Fly Fishing For Coarse Fish

 

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I’ve been fly fishing for trout for nearly thirty years now and enjoy it as much as the day when I cast that first black gnat into the Derbyshire Derwent.

Like anything in life, a new challenge can refresh and reinvigorate and I have always sought to keep fly fishing interested by embracing new ideas and change. Saltwater fly fishing, in particular, is a great passion. Spending the majority of my time mooching around the streams of Yorkshire and The Peak District I find the open sea and salty air truly invigorating.

Closer to home, however, some of my greatest enjoyment comes from fly fishing for coarse fish. Many beginners are surprised to learn that nearly all freshwater fish in the UK can be caught on the fly. Some are easier than others through!

Through the hot summer days in July & August when the Trout fishing becomes sluggish, my attention turns to coarse fish.

Finding a place to fish is easy. From rivers to canals and stocked ponds you will find somewhere close to home. Make sure you ask first if you are ok to fly fish as there may be issues with pedestrians walking on paths on your back cast.

Here are some of the most common quarry:

Pike & Zander
Larger streamers and baitfish imitations. Make sure you use a wire trace on the end of your leader and you will really need a 9 or 10 weight rod although you will be ok with your 8 weight if you stick to smaller flies.
PIKE FLIES >>

Roach, Rudd & Dace
Brilliant for targeting on a dry fly. Use light soft rods and small dries with a fine tippet.
ROACH & RUDD FLIES >>

Perch
Probably one of the easiest coarse fish to catch on a fly. Small perch will greedily take nymphs and small fry patterns. Target larger species using small baitfish imitations (be sure to use a wire trace when fishing these if Pike are also present)
PERCH FLIES >>

Chub
Chub will take a dry fly just as readily as a trout, however, they are shy and easily spooked. Big juicy foam ants and wasps can work well. They will also take a good streamer pattern such as a wooly bugger.
CHUB FLIES >>

Carp
There are a couple of ways to approach carp. The first method is to bait up the surface with dog biscuits or bread and to fish an imitation nearby. The second and my preferred method is to try and imitate the carps natural food and deceive them with a fly.
CARP FLIES >>

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Fly Fishing Podcast – Chasing Wild Browns On Dries

In this episode a sudden plummet in temperatures and late April hail & snow forces a change of venue. This turns out to work in David’s favour as he discovers a pool full or rising fish in the cool, clean waters of the Peak District’s river Derwent.

Check out the podcast here

Match The Hatch! - our weekly hatch report will help.

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Fly Fishing Video – An All Rounder Outfit For UK Fly Fishing

Can you suggest an all rounder set up for UK fly fishing?

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Fly Fishing Video – 1 Top Tip To Catch More Fish

Can you offer a top fly fishing tip to catch more fish?

Match The Hatch! - our weekly hatch report will help.

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Fly Fishing Video – 1 Piece Of Advice

If you could offer 1 piece of fly fishing advice what would it be?

Match The Hatch! - our weekly hatch report will help.

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Fly Fishing Video – Answering Questions – Misconceptions!

What are the 3 most common misconceptions surrounding fly fishing?

 

 

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Fly Fishing Midge Imitations On Rivers

A hatching midge pupa hanging just below the surface film.

A hatching midge pupa hanging just below the surface film.

Midges are a huge part of the trout diet simply because they are present in nearly all rivers and lakes throughout the year. Moreover they are the only aquatic fly that will hatch pretty much every day of the year.

midge life cycle

Midges are frequently used in in still water fly fishing, in the UK we often refer to the midge pupa fly as a buzzer. In rivers however, they are used less frequently but they can be deadly when fished in the right way.

Water type

Midge larave, pupa and adult are small. They tend to range in size just a few millimeters up to 2cm in length. Therefore trout will only get a benefit from eating them where they can easily sip them without expending lots of energy. This generally means that midges are best fished in stiller pools where the fish canĀ hold station and sip midges without expending lots of energy as they would in a strong current.

Fish behaviour

After you have found a stiller pool or glide we need to observe fish rising to midges. First be sure that there are midges hatching by observing the surface of the water and checking you can see them, then observe the behaviour of the fish. Often the rise will take the form of a head and tail rise where you see the fishes back and then tail breaking the surface. You may also see just a small sip and the fish takes and emerging midge pupa. If both these conditions are met then you are in luck!

Presentation

A fine tippet is required to present a small midge. I would recommend something around 6x. Also a long tapered leader as you will be fishing in still pools where you are more likely to spook the fish. Cast upstream of the fish making sure your fly line does not go over the rising fish. If you loose eye contact with the fly strike at any rise in the vicinity of your fly. When fishing buzzers, grease up the end of your fly line and use greased hi viz braided loop, if the line stops, slows or moves then strike!

Flies

Dries, emergers and pupa will work brilliantly. Here are my favourites:

river buzzer

River Buzzer >>

black midge klinkhammer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Midge Klink >>

griffiths gnat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Griffiths Gnat >>

midge black size 20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midge Black Size 20 >>

Match The Hatch! - our weekly hatch report will help.

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