2 LURE COMBOS
WINTER fishing invariably means using lures at some point and, if we go back 20 or 30 years, the advice was always to f ish big, black and deep in the cold months. Well, there’s no doubt that it works, but I like to adapt things to a more varied system. The only possible creature that a black lure might suggest is a water beetle but lures are mostly taken out of curiosit y or aggression. What makes them so effective can be their construction in terms of the materials creating movement and therefore suggesting life, or the way they are retrieved along with the depth of the presentation. Adding another f ly to the leader is a way you can swop colours around to find the ‘hot’ shade for the day or you can put a simple, old-fashioned wet f ly or nymph in the dropper position and it can then look to the f ish as though the little f ly is maybe being chased by the bigger one and, being territorial or possessive, the trout will take the smaller f ly in preference to the bigger one. Conversely, you put the ‘lure’ in the dropper position and then add a small f ly to the point and what happens now is that the fish maybe comes to look at the lure and then notices the trailing ‘smaller snack’ and takes that as an afterthought. I love to use the ‘tadpole’ st yle of lure because the long marabou tail gives great movement and it’s easy to swop colours while keeping the same action. Working on the old-fashioned theor y that when you can’t quite work out what to use when things are slow, then the best pattern will be something small and black and that’s my choice for the smaller f ly in this set-up. A Black Spider or a well-tied Butcher if there’s a bit of colour in the water and I’m more than happy. Using the lure combo opens up the choice of line density and my all-time favourite for our smaller f isheries is the ‘slime line’. This clear intermediate is a great choice for the often ver y clear winter water and its only downside is that it’s a bit coily in the colder weather. If your favourite f isher y has water over 10 feet deep then maybe a slow or even fast sink line can be better to get the f lies down quick, and hold them there. A lternatively, if you have ledges or deep holes in the water then you might find that a sinking poly leader on a f loating line might be the better presentation. There’s so many ways to look at the way we f ish and it sure beats just standing in the same old place and doing the same retrieve, hour after hour!