Catching trout isn’t easy, and besides presentation and the way you cast, one of the best ways to catch them is to present them with natural looking and appealing bait. While not surprising, leeches are some of the best bait that you can use, and using them is far easier than you probably imagine. Leeches are incredibly important in a trout’s diet and leech imitations are really a necessary part of any angler’s kit.
Whether you want to admit it or not, the truth is that most trout feeding on dry flies are actually mistaking your bait for emergers. If you find that hard to believe then sit back near a shoreline and carefully watch trout right in the middle of a mayfly or midge hatch.
Steelheads are something special to say the least, and if you have ever hooked into one then you already know that. However, taking one with a fly rod is an experience in and of itself, and is even better when done in the winter months. Steelheads are the biggest challenge and there are many anglers who have confidently stated that they cannot be taken on flies, but that just is not the case.
If you have ever hooked into one, or even dreamt of it, then you already know that speckled trout are one of the most exciting game fish to head after. Unfortunately, there are not many anglers in the world who decide to seek out these exciting trout with their fly fishing gear. Whether it be skepticism or intimidation, there is a seemingly infinite amount of fishers that refuse to believe in the productivity of saltwater fly fishing.
The dreaded Scottish midges are a pain for many an angler especially up in the Highlands where they seem to have an even harsher bite to them. A close relative of these The non-biting Midge Fly are not so much a pain for anglers but more a all year round delight, as the larvae of the Midge Fly are a hot favourite of the Trout and form a large part of their diet.
As a “Yorkshireman” born and bred, I naturally look for ways to save money when I am tying flies, that is to say that I do not skimp on the quality of the materials I buy, but rather make them go further.
When you tie many thousand flies per year saving a few millimetres of thread or tinsel here and there really adds up – ask any professional fly tyer!
It is a rare day when everything comes together, great weather, good friends and fantastic fishing. Even rarer are the days when your fishing buddies DON’T take the mick about your flies or technique, but there again it’s all part of the comradery I suppose and makes for a more enjoyable day.
I designed this fly after a really hot day in The Highlands last spring. Heather flies were starting to hatch in small numbers along with what I can only describe as needle flies. Slim black insects about 8mm long, rear swept wings and fine black legs. I had not seen these before but the wild brown trout were gorging on them as they blew onto the lochans we were fishing. Nothing in the numerous fly boxes we carried came close, so out came the vice as soon as we got home.
When I started fly fishing over thirty years ago, one of the attractions to the sport to me was the art of fly tying. Having the ability to create something from fur and feather that will catch Trout was a miracle to me. A good friend at the time who also taught me to cast, showed me the basics of the “black art” of building flies.