Fly fishing is an effective and very skillfull method of catching trout. It can be used on small streams to large rivers to lakes. Just as with any method of fishing reading the water so that you can find where the fish are is of vital importance. A position that is favourable to a trout is called a lie. There are three types of lie for a trout. The most favourable will provide the fish with food and shelter. The other will provide plenty of food but no shelter and the final will provide ample shelter but no food.
Prime lies include such areas as eddies behind rocks or logs. Other prime areas are deep indentations under the river bank which has been cut out by the current. This provides protection from predators, hot sun etc yet still provides food through the steady current. Other prime areas is deep in a large pool near the bottom where there is plenty of food and the current is not as strong. Also when the fish feel secure and are undesturbed the tail end of these pools where the water is more shallow and the current less swift. The confluence of a side stream and a river are also prime areas where trout will feed on the fresh food being poured into the river from the smaller stream. In lakes fish are located in the areas discussed in our other articles such as Trolling and Harling and Spinning and Jigging.
Once fish have been located comes the decision of what fly to use. This topic is a very large one and we will only cover this briefly. Flies are immitaions of a trouts food and can range from immitaions of insects to smelt to mice. Mice have been known to be taken by trout, especially during the seeding of the beech trees in the wilderness when the population explodes. We recommend reading up on this subject and learning the types of flies and insects they immitate. Also, local knowledge and experience go a long way. So if you can chat to someone with a bit of experience and/or local knowledge. Popular flies include the old hair and copper, pheasant tail’s and bug eye nymphs that have some lead shot for eyes to aid rapid sinking. However, there are many many more varieties available.
Nymphing is fly fishing with nymphs or insects that live in the water. This technique invloves casting your nymph upstream of the trout and letting it drift toward it. Presentation is very important, you do not want to scare the fish and also your main line must not be dragged by the current that will induce unnatural movement of your nymph in the water. You want your nymph to be at the same level as the trout so extra weight through split shot, copper wire etc can be added to aid sinking when fishing in deep water.
Fishing wet flies can include fishing flies that immitate such food as smelt or immitate an emerging fly or drowned adult. Generally wet flies are fished across and downstream. They are also very effective when fished down through riffles. Most wet flies are based on well known dry fly patterns ans most have their wet fly version eg. Kakahi Queen, Greenwells glory, Black Gnat etc.
Dry fly fishing is as the name suggests, casting a dry fly onto the surface of the water. Dry flyfishing takes a fair bit of practice. Main important areas are the ability to cast the fly in the right position, not too far over as to spook it and not too far short of it. Trout can be very picky with dry flies and a good technique if the trout are rising is to examine what they are rising to and immitate it as best you can. In alot of dry fly water the fish have a very good view and it pays to keep a low profile and really concentrate on the stalk so that you do not spook the trout.
Once again, it is important to read up and learn when starting out or even pick up a bit of extra information if you are somewhat experienced. There are plently of books available of the subjest of fishing and plenty of experienced fisherman willing to discuss and share their knowledge.
Good luck fishing