Fishing Tips

2015 Trout Fishing Season

The new season is almost upon us and many members of the Lakeland Fly Dressers will soon be preparing for the off especially on the rivers with the season opening on 15 March. After the long Winter we will be keenly anticipating the new season.

Hopefully you will have tied up a new supply of secret flies this winter, bought new leaders and leader material, polished your fly lines so they perform at their best etc. The biggest tip on this I can give is to discard ALL of last year`s leader material as it loses its strength. When we used to have a tackle shop we were always amazed at all the early season anglers who had been broken by big fish. On further enquiry it was almost certainly not a big fish but old tippet material that had let them down. Don`t let this happen to you. Some brands are worse than others but they all lose strength.

So the equipment has been checked over and you are ready to go and you are all kitted up and reach the river bank . On rivers the one vital thing for you is to be able to present your fly to the Trout in such a manner that it passes the Trout naturally without drag and this applies to both dry flies, nymphs and spiders. If the fly does not behave naturally then almost certainly you will have blown your chance.

When fishing on still waters we normally strive for a cast that lands gently and straight. However this is in most cases the worst possible presentation on the river as the moment your fly or flies land the current will become the boss and pull your leader and line often leading to instant drag. What we need to aim at is to introduce as much drag free drift as possible and then if the pattern drifts naturally hopefully the Trout will take confidently.

Think about your casting and try and cast from a position which gives you the easiest cast. As we know Trout have a blind spot behind them so normally we will be casting upstream but if you cast the fly straight over the fish it could get spooked by the line/leader. A better approach is to add a reach so that the fly lands above the fish but with the leader and line to the side. This allows good drag avoidance.

Many anglers think that a dry fly must always be presented upstream as is often insisted on in chalk streams. If you only fish dries upstream then you are missing a lot of chances. Imagine the streamy water going into a lovely fishy run with lots of tree cover but no chance of casting to the trout lies from below because of the trees. You can often get to the fish by casting the fly downstream. The broken water is almost certainly going to hide you from the Trout. To cover the fish you need to use casts that allow your fly to be presented with plenty of slack line and the parachute, pile and hump casts come to mind for this purpose as all will give slack as will a wiggle cast.

By just altering your casts to give the best drag free presentation you will put a lot more fish in your net.

Later in the season I will give a few tips on presenting nymphs to help up your catch rates but meanwhile Tight Lines

Bob Carlson