Photograph by Steve Barnett

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Quick Fix

The season is now truly in its closing stages.  Being there is paramount.  Observation is even more important now as it is easy to miss some subtle changes...

Not all spinners are those of the Blue Winged Olive, our staple fly on English fly fishing rivers and streams.  There was your faithful correspondent sat by a quiet glide.  The fish were certainly feeding on spinners.  The rise forms confirmed the fact.  A lunker of a Wild Rainbow Trout was on station and rising confidently with nose. dorsal fin and tail breaking the surface in succession to make the elongated rise form that announces the spinner eater at dinner.  The fly (PPS) was presented and drifted over in what was surely the ideal place and timing. 

No interest in the fake was shown whatsoever. 

The lunker carried on rising most definitely to spinners.

Hmm...  What to do?  My PPS is surely infallible?  Can the fly be wrong?  So sitting and staying hidden to watch, the flies on the surface were too far away to see clearly so look in the sky...

Strange?  No flies in the sky!  But these are spinners being eaten!!!  Then a fly was spotted.  It was on the gravel next to me.  Carrot orange body, shiny wings, two long tails not three, certainly a spinner, I believe of one of the Pale Watery flies.  It then folded its wings closed over its back, crawled onto a stalk of fleur de lys and went down under the water.  Maybe after laying its eggs this type of spinner drifts back up to the surface to die?  The PPS was pretty good for colour but the wings were far too big.  A quick snip with the scissors shortened the wings and seemed to make the fly look about right. 

Try again...

This time the fly was accepted without hesitation or fuss.

It was good to watch the fish cruise back to its place and it was good to feel satisfied that those few moments of observational pause had reaped such reward.


Be There and Watch Carefully...

Oh and bring your scissors.  You might need them for that Quick Fix!

Regular Rod


  1. I have to hand it to anyone who figures that out and is able to perform successful surgery on the fly.

  2. Baslowfisher at 16:41

    I couldn't agree with you more! Numerous times I have wondered what the fish have been taking and stopping and observing with the help of a seine net has answered the conundrum. A suitable artificial used and bingo!



  3. I completely agree with you, especially with the scissors. I always tend to forget some things for the trip. I learned it the hard way, as I had a hard time cutting it with my own bare hands LOL It would also help to keep my wife from back back :))