Presentation is another critical factor in achieving success & grayling are just as unpredictable with respect to this. Sometimes they want a fly ‘on the drop’ & often they will travel quite a distance to take a fly as it slowly sinks. So there are times that it doesn’t pay to fish a fast-sinking, heavily weighted fly.
How many flies should we fish at the same time? There is no set answer to this question since there are numerous variables that must be considered before making an answer. In some cases the choice is already made. Several fly fishing clubs that I belong to restrict members to the use of one fly only. However, on many waters the answer is not so simple.
Remembering Dick Walker’s philosophy of caricaturing the natural organism being imitated and using some sort of bright target spot, I had decided to tie up some weighty, bright red buzzers, hoping they would quickly sink to the correct depth and would be easily visible to the fish in the low light and slightly murky water.
The use of metal beads is now standard practice when tying heavy sub-surface flies. Gold Head or Pearl Head flies incorporating glass beads were used over 100 years ago in Northern Italy. Roman Moser tells how in 1978 he was given some Pearl Head flies by a Tyrolean friend which prompted him to use gold brass beads in his nymphs as additional weight and thus the “Gold Head” was invented. In 1981 Moser bent some size 12 and 14 soft wire hooks with pliers to produce Micro jigs with a lead shot super glued behind the eye and then coated with gold varnish.
Let’s first consider casting skills for the dry fly angler. Whilst on many still waters much of the time all that is needed is the ability to perform a conventional Overhead Cast with when necessary accuracy, the river fly fisher needs to have a large repertoire of casts at his or her command in order to cope with the demands of casting underneath overhanging trees and avoiding/limiting drag caused by complex currents as well as pinpoint accuracy.