Thursday, January 21, 2016

What makes a good trout fly?

When either tying or buying trout flies there are a number of things to look for.
The hackles should not be too heavy, if they are your wet flies will not fish properly, or your dry flies will look too solid. The tendency is for commercially tied flies to be too heavily hackled. My wet flies will usually have only 2 turns of hackle at the throat. My palmered hackles would tend to have open turns, just enough to go down the lenght of the hook evenly, but not enough to float the fly. When tying dry flies I try to create my flies with a small amount of hackle usually 4 or 5 turns, and add a pinch of cul-de-canard for the wing to give added bouyancy if needed. For my parachute style flies I will try to keep to 3 turns of hackle around the post. This allows my dry flies to present a slim natural profile to the trout. The sparse hackle on the wet-flies means that they look natural, sink well and have enough movement in the hackle to work properly, hackles represent legs and should be able to move when the flies are pulled.
Wings should be smooth, straight and even, otherwise your flies will spin and twist. They should be the correct lenght also...just to the hook bend.
I personally like a dubbed body to be a little 'ragged', even in profile but having the odd strand sticking out here and there, especially with my nymph patterns. This gives more movement to the fly and creates a livelier effect.
The colour, or patterns of the flies are variable, depending on the species of insect being imitated and in season, but there are a few patterns such as the hares ear, black and peacock spider, tup's indespensible to name a couple of them that represent a wide range of food forms, as I say often, they look like fish-food. These patterns well tied will always find you a few fish even when you don't have the correct patterns to match the hatch.

Greg Long

Friday, January 15, 2016

Having a cuppa with Noel Bennett recently and before the custard creams were opened his many fly boxes were taken from his fishing bag ( and boy has he a lot of flies probably more than Southside Angling) anyway as usual we went through them which one caught what and where, how it was tied and what materials and so on, It got me thinking of my favourite fly and it has to be the Golden Olive on a size 12, A traditional and simple fly,now I cannot say it has caught me many Hugh fish it hasn't but it certainly got me fish when all else failed, Last year Noel and myself were fishing Lough Derg at Mayfly time when we started all was perfect overcast, good wave, hatching mayfly just a matter of catching them but it wasn't so easy we went through the fly box wet's, emergers, dries, nymphs the lot but failed to get a fish until I put up the G/O and presto I had three fish best a 4 1/4 ponder a cracker, Now I know what your asking yourself why not put up the G/O first well it' a bit like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer he done best when he came off the bench to score for Man Utd which he did  many times, Strangely he wasn't as effect when he started a game. Probably not the best example in the world but get the picture. I have many stories when it came to my aid throughout the season I rarely fish without one on my cast. The pic above is my own I use a golden olive hackle instead of the traditional red  not sure if it makes a difference all I can tell you is that it works.Now I am aware my tying is not the best in the world but I did tie up some flies for Martin Kearney before a trip to Mask last year and I explained that they were a bit rough to which he replied the rougher the better that made me feel a little better I was more impressed when he caught fish on them. Any way just taught I would share that with you  and maby you might share your favourite fly with the rest of us and give us something to ponder over till the season comes round and we get back on the water.                                    
Best of luck
John Doyle.