Learning to fly fish

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Phillip Neal

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I have just started to fly fish,when I ask anyone " what are they going on?" I get an answer,but haven`t got a clue what there on about.Are there any pocket size books about which can help me?
 
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Ray Bewick

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Phillip - John Goddards Waterside Guide (think that?s the right author & title!) is just right for the pocket.

What water are you fishing?

If it's stocked waters & the fish are rainbows with no catch & release, small to medium lures will catch you plenty of 'stockies'.

Once you have tired of that (some never do), try the 'imitative' approach i.e. the idea of matching the 'fly' to what the fish are feeding on. Set your own challenges, you cannot learn if your not getting 'takes'; don't expect to beat the local 'experts' immediately, but I can assure you WILL at some time.

Start fly tying!

Good luck

Let us know how you get on
 
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Mark Frame

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salmon and trout mag trout fisherman sell a book called 220 favourite flies get yourself a copy its pocket sized so you can carry it about with you about ?10 i think
 
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Phil Neal

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Cheer`s for the info. Ray,

At present I`m trying NINE OAK`S at Llanon and also Tydbrynn at Crybin.

I`ve thought about the fly tying but I thought I`d better learn to fish with them first.
 
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TONY JONES

Guest
Phil,
I've found spending a bit of time in the tackle shop, before I start fishing. Most of the owners/managers are only too happy to help, and they will also tell you how to fish them.Plus you will see the wide range of flies on display. Remember if in doubt ask. One thing I've found with section of anglers, they are very helpful.
Cheers TJ
 
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Phil Neal

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Tony

Yes I know what you mean,but I don`t want to look a complete plonker! the chap at 'nine oaks is pretty good though,he knows I'm only learning so he helps quite well if he's there.

cheers
phil
 

William Burns

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Just started Fly fishing & being such a beginner I'm confused on the best flies to have-I have a little collection of buzzers,gold headed nymphs,butchers,alexanders (dry&wet) & of course Dawl Bachs but I would like to have a collection of flies from fullingmill as they were voted the best made flies BUT WHICH DO I CHOOSE_PLEASE HELP!!
 
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MarkTheSpark

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Best bet is to look through a few fishing mags and select a few of the patterns mentioned. Building up a comprehensive collection takes years.

My list? Since you asked it's: Buzzers size 10-14. Leaded and unleaded damsel nymph. Black Tadpole, size 10. Minkie. Sedges (any). Klinkhamers. Daddy Longlegs (dry deerhair) Pheasant Tail Nymph.
 

William Burns

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Thanks for the info Mark-that's my middle name-I've just bookmarked this so I can buy them.
I was shocked how fly fishing is more complicated than coarse but what a different feeling when I caught my first fish on the Dawl Bach.You can feel the shaking of the head,everything.I thought by the fight that it was a lot bigger than 1lb 2oz,felt more like 3lb but even on a blank I love being by the bank.Still got to learn how to catch on the river though.

All the best,happy fishing
 
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Ron 'The Hat' Clay (ACA)

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One of the best books ever written on this subject is "Trout Fly Recognition" by John Goddard. The basics of identifying the various insects that trout eat are all there.

Although written in 1974, the information is timeless.

I am assuming that you are mainly fishing in stillwaters.

Here is a list of flies I wouldn't be without.

1: Buzzers - better called midge pupa imitations in a wide variey of colours.

2: Buzzer emergers

3: Hawthorn fly, when they are on you need some.

4: Damsel fly nymphs, a few with gold heads.

5: Invicta - when sedges are around.

6: Daddy long legs and various hoppers.

7: Diawl Bach. Some tied with orange ribbing, a great all round nymph.

The main thing is learning how to fish them. Remember one great truth in fly fishing - it isn't what you fish it's the way that you fish it.

And being able to cast a reasonable distance with the absolute minimum of false casting.
 

William Burns

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I WAS BORN IN 1974.Thanks for that Don,they are on my list & I will ask my fishing book club to see if they can get it for me.I've got to admit I prefere stillwater to river as being a beginner the river is a little difficult to know whether you have the right presentation of the flies in the very strong flow as they all are in beautiful Wales here.

HAPPY FISHING DON!!!
 

William Burns

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IF ANY FISHINGMAGIC MEMBER IS FISHING UP THIS WAY IN WREXHAM NORTH WALES FOR FLY FISHING ETC THEN I WOULD GLADLY PUT YOU UP.AS I KNOW B&B'S CAN BE OVER PRICED FOR WHAT YOU GET.
 
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Evan

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I can't remember where I got it from but way back when I was a novice I found a very very useful guide to what basic trout flies you should start out with for fishing in UK lakes and rivers, biased in favour of natural / river / brown trout as opposed to Rainbows.

Once you have got these in your fly box you can cover most situations and it forms a good reliable basis upon which to add over the forthcoming years....

"Greenwells Glory
Tupps Indispensable
Gold Ribbed Hares Ear Nymph
Red Sedge
Coch-y-Bondhu
Olive Suspender Buzzer

in hook sizes 12, 14 and 16 and

Damselnymphs in size 8 or 10 longshank hooks"
I'm not so sure in retrospect that I would bother that much with the first six in size 16's if money is an issue. and when isn't it..... :-(

To that I would myself add a handful of epoxy buzzer imitations, mainly black and red with a few green.

Plus of course, in their limited season, the good old Mayfly in various colours (white brown and green) and our old friend the Daddy Long legs or Crane fly. And I think Ron is right to highlight the Diawl Bach, a fly which I don't think was around (or at least as generally well known) when the list was drawn up.

If you are fishing solely for Rainbows then a few of the well known lure patterns in addition won't go amiss; I wouldn't be without two or three size 10 and 12 Viva's in my box, plus I have a soft spot for the Alexandra and Butcher / Bloody Butcher.

Then there is the modern abomination of the pink / orange egg or blob fly which I won't have in the house but is certainly popular with those who simply want to haul in as many stockies as quickly as possible....

PS. If you are the author of the original list and reading this after all the years since I first found it then my very grateful thanks !
 

Ric Elwin

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Some great answers here.

Unless you're fishing a dry fly static though.... the speed of retrieve is important, perhaps more so than choice of fly. I'll try to explain...

Let's face it, a stewpond reared Trout (or many others?) doesn't analyse something going by it and think: "mmmmmm that's a diawl bach with a hint of flash, so I'll take it rather than the plain diawl bach I saw 5 minutes earlier"

It might just be that the fish is in an aggressive mood and hits anything that moves quickly. Or it might just be in a playful mood, preferring to mouth something that's easier to catch.

Or it might be that the flash in the fly attracts, or perhaps deters.

The fish aren't slaves to named flies, maybe anglers are the ones that fall into that trap.
 
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Ron 'The Hat' Clay (ACA)

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When fishing nymphs, you would be surprised at the amount of takes you get without you knowing it.

And you would be surprised how many trout mouth your fly and then spit it out as it falls through the water. You have to watch the tip of your fly line and leader as soon as it hits the water.

Of course you can use the dreaded bung!

And hang a couple of nymphs below it.

Personall I like to keep in touch with my flies by retrieveing with a dead slow figure of eight, feeling the line and "swing tipping" by watching the curve of line hanging from the rod tip.

Now here is the deadliest tip of all if you are fishing nymphs on still water.

Learn to get out a decent line with only one false cast. Leave the line on the water and feel it for any takes. But watch the water carefully.

At the first sign of a fish within casting distance, estimate the position of where the fish will be, slide the line off the water into the back cast and then shoot the line forward to the target.

Get this right and you will invariably nail the fish you are after. Put in a false cast and you will invariable spook the fish, especially on waters which are heavily fished and catch and release takes place.

So the name of the game here is to keep your false casting down to a minimum. Watch the finest still water fly fishers in action. From the late Cyril Inwood to Arthur Cove to Peter Cockwill. They have all learned over the years that false casting costs fish!
 

Sleath

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The first and best which-fly-to-use? book I bought was MATCHING THE HATCH by Pat O`Reilly.It tells you which flies are out and about during the seasons, which artifical ones most match them, how to fish these and then narrows them down to what he calls "The Magnificent Seven". For your information these and their sizes are:
Gold-ribbed Hare`s Ear,12&16,
Greenwells Glory,12&16,
Tups Indispensible,14&16,
Silver Sedge,12&16,
Damsel Nymph,10&12 long shank,
Coch-y-bonddu,14&18,
Olive Suspender Buzzer,14&16.

It also tells you what, where, when and why the insects are doing what they are doing and a bit of entomology too, though you might have to read through that two or three times.

It`s a goody though!
 
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