Sight-fishing with nymphs is particularly skillful as it requires the ability to determine the precise location & depth of the fish, calculating the effects of refraction which makes a subsurface fish appear to be further away than it is & nearer to the surface.
Over the winter I’d usually have been sight fishing with tiny Buzzer Pupae (size 24 to 30) or Micro CdC Midges, but this winter I have had to be very versatile. During the periods of heavily coloured water I’ve mainly fished with black or dark coloured flies since they silhouette well when viewed against the light from the sky. I find that black flies always work well in coloured water & it is no surprise that many sea trout flies used at night are black with a bit of silver flash to reflect any available light. Flies that have worked well for me have been size 18 & 20 Perdigon nymphs tied with black tungsten beads, black 0.09mm diameter wire bodies with a red wire rib & collar behind the bead & size 16 Squirmy Worms tied with a 2mm black tungsten bead & dark brown squirmy material.
Now, over 20 years later & with many thousands of trout, grayling & char, plus numerous coarse fish caught on fly gear I have mellowed & what I want out of my fly fishing has changed significantly. Whilst I still enjoy the days when I catch a good number of fish & I get a real kick out of catching a really big fish for the species or water, there is so much more that I want out of my fishing than just catching fish. So what do I want?
The place that fly fishing occupies in my life is impossible to describe; deeply personal, as it is for any one of us. It has become somewhere I go, on waters I love so much, where I can do exactly what I want to do, without hindrance from anyone, or dogma, but rather where I can take experiences from so many years with a fly rod to the next level. I have always been fascinated by instinctive fishing, rather than mechanical technique, while always supported by experience. I have enjoyed the evolution of tackle in our sport and frankly endured the severely limiting nature of some of it over the years. We are so lucky nowadays, because the tackle is supremely good; so much so that there is little that is genuinely new, or significantly more advanced.
‘Duffers’ Fortnight’ in late May & into June is supposed to be when trout are at their easiest to catch on rivers that have good Mayfly (Ephemera danica) hatches, but this is not always the case. Whilst there are times that epic catches can be made, for those who believe that with the Mayflies will come suicidal trout feeding there can be disappointment & frustration.