A few words and pictures for those who are or would like to be "expert" at dry fly fishing on rivers.
Photograph by Steve Barnett
Wednesday, 8 August 2012
Adapting to suit...
... conditions is pretty normal and done by most of us to some degree or other, if only when we swap flies for example. It is all too easy though to turn up and because we fished a certain way only yesterday, or last week, or last month and we were successful that time, the temptation is to simply start as we did on the previous visit. This can quickly fritter away what is left of the day if we persevere, for example, with a spinner pattern when the fish are eating sedgeflies, or vice versa. Basing our choice of fly and tactic on the feel good factor remembered from our last visit is not as good as reverting back to basics on every trip and following those three principles all over again then, relying on our current observations, selecting a fly to at least make an attempt at "matching the hatch"!
The last week has seen quite a change on the waters round here. Firstly there are a lot more grayling now getting into the late summer and autumn mood for rising to take food on the surface. The dry fly angler is unlikely to miss this. There is something pretty obvious when fish after fish coming to the fly turns out to be a grayling.
The other difference, alluded to in the last post, is that spinners are putting in their welcome appearances a little earlier and they are finishing their appearances earlier too. The fishing day is shorter not only because darkness is upon us earlier and watching the fly becomes more and more difficult as each day marches on, but also because the spinners are simply finishing their vital missions much earlier than they did a month ago, 9.00 p.m.-ish instead of 10 p.m.-ish if last night was anything to go by.
We have no choice but to start and finish earlier. It is still very much worth it as the fish are now in the peak of condition and some of them are getting to be big enough to make the outcome of any battle doubtful until the net is raised!
This morning the dew was making pretty patterns on every spider's web, yet through the willowherb and meadowsweet the fish were rising steadily and ready to reward the angler who had adapted to the changes and was starting early.