Trout surgery

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Contents -

Ronnie Glass an­swers ques­tions on buzzers, tad­poles and clean rod han­dles

QLAST YEAR I watched an­glers catch­ing on static Buzzers yet other an­glers try­ing to copy them caught far fewer trout or none at all. Do you think th­ese suc­cess­ful an­glers were us­ing se­cret Buzzer dress­ings? Mark Grubb, via e-mail A: I CAN say with some cer­tainty that the suc­cess­ful an­glers were not us­ing “se­cret” flies. While the fash­ion is for var­nished quill-ribbed Buzzers, I know ex­perts who have not changed from their old sil­ver­ribbed, thread-bod­ied pat­terns. It’s also true that nearly all mod­ern pat­terns used by the best Buzzer an­glers are widely avail­able. They can be bought from tackle-shops, or from web­sites and Ebay pages cre­ated by com­mer­cial fly-ty­ers. Where Buzzers vary most is the wing buds tied on each side of the tho­rax. Some are flu­o­res­cent floss, oth­ers have goose biot “cheeks” and some will be tied us­ing holo­graphic tin­sel or nar­row strips cut from or­ange crisp pack­ets. For added at­trac­tion, some will have a flashy pearl or mi­rage tho­rax cover or even the “traf­fic light” ef­fect of pearl over red holo­graphic tin­sel. Be aware that while freshly stocked fish can find “flashy” dress­ings at­trac­tive, if you are fish­ing for res­i­dent trout or are on a pop­u­lar, harder-fished wa­ter, then a sim­ple drab Buzzer will often catch more trout. The pre­req­ui­site for suc­cess­ful Buzzer fish­ing is not the fly, it is the re­trieve, which should be slow or static. It’s quite dif­fi­cult for most fly-fish­er­men to do this. So many other tac­tics de­mand faster re­trieve speeds that it is hard for some an­glers to keep their line hand still. Buzzers must be con­trolled. Sim­ply cast­ing out and let­ting a belly form in the fly-line as the breeze drifts it across the sur­face will re­sult in the flies not sinking to the nec­es­sary depth be­cause the curve in the fly-line will tighten and pull the flies. If fish are high in the wa­ter this can re­sult in a lovely “slide

away” take when a fish feels the hook point, but in most cases – es­pe­cially early in the sea­son – you’ll need to get the flies to sink deeper and avoid any re­trieval. To fish Buzzers from a drift­ing boat, where you are al­ways mov­ing to­wards and/or past your flies, you need greater line con­trol. To get used to the sub­tleties of Buzzer-fish­ing, it’s worth start­ing from a sta­ble, an­chored boat, where you can more eas­ily con­trol and ex­plore depth, gauge the ef­fect of sur­face drag on the fly-line and, ul­ti­mately, learn the ben­e­fits of the static re­trieve.

When fish­ing static Buzzers it is im­por­tant to keep your fly-line as straight as pos­si­ble and to watch the line be­tween rod tip and wa­ter to de­tect sub­tle takes.

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