Sunday, 8 June 2014

Of the dry fly!

 Photo 01 - A duck that didn't make it!
Of the dry fly!

It has been on many occasions and by countless authors been described as the pinnacle of fly fishing for Trout! To land your fly gently in front of a rising Trout, to wait in eager anticipation, to savour the moment when the water boils underneath your fly and your imitation is sucked in as your line goes tight is a series of events that stimulates piscatorially like no other! The added excitement when using a fly of your own design is just the icing on the cake!

Yes all aspects of fishing are enjoyable but for me the dry fly is the big diamond among the crown jewels that is angling. I have never considered myself a good fisher merely a competent one, it is on this basis I offer a few hints. There are many experts around the quiet ones are usually genuine the loudmouth ones with photos for every occasion are usually bums!

I started my career with the dry fly on the Gala River catching lots of parr, small Trout (essential for practice) and some very good Trout indeed. Later I moved on to the Tweed and have fished both these rivers off and on for most of my angling life. If you are about to embark on you angling journey with the dry fly here are a few pointers that may be of benefit to you.

Firstly survey the area you intend to fish and note where Trout are rising and what they are taking. A fly on the water does not mean they are rising to that fly, sometimes during prolific hatches Trout will feed exclusively on one particular species completely ignoring others. Note also different rates of current on which your line will lie when casting to your intended Trout. This is important as your line will be affected by line drag.

What in effect this means is that the greater the difference in flow the more your line will be affected and the more your line is affected the less time your fly will lie in a realistic manner before being dragged by the faster water flow. This may mean that in some situations your fly only remains presentable for a few seconds and in that case it needs to be presented with clinical precision so that when covering the intended Trout your fly is not affected by line drag!

When lining up to stalk a Trout choose your position carefully to minimise the effects of line drag. This may mean that you have to stalk the Trout from almost directly below. It is best to be either left or right of the fish to avoid your fly line from landing on top of the fish thereby spooking it. A Trout has a field of vision of around 320 degrees so you should aim to be in the forty degree blind spot. Try and land your fly around 3ft above the spot you noted the fish rising in, by doing this you will almost certainly cover the fish. Fish do not rise vertically to take a fly but rather move forward to catch the fly and drift back to the holding lie.  Invariably you will make a dogs breakfast from the odd cast but do not hurriedly retrieve the fly simply let it fish out and re cast. There is also the possibility of hooking a Trout that hitherto has not been spotted!

The disturbance generated by ripping in line at high speed will almost certainly put down any rising fish in the area downing your sport for a time. Of course when selecting your fly use the motto “match the hatch! Which simply means - select a fly similar to that which you have observed the Trout taking. Do not over apply floatant some flies I have seen have been so heavily clad in paste as to make them look nothing like the undressed fly. Used sparingly and couple this with air drying by false casting then your fly should last a good length of time.

If you catch a fish carefully examine your fly as often they will unravel after the fish has mangled them. It would not be the first time I ended up fishing with a bare hook with a grizzle feather attached flying in the wind! You might want to fish 2 dry flies not an uncommon method these days. My method is to tie the additional fly on to the bend of the primary fly with a minimum of a foot of leader material. Others use the leader rings which come in diameters of 1mm which does not sink your leader and allows for a length of leader to be attached. You really need to try out both methods and see which one you prefer. These are not guidance in tablets of stone merely my thoughts on fly fishing for Trout in rivers. Tight lines!

Photo 02 - Plundered nest!
Lindean Competition!

Alasdair White and Lawson Simpson headed off to Lindean Reservoir on Monday evening to fish against a team from Jedburgh Angling Club. Lawson got his limit including a 3.5lbs specimen. The turning point of the night came in Lawson’s boat when a rising Trout showed itself directly in front of the boat! Lawson cast to the left and the Jed angler to the right. The air was electric for a few seconds and then there was an explosive rise to the Jed anglers fly and after a protracted struggle a 5.5lbs Rainbow came to the net wiping out our chance of progressing! We are extremely grateful for the way these lads represented the club and extend our thanks to them. Angling without having to cross another’s palm with silver – Peerless!

Bogus web sites

I mentioned a few years back of the forwarding website that takes application for rod licences and forwards them on to the Environment Agency. For this they take a fee of £5.00 for short term licences and £14.00 for yearlong licences. This outfit always comes up first on the searches for rod licences and the listing uses the words rod licence and environment agency. Immediately below is the official Environment Agency website where you only pay the licence fee! Two years ago there was much ado in the press about this site and the agency said that they would be dealing with this matter. I had occasion to use the EA site a few days ago and nothing much seems to have changed. The forwarding site is still the top listing and the official EA site in second place. If it has been dealt with it has been done in a most peculiar manner! Rather worryingly there is also a forwarding site for those seeking to submit a tax return to the Inland Revenue and they charge £100.00 for so doing. Work needed here methinks!

Seek and ye shall find!

From photo 01 you will see a duck egg that had moved on to become a small bird removed from the nest and the developing chick devoured, the blood in the shell points to flesh and the likely culprits members of the Corvid family! Again in photo 02 the whole nest had been removed and presumably the contents devoured. Yes it is indeed cruel but the birth of new life is an opportunity for predators to feast and feed their own young. Nature is a balance and whilst some things we may find unsavoury the majority is indeed pleasurable!

Whilst blethering to Stevie Nimmo and Pete Young yesterday our attention was drawn to an aerial commotion. A couple of furious highly vocal Oystercatchers were mobbing our Osprey. The Osprey was little bothered by their attention the pursuing birds keeping a safe distance lest they be sliced into pieces by the powerful raptor. Stevie had noted the Osprey sitting in a tree next to the boathouse no doubt pondering its next fishing foray!

On the way home Les noted a Sparrowhawk and of all things it was chasing a male Mallard Duck. Sparrowhawk’s are formidable predators often seen taking Blackbirds and smaller species but prey the size of a Duck! Of course we did not see the conclusion of the hunt but I am sure in my own mind the Duck would prove a tad too feisty for the small predator! A countryman is never devoid of things to see and marvel at, a new drama unfolds itself every few minutes. Seek and ye shall find!


The wider world in my view!

Another pounding!

Poor old Puppet Clegg and yes he has aged considerably over the last few weeks after disaster after disaster befalls him! The by election this week saw the Tories keep their seat but only after having their majority slashed by almost 10,000 votes! Other placed parties either made modest gains or stood still but the nefarious puppets were yet again totally humiliated and for the ninth time in nine elections forfeited their deposit!

Yes puppet Clegg was almost in tears when reluctantly talking of the absolute hiding dished out by the voters! It is of course too late for puppet Clegg but the message must surely have sunk in that blatant lying by politicians will not be tolerated. The puppets once an honourable party are now akin to the dirt on our feet. Their future as the third party in the country now rescinded, relegated to the list of has beens! What has taken place is only right and proper, getting into bed with the bungling and punishing Tories comes with a price. The puppets are currently paying that price and its turning out to be a very heavy price indeed! Eradicating the deceitful puppets from the political scene is now the number one priority, let’s get them out!

The shame of it all!

Embarrassing point of the week has to be the warning from Europe that the UK needs to fix the housing crisis, put in place a strategy to reduce the defecit in a way that does not strangle growth. Put in place a strategy whereby young people gain more relevant skills for the future. Make the banks lend more money and put in place measures to prevent the recklessness of 2008 ever recurring. End child poverty and poverty in general something which the Con-Dems have made worse.

At the current rate of conversion to the new personal independence payments it will take these fools 44years to complete the transfer meantime people have to exist with handouts from food banks! Yes yet again it’s a damning indictment on these try it and see what happens fools! The absolute shame of it all being yet again embarrassed on the world stage as the posh boys bungle on ever onwards with not a hint of strategic thinking. I mean the above are not the extreme minutia of advanced economics but plain common sense!

Much of what Europe has pointed out was in the Con-Dem manifesto which suggests that they have accomplished nothing! Of course that is not true in fact they have done a great deal! They have managed to demonise the poor and disabled and punishing them by removing the financial support needed to survive! They have pushed national borrowing up by 120 billion pounds whilst giving tax cuts and share deals to the very wealthiest in UK society. They have on paper created a million worthless jobs comprising of part time and zero hours contracts! Oh yes and that’s only the tip of the iceberg, they have bungled through 4 years of hell as far as working people are concerned. A vote for Tory only makes sense if you earn more than a million/year! Vote Tory or for the puppets at your peril!

D Day!

The fact that we are here today and pretty much free to do as we wish is in a large part due to those who took part in the D Day landings. We will forever be in their debt. At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them! RIP

The World Cup!

England play Italy on Friday, my prediction – Viva Italia!

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