Monday, 12 July 2010

A French Lesson

I often hear about new techniques or methods in fly fishing that I feel I should perhaps look a little bit deeper into, well 'French Nymphing' was definitely one of those things.

Having witnessed its effectiveness recently during the Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships I decided it was time to put it to the test. I purchased the necessary bits and pieces and read what information was available on the Internet...most of which was obtained from The FlyFishingPoint website which is a great starting point for anyone interested in learning more about this style of fishing.

A long rod with a soft action is key to maximising the potential and my 10' 6" #5 was perhaps one or two AFTM ratings too high (going by the number of bounce offs I had), but enabled me to get to grips with the concept.

Target rivers last weekend were the River Irfon & the upper River Wye both in desperate need of some water...both perfect to test the French Nymphing technique. I fished 2 small tungsten head nymphs (#16/18) on a 1.5 metre long tippet which was separated by the hi-viz braided indicator from the 9 metre long tapered leader.

Ideal water to try out 'French Nymphing'
I was nothing short of shocked how this method caught fish from water that you could easily ignore and out of a total of three sessions (including one of my best ever Wye Grayling catches) the results have confirmed to me that this can be a deadly method.

One of two double 'hook ups'  I had from the River Wye
As with all styles of fly fishing it has its day, this is possibly not really a method for slow moving water or small stream fishing with over-hanging trees and snaggy riverbeds...but on its day it will out score most other conventional fly fishing disciplines. Give it a go and see for yourself.

Monday, 5 July 2010

New Zealand In Herefordshire

Approaching this small river in Herefordshire I could tell that my tactics for this Sunday afternoon were going to need a little thought.

I've not seen the River Lugg as low as this for a long time and as I walked downstream I could see that there were plenty of fish in the faster, more oxygenated water but were all nervous and darting for cover at the slightest sound or movement.

The 'New Zealand' style of fishing is basically where a small nymph (#16 or smaller) is tied on to a length of line around 12"-24" long and then tied to the bend of the hook on a dry fly (Klinkhamer works extremely well). The dry fly helps to support the nymph and also acts as an indicator to detect the slightest of takes.
There is a well written article here

Under such situations where the majority of the water is 2ft deep or less this method is deadly because it creates the minimum amount of disturbance and as long as your approach is with stealth the fish will readily take both nymph and dry.

I ended with good quantities of both Trout and Grayling, although I have always found that most of the 'Moms & Dads' of the Grayling world tend to lie in the deeper water where a totally different method is called for...I shall hopefully return soon to try and tempt one or two to give themselves up.