In 1886 F. M. Halford attempted to define dry fly fishing as "Presenting to the rising fish the best possible imitation of the insect on which he is feeding in its natural position."
- Finding a fish feeding on winged insects.
- Presenting to him a good imitation of the natural insect both as to size and colour.
- Presenting it to him in its natural position, floating and "cocked".
- Putting it lightly on the water so that it floats accurately over him without drag.
- That the four previous points should have been fulfilled before the fish has caught sight of the angler and his rod.
Very fair and accurate description of what we as Dry Fly Fishermen do today!
Hackled flies are meant to float on the water's surface, imitating all sorts of adult aquatic or terrestrial insects that fall into the water.
The hackle fibres closely mirroring the imprint a real insect would create on the surface film.
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Traditional winged dry flies use the surface tension of water to float. The fly will ride on the hackle and tail. The wing creates a silhouette taking on the appearance of a natural insect.
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CDC's superb natural buoyancy allows it to float beautifully without the need of artificial floatants. It is fabulously softly wispy and subtle; an ideal tying material that is delicate and insect like.
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Hopper patterns offer real versatility as nymph emerger, dry fly and terrestrials, all tied with mobile tempting 'legs'.
Many Daddy Longlegs or Crane Flies are on the water from June to early October. This fly makes a decent mouthful and will often tempt when small traditional pattern are ignored.
Created for surface fly fishing they also work extremely well as a wet fly on an intermediate or sinking line when fishing larger still waters or reservoirs.
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When the fly is hatching, some great dry fly sport can be had on still waters. You can fish static or twitch it to get attention. If the excitement of a dry fly take doesn’t move you, you best visit a doctor!
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Klinkhammer flies are different from many other parachute dry flies. The thorax of the fly is designed to hang down 'through' the surface of the water to imitate an emerging insect.
Because the body pierces through the surface film, it becomes more visible to Trout over a larger distance, as it does not have to rely on the ripple effect happening on the surface.
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The body of a parachute fly sits temptingly “in” the surface film, held there by the parachute hackle.
Shuttlecock are a modern fly whose body hangs temptingly just under the surface film
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The mayfly hatch is a fascinating time of the year for fly fishing, as fish such as trout throw themselves at any fly and feed ferociously.
Hatches are plentiful now days are becoming warmer, and the fish forget their dangers as they feast upon this ample food source.
Adult mayflies have a very short life span, their primary purpose is to reproduce. The shortest of the mayfly species lives under 5 minutes! Because of this they don’t have usable mouths and their digestive systems are filled with air.
After their spectacular hatches, the swarms end their lives on the water. A great opportunity for fisherman to mimic these flies while trout are actively feeding upon them, and undoubtedly the high point of the fly fishing season with the chance to see many spectacular catches!
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Caddis flies are quite often referred to as 'Sedge' flies, to describe how an adult Caddis fly tend to attach and cling themselves onto the sedge grass growing along the banks of the water.
While Sedge flies can vary in size, the main characteristics of the Sedge flies are its wings and colour. Adult caddis has 2 pairs of wings, a slightly longer set at the front and shorter at the rear. It also has long antennas which extend from the sedge's body, while its body has dull colours such as grey, brown, orange or green so as to help attract less attention from trout. The sedges wings can have patterns with similar colours.
Sedges or Caddis tend to hatch either early or late evening, which is probably the best time to fish this fly. Fish near the banks, and if trout are not biting, try using an attractor pattern which has brighter colours to attract the attention of any trout.
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Spinner is a term referring to the fully grown adult insect. Following the final stage from dun to spinner, the emergent adult dries itself again and reserves strength. Usually at sunset is when you start to see the "dance." when the bugs gather in clouds of thousands . After the spinners dance for a while the female mayflies will deposit there eggs by either an egg sack or landing on the surface and depositing them. Either way this makes the may females vulnerable and a feast for the trout to gorge on. When all the mating and egg laying is over the mayflies die and fall to the waters surface. Then the trout will feed heavily on ‘spent ‘ spinners.
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Humpies - The Humpy or Goofus Bug is a very buoyant pattern initially created for the swift waters of California and has become the number one rough water dry fly! It sits high on the water and is very visible to the angler in poor conditions. It is used as an all purpose fly by anglers throughout the world on difficult and broken waters because it doesn't just float, it catches fish!
Wulffs - The Wulff series represents a bushy, high floating fly, that remains visible into the evening twilight, and rides well in rough water; and were developed by Lee Wulff in the 1930's. The most popular of the series is probably the Grey Wulff, it takes fish throughout the the spring and summer. Every modern fly angler should have one in their flybox; in larger sizes it makes excellent Mayfly pattern.
Stimulators - Stimulators are used successfully as a great buoyant attractor pattern on fast water, sometimes as representative of a sedge, and often as an imitation of a large stonefly.
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Flies in this category are land dwelling insects that have unfortunately ended up stranded in the water!
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A serious limitation of all imitative flies is the “unnatural” presence of the hook. Our “Stealth series” of ‘upside down dry flies’ has been developed so they rest on the waters film with the bend and point facing skywards; showing a much more natural silhouette; ideal for the more wary trout.
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It is suggested that the Bumbles origins date back to Derbyshire in the 1500's when the fly was attached to a horsehair line. The fly, when first alighting on the water is fished as a dapping fly, which slowly sinks and is then fished as a wet hackle fly. The palmered hackles mimic insect legs movement on the surface film.
The Bumble is a series of Classic wet flies that are very effective when fished as part of a team of flies for traditional loch style fishing.
For example, the Golden Olive Bumble comes into its own as an attractor when on bob. However don't underestimate when fished singularly as it can be a real killer. They are truly superb during a Mayfly hatch on Lochs and lakes, especially in gentle waves.
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