Fly fishing answers, salmon fly speed, DT or WF fly line and right or wrong hand fly reel.

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Fly fishing questions page 8.

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.


Salmon fly speed
DT or WF line?
Right or wrong hand wind

Salmon Fly Speed

Question: This might seem very basic but it seems to me at the very core of successful salmon fishing (I'm not too successful so far!) and yet the instruction texts seem to skim over it. At what angle should the cast be made (I assume that depends on the current) and how can I tell whether the fly is travelling too fast, too slow, or just right?

Answer: The angle of the cast is the first means of controlling the fly speed and depends on how fast the current is and how fast you want your fly to fish. In my experience it is better to be a little fast than too slow because the fly needs to move to make it look as if it alive. A friend has a great way of saying this, he speaks about swimming his fly and that’s a good way to look at it. Bigger flies (bigger creatures) can generally swim faster than small creatures so that's worth remembering with fly sizes. Be conscious of the speed you are fishing at and vary it between casts deliberately, also watch carefully other more successful anglers fishing your favourite pools and not how they cast, mend and strip line so that you can do likewise.

DT or WF fly line
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Question: Do you recommend DT lines instead of WF lines? You recommend rod and line sizes SH #8 and DH #9 for grilse - these work best for us.

Answer: WF or DT is a matter of personal choice; I use WF on my single handed rods because I Spey cast with a haul or double haul most of the time and I generally use fairly short rods. For salmon and grilse I recommend AFTM #7 or larger in order to have enough weight in the fly line to turn over a salmon fly and #8 is absolutely perfect. For a double handed rod a DT or longer belly WF (Spey line) is fine. DT is perfect where the casting distance is around 75 feet, for longer distances the Spey line is possibly better. I have been using the Rio Power Spey multi tip #8/9 with my 13ft rods rated #9 and it works fine for me and gives me some versatility. Hope that this is helpful.

Right hand or wrong hand reel wind
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Question: Ok-probably a silly question but- I’m getting into fly fishing and was wondering - when I purchase a reel - should the reel be wound on the left as if it were a spinning reel (I am right handed) - I know silly but serious! Thanks again.

Answer: There no such thing as a silly question – its silly not to ask! There is no "right" or "wrong", do what suits you best. Usually for a R handed person the reel is used left handed and most decent fly reels can easily be switched from right to left hand wind if need be before putting the line on.

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