Ebooks and Information on Fly Fishing for Trout-4
By James Tayler
Here is a review from "Land and Water"; of this fine book; "This unpretentious, yet well written, work contains a large amount of information, which may be read with advantage by all followers of the more refined branch of the gentle art."
Mr. Tayler writes "A knowledge of the habits of trout is very essential, and this knowledge can only be acquired by careful observation. The largest fish are generally to be found where they can obtain the best supply of food- such points as just below sharp bends of the stream, behind large stones or other obstructions, at the head or tail of deep pools, and on the margin of swift currents, or under overhanging banks; and , if you take a good fish at any particular spot, you will probably find, a day or two afterwards, that the next best fish in that locality has taken the place of the one you captured."
That passage written nearly 120 years ago is as true today as it was then. The equipment of then, measured against today's standards, was simply elementary, so an angler needed to have very good observational techniques in order to catch trout. Today's information on trout fishing using current fly fishing techniques has great continuity to the books written a hundred years or more ago. This continuity with our ancestors makes reading these old books a delight for me. Here is another passage from Red Palmer:
"Everything combines to render fly-fishing the most attractive of all branches of the angler's art. The attempt to capture trout, which are seen to rise at natural flies, is in itself an excitement which no other method possesses. Then the smallness of the hook and the fineness of the tackle necessary for success increases the danger of escape, and consequently the excitement and the pleasure of the capture; and for our own part, we would rather hook, play, and capture a trout of a pound weight with fly, then one of a pound and a half with minnow," How true.
WET AND DRY FLY-FISHING.
Various opinions prevail as to wet and dry fishing, and I think in this matter, if we want to deceive trout, we should follow Nature as closely as possible. On a dry, quiet day the wings of the natural fly are dry, and when it falls on the water it takes some time before they become saturated, and until then it floats on the surface. Imitate this by giving your artificial fly two or three flicks backwards and forwards before you finally throw it. You thus shake the water out of it, and it floats. But on wet or very windy days the natural fly soon becomes wet with rain, or from the broken surface of the water, and at such times let the artificial lure sink a few inches beneath the surface, and if the trout are feeding, fishing in this manner is most deadly. At night I have generally found wet fly-fishing to answer best, even when there has been no rain, and I attribute this to the natural flies becoming damp with dew and thereby sinking. For dry fly-fishing floating flies are now much used. The great objection to them appears to be the hardness of their bodies, which is no sooner found by trout to be different to the natural fly than they blow it out without giving time to strike. I have found this particularly with cork-bodied May-flies, and prefer the ordinary body in consequence.
Mr. G. Holland, of Salisbury, makes a speciality of floating flies on eyed hooks and cobweb gut, which bear an excellent reputation; and my friend, Mr. R. B. Lodge, has lately invented a floating fly with an air-tight body, which floats well and does not get water-logged. If he can make it of a soft material, not liable to be punctured by the trout’s teeth, I think, there will be no doubt of its being a great improvement.
There is no subject on which anglers differ so much as to what assortment of flies is necessary. Some will carry as many as a hundred sorts in their book, while a few, following Mr. Cholmondely Pennell, are content with three nondescripts of quite an unnatural appearance, and pretend they can catch as many fish as the man who goes prepared with a larger quantity. Walton names nine, beside caterpillars; and Cotton mentions sixty-nine; while Ronald, in his splendid work, describes very many more to choose from. David Foster speaks of thirty-one. My experience has taught me that about twenty are necessary and sufficient for all ordinary purposes. In calm weather and smooth water one fly at a time is enough; but in rain, wind, or broken water, two, three, or even four flies may be used with advantage, as you give the fish a variety to choose from , and can thereby find out which kind they are taking, and adapt your cast to their taste.
The fly nearest the rod is called the “first drop,” the next the “second drop,” and so on, and the farthest from the rod the “stretcher.” The last drop should be about 20 in. from the stretcher, and the other drops 12 in. or 14 in. apart. When it is thought desirable to use more than one fly, bend the loop of your drop fly round one of the knots in the casting-line, and pass the drop through the loop thus bent and draw it tight. The drop fly will thus stand at right angles with the casting-line, and should be about 3 in. from it, and the trout will not be likely to come in contact with the line when seizing the fly.
It does not very often happen that you hook two trout at a time, and after you have hooked the, the difficulty is to get them both into the landing-net, as they dart about in divers directions; but I succeeded in hooking and landing two at a time on three occasions in the summer of 1881. In such cases get the fish on the stretcher into the net first. Two at a time necessitates good tackle and very careful handling. When one can accomplish this difficult feat, with two trout of a pound weight each, he may consider himself a fly-fisher.
Artificial flies should represent, in size, shape, and colour, as nearly as possible the natural flies which frequent the water you are fishing.
On examining the following selection it will be found that the natural flies are chiefly represented by three colours—green, yellow, and brown; and, although Mr. Pennell was so far right, the general appearance of natural flies must also be imitated, if you would achieve success. I do not hold it necessary to follow minutely every colour, or the exact shape of the natural fly, because nine out of every ten fish caught seize the fly immediately it alights on the water, and sometimes even before it touches; therefore they cannot have time to study very particularly every detail of the lure thus suddenly presented to them, but seeing something apparently resembling what they are feeding on, dash at it instantaneously, and find out the mistake when it is too late. What is of far greater importance than the exact representation of the natural fly is, that when the artificial falls on the water there should be nothing else occurring at the same time to scare the fish. The motion of the arm, the flash of the rod, the bungling of the casting-line, or pitching the fly on the water in an unnatural manner, all tend to make trout rise short, or not rise at all.
In determining what colours to use it is desirable to look at both natural and artificial specimens through water from underneath, as they then appear quite different to what they do when viewed out of water. The late John Hammond, of Winchester, designer of the Hammond’s Adopted and Wickham’s Fancy, once showed me this through a clear-bottomed decanter.
The following list of flies will be found in the greater part of the United Kingdom, although they may be called by different names in different localities, the chief variation being in size rather than colour or shape; and it is always desirable to use artificial flies of the size of the natural ones which are to be found in the locality you are fishing:—
Red Spinner, March Brown, Blue Dun, Alder Fly, Hofland’s Fancy, Stone Fly, Grannum, Wickham’s Fancy, Oak Fly, Sedge, Green Drake, Grey Drake, Coachman, Black Palmer, Red Palmer, Coch-y-bonddhu, Red Ant, July Dun, Black Gnat, White Moth.
I am convinced that, with the above assortment of flies, there are not many days in the season but that one or other of them will do execution, and there is seldom a day that trout do not rise at some time or other in it, unless the water be too thick for them to see the fly. As I am writing for the average fly-fisher, who need not waste the time or take the trouble to make his own flies, I will not attempt to describe the manner of making them, believing that it is much better to visit a good tackle shop and get what is required; yet I think it desirable to show of what materials they should be composed, in order that he may know what are the most killing sorts, and how to distinguish them in ordering.
Great information from one of the early masters of our sport.I hope you read and enjoy this book as much as I did.
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