Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Focus On -

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!

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