Many fly fishers have asked me, "Why is it that my fly lands beside my fly line". This is a common problem especially when upstream dry fly fishing into a down stream wind. The answer is that the wrist is broken during casting, and the rod has lost its flex and energy. The rod and the fore arm must be together as a unit. Secondly, remember your casting arc - from 10 to 12 and forward to 10. This will give a tight loop which will enable you to cast into the wind, and, most importantly, allow the line and your leader to turn over.
Trevor with his 16 1/4lb "grown on " rainbow
What a baptism for a new fly!
When Trevor tried his new fly - THE MORGAN'S BUZZER - at Hanningfield, he caught this 16 1/4lb "grown on " rainbow using a 6lb fluorocarbon leader, the size 12 fly and floating line, the big fish took 50 minutes to land.
This feat resulted in Trevor winning some significant prizes such as the Farlows fish of the month, Angling times fish of the week plus several other newspaper awards.
THE MORGAN'S BUZZER has
accounted for many thousands
of trout all over the U.K. It
is typical of the set of nymphs
and style of fishing Trevor
The new season is now on us. Everyone is keen to get the casting arm going, and to hopefully experience the magic of the first contact with the first trout of the season. Of course there will be apprehension, even uncertainty, and the weather may or may not help.
So, let us look at the still waters the reservoirs and lakes. In bigger expanses of water, it will be late April before water temperatures rise. Therefore, the warmer water will be close to the banks and this is where the fly life and food will be available for trout. This can be categorised clearly into the 6 10 foot margin of water. In practice, bank anglers consistently fly fish better than boat anglers for the first few weeks.
So where in the reservoir or lake should I start fishing, especially if I am new to the fishery? Local information is very useful. However, I suggest the first criteria must be anywhere with a water level of 6 10 feet within casting distance of the bank. Secondly, try to find a bank where the wind may be behind, or at least blowing along the bank. With the wind behind, you can allow your flies to sink gradually to the feeding depth of the trout, and you can fish the blood worm using the floating line and longer leaders.
Be on the lookout for any signs of a spring buzzer hatch. Early season buzzers are the biggest of the year, so, a size 10 will be appropriate. Colour? Any colour so long as it is black! However, the green and black Morgan's Buzzer has done particularly well during the first 2 3 months of the season.
The colours green and black are also important for fly selection. Mini lures or attractors like the Viva ( black and green ) will do well. Do not forget the Cats Whisker, even though it has a white wing, it can be easily seen by trout.
Another colour selection is red. Red for blood worm or, on a cold day, a red and white type Viva or tadpole like lure. I remember someone doing well with an old favourite the Cardinal. ( Red wing, red body, silver rib ).
If nothing is showing at the surface, trout will be down at the bottom. You can be sure they will be feeding on blood worm and caddis larvae. So, the secret is getting down to them. Just think of trout with tails up and heads down searching the bottom. They will not be looking up, and, so to be successful this is where your flies must be.
Note, I have not mentioned the booby and the high D line, but you can understand why in these circumstances it can be successful.
Buzzers, black and black and green.
Pheasant tail nymph, hare's ear.
Mini lures black and green, red and white. An orange nymph or one with a gold head can be very effective.
Blood worm and for caddis- the stick fly.
A damsel - gold headed variety.
In view of the interest from American fly fishers, I would like to make it clear that we here in the U.K. and Ireland refer to the larva stage of the sedge as a caddis. This is the grub that builds a case of grit etc., so that all that peeps out from this tube like casing is the head. In America the adult sedge fly is called the caddis.
In Ireland the words Duck fly are used whereas we call the midge or chironomid the Buzzer .
Final word for all those bank fishing try your first cast parallel to the bank as opposed to straight ahead. It will pay dividends!
I have been very lucky to have one or two good friends who have given me significant guidance in my fly fishing life. One in particular is Arthur Cove. It was therefore a privilege for me to introduce him to the Lawyers' Fly Fishing Club, where he gave a talk at the offices of CMS Cameron McKenna in London . Everyone there felt motivated and inspired by this man.
Arthur Cove has set an excellent example for us all to follow, and like all great people in their chosen discipline, he has a distinct sense of humility. Those of us who were fortunate to be there had a memorable night. However, it is my intention to ask Arthur for a few words of wisdom for this page during the season. Then we can all benefit, and who knows, he may turn up at the odd event.
22nd March 2005
An enjoyable start to the season - a nice brace from the bank at Bewl
The weather has been exceptional, therefore everything has been brought forward. The fly hatches and the fly fishing have been superb. Although boat fishing on the big reservoir has been good, bank fishing has been excellent.
The trout shown here were caught on the Morgan's version of the hare's ear. Fish were seen rising to buzzers.
7th September 2005
After the start to the season, water warmed up
a bit. On the reservoirs and bigger lakes,
trout moved around more, whereas at the
start they were close in at the margins
which suited the bank angler more than the
boats. Once again the colour combination
of black and green did well. The mini lures
(see my fly section)
did well, and the Morgan's Buzzer, black
and green was true to form. (Andy Unger
had a good grown on rainbow at Hanningfield
of nearly 7lbs. on this pattern).
Buzzers, (the midge) are at their peak in spring. On the Irish lakes, it is called the Duck fly. In recent time the Duck fly season has been more productive and reliable than the Mayfly. So those interested in our fishing parties and groups please note. The pheasant tail nymph, (my variant) scored well again. On Loch Fey, N. Ireland with the Lawyers fishing club from London, it produced a 3lbs.10oz brown trout for me, which helped my credibility !!
Daphnia is a small creature, lives in vast clouds, or blooms and feeds on algae. Trout gorge on these and this is something which I will write about later. Suffice it to say it plays an important role on the Irish lochs like Melvin.Try orange patterns in bright sun days and black and green in cloudier conditions. The mayfly on the Irish lochs was, to say the least, sporadic. However buzzer fishing is now coming very much to the fore and is a recognised art in its own right.
The Green Peter a traditional Irish sedge pattern, has really shot to prominence as the killer fly. Dressed with a red tag it does well fished wet. However fished on the surface and dragged across causing a wake, it is deadly. Try a size 10 or 8. On the rivers and back in Hampshire in the Test valley the Anton fished well. The mayfly was the best in living memory.
I am not happy with the size of patterns offered
commercially. They are far too large and
I have witnessed those fishing with them
failing to hook trout after trout. Do try
size 12 or at most a 10 on the rivers. On
this fact, I have a very experienced fisher
on the River Suir in Ireland to thank for
putting me right. The Morgan's Ear has had
great success on the Anton and elsewhere.
Try a size14 first thing in the morning
but going to 16 later. This has been the
season of the Black Gnat. I advise strongly
to always have a few of these.The sedge
has evident on the Anton this year and the
evening rise to these has been good.
As we go into Autumn, it will be back to
the fly patterns that we used in spring.
In the reservoirs, fry bashing can be exhilarating.
One pattern I can, as impartially as possible,
recommend is my Fry Imitation -the jointed
white black and orange one. This featured
in "FlyFishing Fly Tying"- "Articulate
the Arctic". Fished on the floating
line with short pulls, twitches, and sink
and draw, it is very effective and an absolute
must for the trout feeding on the coarse