Trout fly of the month
Dibble this fiery top dropper fly in late summer, recommends Rob Denson
Dibble the Gorgeous Georgina in late summer, recommends Rob Denson
CONTINUING LAST MONTH’S theme of big, daft, attention-seeking top-droppers, here’s one that’s next to useless for large portions of the season. Pick this variant of the Gorgeous George on the right day, however, and a cricket score is on the cards. I never rated the original George – an incongruous collection of colourful parts. I tied it and tried it – as one does and one must, in order to pass opinion – but success was limited and I decided I was more than capable of tying something just as useless myself. To be fair, the Gorgeous George (named after the flamboyant American wrestler) has an army of fans, a few of which I’ve witnessed doing serious damage with this unlikely-looking hero. But after four or five fruitless forays I couldn’t get it to work and dismissed it as a confidence pattern. Or, in my case, a lack-of-confidence pattern. One thing I did like, though, was its basic design and I wondered what the female of the species might look like. One of my biggest issues with the George was the juxtaposition of the Glo-brite No.11 tail and the No.5 butt – not a combination I find particularly appealing, so that was the first thing to go. I replaced the floss tail with a golden-pheasant tippet dyed Orkney peach and took it from there. The main objective – which I think I achieved – was to harmonise the colour scheme to something more in tune with my concept of a late-summer top dropper. Legs, wings and bold, strong colours with the accent on red, orange and claret hues are sure to produce either an aggressive response or a feeding response or sometimes both. Being bushy and colourful top-dropper wet-flies, the George and the Georgina operate in and on the surface with a floating or very slow intermediate line, and as such they do their best work in the second half of the season. I’ve had excellent sessions fishing the Georgina for wild, grown-on or recently stocked fish, just a few days and a few miles apart on Stocks Reservoir and Malham Tarn, and also further afield in Orkney and Chew. Simple, classic loch-style gets the best out of the Georgina. An 11ft rod is perfect for extended control of the top dropper, but a 10ft rod will do just fine. Then it’s just a simple case of rolling a short length (10-15 yards) of floating line over the waves and then gradually lifting the rod as you retrieve. As soon as you are able to lift the top dropper off the water, do so and then drop it back into the film, then hold, hold, and hold some more – trout love the bulge created as you lift the fly slightly against the surface tension. Seeing a trout come to the fly at this point and then take and turn down is as good as it gets. It happens a lot with the Georgina.