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Happy days- Soft Hackle Dries are back
July 27, 2019

Happy days- Soft hackle dry flies are a back!!

During the recent heat wave I was asked about the best approach for river fishing. Well brown trout and grayling don’t have eyelids and neither enjoy low river flows combined with high temperatures. This is partly because oxygen is far less soluble in warm water than cold water and partly because suitable habitat for spooky wild fish is at far more of a premium in low river flows.

As for fishing on hot days! It is best to fish early and late when conditions are cooler or further up the river system if you are fortunate enough to have a Pennine river nearby. Dry flies for hot low rivers are the ever reliable Griiffiths gnat and the “F” terrestrial. As conditions cool through August these flies will match the main hatches of black midge (Griffiths gnat mid August onwards) and willow and Needle fly. I have found the “f” terrestrial to be supreme when these small stonefly are hatching.

In July the river Tees has fished very well indeed as these images from clients show. The technique has been nymphs on a French leader. A sample selection of our new “stealth” French leaders are now here but not on the website yet. These are 12 metres, super soft, khaki with zero stretch fitted with a furled indicator leader. They fish better than any French leader I have ever used. Get in touch if you would like one of these for £12. Importantly the much requested soft hackle dries are back in stock. These are tied with coq de leon tails, UV hares ear (natural dark), wild CDC and an English partridge neck hackle on a size14 heavyweight Maruto 14. The result is a great dry fly that can be fished opportunistically to bring fish onto the fly as well as casting it at rising fish. The hatches of pale wateries in September will see the soft hackle dry converting good numbers of fish.

Until then double nymphing will continue to yield results! The ever reliable black magic has been nailing them on the dropper (size 14) and in size 12 on the point. The P and O and RBS fished on the point has also produced well.

On a particularly difficult day with the river over a metre above normal and coloured like drinking chocolate we fished a double RBS nymph rig and still caught good brownies on the soft inside lines. It is clear that the trout on the middle reaches of the Tees are becoming much larger than they were in the past and I speculate this is because of Signal Crayfish making up a large proportion of their diet.

These beasts freely rise to black midge from mid August onward on the exclusive stretch I guide on. See the You Tube video “matching the Midge Hatch” for the location and an idea of how the fishing can be when the timing is right. Size16 Griffiths gnats are a must for this great hatch and get in touch if you would like guiding and a crack at a specimen brownie on the dry fly.

Our latest products also include Hends 124 incurve jig hooks used for the P and O and UV flash caddis nymphs in size14 and for the TNT streamers in a 12. This is a reliable and super fish holding hook. We also have the worse kept secret from the competition boys UV purple ice dubbing. This is used for collars like on the Onstream-guide P and O nymph and certainly adds massive amounts to catchability of any nymph. This is probably down to the fact that blue light travels further than any other underwater and therefore simply makes the nymph (a potential food item) more visible to the trout. We are down to the last 3 dozen of plover nymphs and with no more material left in the fly tying World if you want these great fish catching flies this is the final opportunity.



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