Trout fly, double haul, grannom, puddle cast, tip rings, attaching droppers, salmon flies for summer

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Fly fishing questions page 4.

Questions can be about any aspect of fly fishing, fly casting, casting instruction, fishing in Scotland or abroad, fly fishing courses, fishing flies, etc. The following is just a random selection of questions that have been send by readers and answered by Ally. If you have a question that you wish to ask please do not hesitate to complete the form.

Questions:

Choosing a trout fly
Double haul problems
Grannom puzzle
Puddle cast
Tip ring broken off
Attaching droppers
Salmon flies for summer

Choosing a trout fly
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Questions: Ally,(great site).... I'm a newcomer to fly fishing....having only been fishing 3 times so far... I find the 'options' open to a fly fisherman, in terms of what fly to choose for each situation you are fishing, simply overwhelming. I almost wish I had some kind of printed page telling me when in this situation...use either of these flies..etc etc. Is there any simple advice you can give , or book you can recommend that would help me?

Answers: Fly choice can be baffling and the best recent book with information about fly seasons is "The Complete Fly-fishers Handbook" by Malcolm Greenhalgh and Denys Ovenden. Take a look at a copy in a bookshop or ask at your library. It is not perfect and you have to remember that here in Scotland we may be a bit later than in England but it's a very good starter. Basically if you are fishing for wild fish, they are keyed into natural foods that you may detect or see and select suitable artificials, once you know what to look for. River trout can be the most picky and presentation is always very, very important. On lochs and stillwaters you can usually ask and if there is nobody to ask starting with a black fly is not bad advice. Hope that this helps you and tight lines.

Double haul problem
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Question: I use a fast action fly rod [Sage RPL+]and consider myself a reasonably good caster. I do however sometimes experience difficulty when double hauling whereby the leader collides with the fly line on the forward cast. I know this is probably caused by the classic 'tailing loop' problem, however I was reading one of your previous articles on rod action and was wondering if it is easier to double haul using a middle to tip action rod?

Answer: Fast rods require excellent timing and really smooth movements by both hands, both the hauling and the rod hand. Try deliberately slowing down the rod as much as possible and widening the loop by going through a slightly wider arc, essentially putting in the "power" of the rod movement and the haul over a slightly longer time period whilst being super smooth and remember to start each stroke slowly, accelerate (combination of rod and haul) and stop. It could be that your problem is caused by just trying to hard and being too fast with your rod hand. There are so many rods on the market and I see quite a number of them that I don't particularly pay attention to the names and numbers but its possible to cast a clean line with a stick so a fast rod should be OK. I like a medium to fast parabolic rod because it is a good compromise for all kinds of casting. Hope this advice works for you and look forward to hearing how you get on.

Grannom puzzle
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Question: Ally, a substantial hatch of grannom has developed on the River Clyde. The most recent did not tempt any surface activity from trout although the small sedges were hatching in billions.there did not appear to be any fish interested in the ascending nymph either. This was not the first hatch nor the last.can you please advise any patterns or tactics?


Answer: I think that the problem with grannom is just the sheer number of them trout do eat them. Last year I had some success with a green foam bodied fly, with a CdC wing and just some SLF around the head end to simulate a distressed insect, it worked very well and some friends have also had good catches with it even in Spain where there are no grannom!. You can see a picture of the fly Ally's Grannom on the dry fly page. The pupa hatch very fast from the bottom of the river and some angler use a gold headed or weighted green sedge pupa and fish it on the lift, that seems to work too sometimes.

Puddle cast
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Question: Is it logical to use a puddle cast or slack line cast when a trout is feeding upstream of your position and the current is flowing towards you on fast rockie streams? I used a puddle cast a few days ago on a feeding trout upstream from my position with a Royal Coachman and caught nice trout. Does the puddle cast in this case made up for the conflicting currents? Should I approach an upstream boulder in the same way when I want to fish it just behind the boulder?

Answer: I guess that the situation that you are speaking about is when you are casting upstream to a trout and the water flowing towards you is getting faster and so a staight line cast over the trout drags immediately. In that case a puddle cast or a wiggled slack line cast is a classic solution that may help to overcome the drag problem. Pool tails are typical examples of such locations. I'm not sure exactly what situation you mean with your second point but directly behind the boulder the water will be slow and it will accelerate downstream and so again if you are casting into the slack water behind it and the fly line is landing is faster water below you need to have some slack line to delay the drag. Alternatively you can use a really long rod and dibble the fly on a short line. Hope that this is clear and wish you tight lines.

Tip ring broken off
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Question: The last ring on my fly rod recently snapped off. Is there anyway I can repair this myself as I'd rather avoid expensive professional repair costs?

Answer: If it is just the tip ring that has snapped off the broken piece can usually be removed from the ring by applying gentle heat and pulling it out with long nosed pliers or tweezers because they are usually fixed with hot glue. Otherwise you will have to get another tip ring from a shop. In either case once you have the ring you can fix it on with hot glue or epoxy adhesive such as Araldite. Hope that you get it fixed OK.

Attaching droppers
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Question: Whats the best method for attaching droppers onto a trace and what length, strength should they be. I usually use a 12ft trace with only one fly at the end because I'm still a novice, but now I want to add a couple of flies to the trace. I usually fish large still waters so is there anything in particular I should be doing?

Answer: The usual method is to cut the leader and join it with a double blood knot and then use one of the tag ends for a dropper. A Grinner or a Water Knot tag end can also be used. There is another clever method that I illustrated in Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Magazine (May 2002 issue p37). I usually use droppers about 3 or four inches long but of course you can vary the length to suit yourself. They are usually the same BS as the leader and if you use very fine leaders you will find that the dropper is constantly wound up in it. Flurocarbon is stiffer, less likely to tangle and sinks better than nylon. Hope this helps.

Salmon flies for summer
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Question: I am coming to Scotland the second week of June for salmon and sea trout, fishing R Tray, what flies would you recommend? What size?

Answer: At that time of year it is likely that the water will be low and warm and you will want flies between size 8 and size 12 if these are the conditions that you meet. A floating line with perhaps a sinking leader and a sink tip or intermediate line would also be useful depending upon the speed of the water you will be fishing. Fly patterns, Ally's Shrimp, Cascade, Yellow Ally's, Stoats Tail, Pearl Stoats Tail and Executioner would probably be my choice half dozen. Hope that this helps and wishing you tight lines

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Copyright 2007 Alastair Gowans AAPGAI and FFF Master and THCI, APGAI. All rights reserved.