: Both natural CDC and natural grey partridge wound on together.

A very slight but effective variation of the original tying of this fly, the tag gives the trout something to aim at and the dual hackle gives the fly lovely movement in the water with a nice profile when wet. 
This dressing is also worth tying on larger sizes for the olive hatches on the lakes in later spring and trust me it wont let you down. Over the next few weeks ill be preparing my boxes with some good early season wets and nymphs so keep an eye here and ill show you what I have planned for the trout in March. 
I hope you enjoy reading this post and if you have any comments or questions on early season patterens just drop me a line below, also you can sign in and follow us. Thanks for reading.

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Pennell Variant

I have been asked for this dressing over the last few days sense I posted a picture of this fly. It is a good attractive Lough fly that I generally fish on the point during Duck Fly hatches, saying that I have also taken many fish on it at other times of the year. So here is step by step of how to tie this simple but very effective fly, hope you enjoy it:

Begin by placing a size 10 hook in the vise I used a kamasan B175. Tie on the thread and tie in several Golden pheasant tippet fibers for the tail.

Tie in some orange wire and black flat tinsel for the body 

Wind up the Black tinsel and follow with the orange wire.

Take some fibers from a large grizzle hackle and tie in as a wing,

Wind on some Jungle cock hackle and brush back over the fly and tie off the thread.

This fly is well worth the time tying, a simple but very effective trout fly. I hope you enjoy reading this post and if you have any comments or questions just drop me a line below, also if you would like to see whats coming next and what I am tying for the coming season just sign in and follow us. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Team of Early Season Wet flies for Lough Fishing

The spring for me always brings lots of anticipation and expatiation's for the coming trout season. That first chilly and bumpy ride up across the Lakes of Ireland is a thrilling experience, with the rod made up in the boat and all the new wet flies in my boxes charged and prepared for a long season of trout hunting ahead. It often can be a slow and disappointing start as the trout are still in winter mode around the early part of February, but I have had a few good starts in this month and here is a couple of my trust worthy dressings that could very well make the starting line up this season.

                                                  THE POINT FLY


Hook: size 12-10 B175 Kamasan 
Thread: Red twist thread 
Tail: UV polar chenille
Rib: Sliver wire 
Body: Flat sliver tinsel
Body Hackle:  Grizzle cock hackle 
Wing/ Cloak: Light bronze mallard  
Cheek : Split jungle cock feather in center and tie half on each side of the fly 


Hook: size 12-10 B175 Kamasan 
Thread: olive twist thread
Tail: natural pheasant tail 
Tag: Glo-brite no 8
Rib: Gold wire 
Dubbing: Brown blend dubbing 
Body Hackle: Dark ginger cock hackle
Wing: Bronze mallard 
Cheeks: Sunburst turkey biots  


Hook: size 12-10 B175 Kamasan 
Thread: Black twist thread 
Tail: Natural golden pheasant tippets
Rib: Sliver wire 
Dubbing: In three parts black/red/black blend dubbing 
Body Hackle: Black and grizzle wound down the body together.
Shoulder Hackle: Jungle cock back feather

I have dozens of good trust worthy lake flies and theses are just three of the one for the early part of the season, I do like to fish these on a fast or slow intermediate line and I strip them back fast which I find is good for attracting follows from hungry trout at this time of the year. It is important though to dabble the fly's on the surface of the lake just before you lift off to recast, this is often the moment when the chasing trout will attack the fly. 
These flies will be used through out the season on different occasions as the sliver dabbler is a good fish catcher all year around; the Fiery dabbler is a good early and late season fly in September it has given me some great bags of fish. The top dropper fly I like it to be a bumble or bushy fly for two reasons, one is it makes good noise to attract fish and secondly it is a good structure of a fly to dabble at the end of a retrieve just like the Duck fly bumble in my eariler post, http://peterdriver.blogspot.ie/2014/02/duck-fly-bumble.htmlThese flies are worth giving a swim this February and hopefully you will enjoy these dressing as much as I have and with the same success. 
I hope you enjoy reading this post and if you have any comments or questions just drop me a line below, also if you would like to see whats coming next and what I am tying for the coming season just sign in and follow us. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


The duck hunting season comes to an end in January but there is another duck season around the corner and these creatures don't go quack. 

The duck fly hatches is one of the first decent feeding frenzies for brown trout on our Loughs. Imitating theses fly's has many forms from buzzers, emergers, slim and small wet fly's to bushy bumbles among many other variations. Personally I like this time of the year and enjoy heading out on the spring waves in search of some good feeding trout in the duck holes of the mid-land lakes. 
Over the next few weeks ill be tying many different dressings to lure the trout this coming spring, some new developments and some old and tested fly's. This Bumble is one of my favorite top dropper fly's and great on the bob just before you lift off the water. 

Hook: size 12-10 B175 Kamasan 
Thread: Black twist thread 
Tail: Hot orange poly-wing teased out
Rib: Hends burnt orange wire 
Dubbing: Orange spectra dubbing
Body Hackle: Soft black cock
Legs: black daddy legs
Wing: Strands of Pearl Krystal flash 
Shoulder Hackle: partridge dyed orange

I hope you enjoy reading this post and if you have any comments or questions just drop me a line below, also if you would like to see whats coming next and what I am tying for the coming season just sign in and follow us. Thanks for reading.