The Fussy Daddy!

The Fussy Daddy

There are several species of craneflies in the UK, but the most common and well known is the daddy long legs
Although craneflies can appear at anytime of the season there is heightened activity throughout September.  They’re what we classify a “terrestrial”, which means the larvae pupate on land, very much like a butterfly.
The winged adults are ungainly and quire poor fliers, which means any appreciable breeze blows them onto water. Naturally, being a large food item, trout positively love daddy long legs.
So given blustery weather towards the backend, we can fully expect to find trout feeding at the surface, especially on exposed waters, or those that are elevated in the hills.

Daddy Fishing Tips

As the daddy imitation is quite large, a single fly is recommended, as more than one bushy creation on leader increases the odds of a twisting leader tenfold. 

For that reason, leaders needn’t be overly long, with one approx 12ft in length be appropriate. 

The 12ft Wychwood 12ft/6lb ghost mode leader or The Essential Fly own leaders are as good as any.
Where a strong breeze, it’s best to position yourself on the lee (sheltered) shore as any unfortunate daddies being blown past you will be deposited on the water here. 

Obviously, try to target rising trout, though in their absence, searching the water by fan casting should be your initial approach.

It’s important now not to leave your fly sitting in the same place for an age, but instead comb the water by only leaving the fly on the surface for no longer than 10-12 seconds at a time.

Blessed with lighter winds, the windward (exposed) bank is a better bet, as wave action sees daddies ushered along, where they accumulate on the downwind. 

As many winged adults have become swamped now, an untreated imitation can be slowly retrieved just beneath the surface. This is best achieved with a steady figure-of-eight retrieve

However, if you see trout topping then a dry fly is best, which should be treated with Turrall’s dry fly floatant gel.

CDC Daddy Tying Guide

Hook:     Kamasan B830 Nymph #12
Thread:  Semperfli Classic Waxed Thread 12/0 Tan
Body:     Semperfli Dry Fly Polyyarn Pale Brown
Legs:      Semperfli Knotted Pheasant Tail Legs
Hackle:  Cock Saddle Hackle Ginger in front of CDC
Head:     Semperfli Classic Waxed Thread 12/0 Fl. Green
  1. Catch on Semperfli Classic Waxed Thread 12/0 Tan behind eye and wind down to hook bend.
  2. Using tying thread, secure Semperfli Dry Fly Polyyarn Pale Brown and wind in touching turns 2/3s back up the hook to create a cylindrical body.
  3. Selecting six individual Semperfli Knotted Pheasant Tail Legs secure three on each side of the shank, pointing rewards behind the hook point.
  4. Trim off the excess pheasant tail butts and form a dubbing to accommodate the CDC fibres
  5. Carefully arrange CDC fibres in the dubbing loop and spin tight before taking a couple of turns. Note: it’s important they are at random lengths to create a busy looking feel.
  6. Take a Cock Saddle Hackle Ginger and remove the unwanted fluff close to the hackle butt then secure this immediately in front of the CDC hackle.
  7. Take thread to hook eye then wind 4-6 turns of hackle.
  8. Tie off the Semperfli Classic Waxed Thread 12/0 Tan then catch on the Semperfli Classic Waxed Thread 12/0 Fl. Green. Form a neat, striking head of this thread and whip finish.
  9. Go fishing!

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