Thursday, 24 April 2008

Changing Flies

I spent a really interesting day with Dave Benfield from Bournemouth today. At 65 I could not believe the amazing attitude of this guy who survived a serious illness back in 2003. His lust for life was apparent from the moment I met him and to take him fishing today was an absolute privilege. We struggled with the wind a little which has been so apparent this last 10 days but when our fishing session came about there was no stopping Dave who hooked this brace of top quality Exe Valley Rainbows and lost another. Our chosen tactic was to fish a Buzzer under an indicator, the first time I have adopted this method for a while as Crunchers & Diawl Bachs tweaked back conventionally have been very consistent.

However the wind was a problem and so the less time spent casting the better and of course the longer the fly is in the water the better! We started with a Crisp Red Butt Buzzer and at first had plenty of takes but no firm hook ups in water that was slightly coloured due to the river rising earlier today after a spell of heavy rain. Then finally the indicator slid away and Dave hooked his first ever Trout on fly. A short while later a second fish followed suit only to fall off after snagging us in a weed bed! After that we could not buy a take.

So what to do? Strip the flies faster than a hooker in a brothel? Put on a sinking line or go to the pub? In fact all we did was to change our pattern to a Red Buzzer and first cast Dave was hooked up again. Sometimes I think the Trout just get bored and you need to show them something different!

All this reminds me of my experience yesterday on Wimbleball which I mentioned I would talk about today. I had been fishing a Straggle Cat (SC) on the top dropper of a 16ft leader with a Crisp Diawl Bach in the middle and a Black Mini Huey on the point. Attached to an Airflo Di 3 I was soon picking up the odd take and fish while drifting across the mouth of Ruggs bay. The fish I landed all hit the Diawl Bach so I decided to exchange the SC for another Diawl Bach. 2 drifts later I had only achieved a couple of half hearted pulls and I think one of those may had been weed!

So for the 3rd drift I went back to the SC on the top dropper and guess what ... pull after pull and fish after fish! But none of them had taken the SC, every fish hit the Diawl Bach. I have seen this scenario many times before and it proves two invaluable points. Firstly "if it ain't broke don't fix it" and second Rainbow Trout are dead curious and will often follow a lure and then turn on an imitative pattern. So if you tend to fish lures on the point and imitative flies on the top droppers in a team, change then around and see what happens; I think you will be pleasantly surprised!

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