We have had a few occasions fly fishing this year, especially on warmer days where no flies seemed to produce despite seeing the fish moving and taking insects sub surface. This will be a familiar story to many of you when the fish are switched on to tiny midges and other miniscule mouthfuls.
In these circumstances try fly fishing to induce a take. A productive method is to fish a Pheasant Tail or Diawal Bach type nymph but to start your retrieve the instant that you fly hits the water. By instant I mean literally your fly needs to be moving as it hits the water. What happens is the fish notice the disturbance when your fly touches down and because it moves straight away, despite not being interested in feeding they take a snap at it. On a number of occasions when fly fishing this year this was the only way we had a result.
We were asked by a number of fisherman what fly we were using as we were the only people catching and when we said pheasant tail they were surprised as they had already tried one. I explained how we were fishing and they went away only to have success by using this method. I think this is a classic example of not having to match the hatch but fish a general representation in a specific way in order to induce a take.
Sometimes it not what you are fishing that matters but how you are fishing it!