Thursday, 18 September 2014

Chalk Stream Fly Fishing Masterclass

Yours truely on the chalk

Because I do so many different kinds of fly fishing I tend to be a "Jack of all and master of none".  Now I am retired I am keen to improve my chalk stream performance because being a member of the Salisbury and District Angling Club (SADAC) I have, for a reasonable annual subscription, access to a lot of lovely water and beautiful fish.  Acknowledging that local knowledge is king and having not fished the club waters for several months I decided to pay a visit to the office and seek the guidance of the Fishery Manager, Andreas.  After we had swapped a few stories and discussed ways of avoiding backache while fishing he advised me where to fish adding that he would be there later himself.  
Andreas focused

So later that afternoon I got to fish with Andreas and it turned out to be a master class on how to outwit the fish and catch.  Here is a summary of the key things I learnt:-
  • I am reasonably good at spotting fish but Andreas was better.  I think the fact that his Polaroid sun glasses had side shades gave him an advantage.  I have never bothered to fit mine side shades but I will now.  
  • He knew the river far better than me and where the fish's favourite feeding locations were.
  • He prioritised the nearest fish, crouched forward and really focused on them and what they were doing.
  • If fish were not seen to be actively feeding he left them after a few casts and moved on.
  • He used a longer leader than I, say around 12 feet.
  • He used smaller flies than I, sixteens and eighteens.
  • He was constantly watching the fly life around, both above and on the water.
  • If there was no top of the water activity he switched to nymphing.
  • When the sedge were hatching he used F- flies, little V shaped CDC flies in brown or black.
  • As the evening drew to a close and activity on the deeper water slowed down he moved us to the faster riffles where there was lots of surface activity.
It was a privilege to have fished with an expert who so willingly shared his knowledge.

The reward a pretty brown

Salmon parr

Searching for bigger fish under the trees


A stripped and twisted willow twig makes a handy fish carrying handle!

1 comment:

  1. I hope this helps others improve their chalk stream fishing.