There was a time when only the rich went trout-fly-fishing. The working man was more concerned with catching roach, chub, or bream, much of his catch was taken home as food.
However, as the general population became wealthier more and more anglers found that they had the financial resources and sufficient free time to fish for trout.
The trout are at their most vulnerable when the mayflies are falling, they gulp down the tiny insects one after another. If the angler has placed his cleverly disguised fly correctly the fish will take it as if it were just another mayfly only to discover, too late that it conceals a deadly hook. Once hooked all the angler has to do is keep the line taut until the fish is safely deposited in the keep-net.
To improve your chances of taking a fish your fly will need to resemble the food on which the fish are feeding. Originally it was thought that the fly used had to be a perfect imitation of the fishes’ natural prey. Nowadays we know that this is not the case. At the present time we use a vast variety of flies most of which bear little or no resemblence to any living creature.
When fishing for trout we have to remember that there are essentially two types of trout. Wild brown trout found in rivers, and pellet-fed trout bread specially to stock man made fisheries. The former are timid and far more wary of man than their specially bred cousins and hence more difficult to catch. However, the main drawback with the wild species is that the rivers in which they dwell are in private hands and if you want to fish these waters you will have to pay handsomely for the privilege. So for trout-fly-fishing we must go to one of the many excellent fisheries created on our reservoirs. They have become big business as they provide an affordable alternative to fishing for wild brown trout.
One of the great satisfactions of trout-fly-fishing comes when you land a fish using a fly that you have tied yourself. Initially it may appear difficult, but you can soon learn and, with a little effort it won't be long before you are tying your own. Of course if you lack the time or motivation you can buy them ready-made from a tackle shop, though they tend to be expensive.
Fly-rods on the other hand are not something you are going to make at home. You will receive tons of advice on what makes a good rod but one aspect that is often overlooked is its' weight. A fly-fisherman spends most of his day rod in hand trying to
ensnare wary fish. His coarse fishing counterpart uses a rod rest to support the rod for long periods. This means that the weight of the rod is a more important factor for the
fly-fisherman than it is for the coarse fisherman. Luckily the advent of carbon rods has made weight less of an issue.
Many thought that carbon rods would be the final chapter in rod development. However, technology marches on and we now have boron rods and who knows what else will come along in the future. The downside to all this development is that with each new advance the costs rise. How much you want to spend and how much of this extra spending is worthwhile remains a moot point.
There are those who would argue that fly-fishing with all its technicalities simply makes fishing more difficult and that there are better ways of catching trout, pike and perch such as spinning, which incidently, is allowed in Scotland but frowned upon in England.
Trolling is another method, very popular in Ireland, mostly because it is the only practical way to cover the vast areas of water that are found in the large loughs there.
In Scotland away from those great salmon rivers the Tay, Spey, Dee, Wye and a few others, there exists another type of trout-fly-fishing altogether. This fishing is to be found in mountain trout streams many of which are only a couple of yards wide. The wild brown trout in these waters are smaller than those found in the larger rivers and are much more difficult to catch as they are more wary, having never become used to mans presence. Also, if you eat what you catch you will find that these brown trout taste much better than those pellet fed monsters that you will catch at a lot of the new fisheries.
Trout-fly-fishing. Back to techniques