Once upon a time, many moons ago…I guess those tying flies were pretty much restricted to one type of thread, or silk known as Pearsall’s, which in fact was not developed for tying flies, but nonetheless, it was fit for purpose. Of course, over time, threads have been developed with the specific idea of fly tying in mind, giving us modern day fly-tiers a wide range of threads, for various applications. Those new to fly tying often find the different thread types confusing and that’s before we even begin to discuss thread thickness, or denier, which we’ll discuss in the next newsletter. Outlined here are a selection of thread types we might choose and their various applications.
Not so many moons ago, when I was a lad, you attached a tapered leader to your fly line using only the nail knot. As secure and seamless as this connection was, it remained a permanent fixture, so you were pretty much stuck with the leader of your choice on your floating line, regardless of what method you might wish to fish.
There’s no question, lighter outfits protect finer tippets that in turn vastly improve presentation because they allow our flies a greater degree of freedom. As a rough guide, the tippet strength can be match to that of the rod line rating. For example, a 5-weight rod marries up to a 5lb tippet where as a 6-weight rod might use a 6lb tippet. Of course these rules aren’t chiseled in stone and we must remember trial and error is the route to success
River fishing in September can be phenomenal and we usually get some nice warm and dry weather, which is music to the ears of a river angler after all the wet weather we’ve had this season! Fingers crossed we have a good end to the season!
A must have fly for August & September Don’t tie? Fear not! We have you covered! Keep scrolling for our top Heather fly picks!
August is a prime month for Heather Flies, which are a close relation of the Hawthorn Fly we see in April. We can instantly identify heather flies by the orange, trailing hind legs. They’re what we refer to as a ‘terrestrial’ which means they actually emerge on land. Winged adults now are easily blown onto water when a breeze picks up. Upland areas are considered a hotbed for heather flies though they do appear at lower elevations too.
When I was a youngster, wet fly fishing was all the rage. Then came the advent of mobile lures, typically incorporating marabou, or zonker strips. Our understanding of dry fly fishing developed too, when patterns like the Bristol hopper, or Leadbetter’s suspender buzzer took the stillwater scene storm. Obviously now, wet flies took a back seat.
Testing new materials and flies Andy Kitchener set out with the new Semperfli Mopster Mop chenille so we can tell you if it actually works... safe to say its a winner! Read on to see how he got on.
Struggling When Fishing In Higher Water? These Rigs Can Help!
Here at The Essential Fly were always on the look out for what we can do to help you catch more fish! We're lucky to have inhouse fishing experts on hand to pick their brains for their knowledge and tips to help you well on your way to up your catch rate!
We picked the brains of Yorkshire angler and fly tyer Phillippa Hake to share with us her top three rig set ups for fishing the rivers when they're on the drop from recent rain!
A common fly that appears in our gardens and homes towards the backend, Daddy Long Legs (Craneflies) really need no introduction here, as they’re instantly recognizable by those six gangly legs. Gardeners know they larvae stage of daddies as leatherjacket, which are considered a pest as they eat the roots of various plants and vegetables. These larvae eventually pupate and what emerges from the soil is an adult cranefly, which makes them a terrestrial. Craneflies can be found far and wide, especially in undisturbed areas like bracken clad fells.
As you rightly point out, fishing during summer is perhaps best done in the evenings. However all is not lost as certain flies and bugs are active during the daytime throughout Summer. Firstly, August is the prime month for heather flies, daddy long legs (craneflies) and of course corixa. This provides us with lots of opportunities, especially with dry fly tactics. There will be coarse fry to consider too, when trout turn their attention to them so they can gain weight for winter
Originally labeled the “Bristol Hopper” what we now know as the ‘Hopper’ was developed in the Bristol area on reservoirs like Chew Valley some years ago now. The original I believe was the Amber Hopper though theses days this dressing has been used as a blue print for all the hoppers we see today.
The long hot days of July and August will see the bulk of sedges (caddisflies) hatch off come evening time. Whether it’s on a stillwater, or river those prepared to hang around in the evening often get the best of the fishing during summer, especially when hot, bright conditions persist. Better still, anglers who are stuck in the office all day, can rest assured that they’ll get a slice of the action too by heading out after dinner.
There’s a small olive coloured upwing species that despite its tiny size, causes quite a stir with trout on warm summer evenings. We’re talking about the Blue-winged olive (BWO). On rivers and streams across the UK this wee fly will have trout queuing up as the light fades.
Find yourself carrying too much gear? We spoke with Paul Procter and got his list of gear and accessories he doesn't leave the house without!
Ok, firstly, when using wet flies, we’re usually retrieving the flies, so trout have to move that bit quicker to intercept the. Given this we often feel the take by way of a tug, or tightening of the line, followed by using firmly lifting the rod to hook the fish. However, our dry flies are presented static on the whole, so trout needn’t move quickly to seize our fly now. Ultimately then they generally just sip down our dry fly, which means there is no ‘tugging’ sensation for us. Instead, we now use the rise form as a visual prompt to tighten into a taking fish.
Your Guide To Catch and Release! Keep reading for The Essential Fly top tips on handling fish in hot weather!
It seems these days that the camera has replaced the priest, as more and more anglers look to return their catch rather than kill fish. In many respects this is a great trend as not only are more fish to go round, but in a world of ever increasing prices, generally speaking catch and release permits work out cheaper. And, where wild trout are concerned, it’s important to return our catch so they can go on and spawn future generations. Firstly, whether you plan to return, or kill a given fish, we should respect our quarry. Let’s look at some tips to help take care of your catch.
There are lots of sedge/caddis patterns we can choose from when it comes to imitating sedges on the warmer evenings, however perhaps one of the most versatile dressings is the ‘Elk Hair Caddis’. Developed by an American called Al Troth this pattern can be dressed with, or without a palmered hackle. Obviously, a fly with the body palmered hackle has superior floating properties, which comes in handy when fishing more animated water, like a tumbling pool on a stream, or a big, rolling wave on a reservoir. A hackle-less version naturally rides lower in the surface film, making it a favourite where smooth, flat water occurs and when trout are targeting stillborn, or spent caddis that lie almost flush in the film.