Fly Fishing for Trout

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Steve Ooi, Western lakes Tasmania
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Chad Plooy QLD
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Ryan Bolch SE QLD 

Catching Trout on the Fly 

Trout are without doubt the most targeting fish on the fly throughout the entire globe, Why? Well they tick all boxes, living in just about every habitat and feeding on just about anything. They don't mind skinny water and as such are an amazing visual target.

Being such a diverse fish, it is almost impossible to cover them thoroughly in this short space but here's some essentials. 

Gear

You'll need to consider a few aspects when choosing an outfit.

  • How big are the fish you are likely to encounter? Bigger fish will require more muscle to land fast and secure a good release. Smaller fish will require a lighter rod to ensure you get value from the fight.
  • How big are the flies you will be casting? Large, bushy flies will need a heavier rod to cast effectively.  
  • How tight is the country you will be fishing? Tight country demands a shorter rod. 
  • How exposed are to wind? Windy days will require a heavier rod choice. 

To keep things super simple a 9 foot 5 weight will likely be most versatile, then with consideration to the above points a rod weight or 2 either side of this may suit best. 

Leader and Tippet

Again this comes back to the specific scenario and you will require a range of tippets and leaders depending on the situation and fly size.

In short, tiny flies will require very fine tippets, say as small as 3lb (7X). Regular sized flies of between 10 - 14 can be fished effectively with tippets or 5 - 6lb (5X - 6X). Larger flies can certainly still be fished on light tippets, however you have the luxury of increasing slightly if you choose, particularly in low light scenarios. 

Leaders choice will be specific to the situation but a good start point for most situations is 9 foot 6.4lb (4X) coupled with a couple of feet of your chosen tippet.

 

Flies

Talk about a can of worms! There is no other fish on the planet with such a diverse  diet and there are flies to match it all! When starting out the golden rule is to keep it simple and grow your knowledge slowly with experience on your local waters. 

To start out we suggest the following.

Streamers - Some simple baitfish patterns in both weighted and unweighted versions. Woolley buggers, Hamill's killers and Alexandia's all tick the box. 

Nymphs - Former Tasmanian trout guide, Neil Grose says it best "Don’t get too obsessed with fly patterns, remember that trout eat things which are mostly half an inch long and brown". With this a small handful of nymphs in varying weights are essential is the box. The pheasant tail and Hares ear Nymphs are 2 great patterns. 

Dries - Back to the keep it simple approach. If you know what insects are about then it will pay to go specific. e.g. Mayfly emerges and Duns. If your in the dark then we suggest to go with suggestive pattens. Elk hair caddis, royal wulff's, stimulators, red tags and hopper patterns all tick the box.  

Check out our beginners range of Trout flies here.

Strategy

 

There's been books written on this subject as the topic is huge and beyond the scope of this page. We can however offer up these tip bits. 

  • Approach the water slowly and carefully.  Become a good stalker. 
  • Remember every day on the water is a learning opportunity, be observant!
  • Consider how the natural insects / aquatic life behave and move, this is your start point in figuring out how you should (or should not) retrieve your fly. 
  • Take the time, to learn and understand the lifecycle of the various aquatic insects, this info will not only arm you with better knowledge for selecting flies but also add a real buzz when success comes.  
  • Practice casting delicately, this is far more important for trout than distance. 

Enjoy the learning journey.