Fly Fishing For Perch – Tips and Fly Patterns

This month, Turrall blogger and fly designer Dom Garnett provides timely advice, tips and fly patterns for perch.

They’re beautiful yet common as muck. They take a fly gamely and fight well on light tackle. So why isn’t every man and his dog fly fishing for perch this season? Across waters all over Britain and Europe, you’ll find perch an absorbing quarry. The smaller ones can be seriously greedy, while the big ones are a genuine challenge. Here are some handy perch fishing tips for your next trip:

perch fly fishing

  1. Key locations: Almost every angler in the UK will have perch within striking distance of where they live. And while the big reservoirs might hold large fish, smaller waters such as canals, drains and rivers are an easier place to start.

Perch are one of those reassuringly predictably fish when it comes to feature finding. Snags, overhangs, bridges and walls are all worth searching thoroughly. But also look out for any concentrations of fry or small fish. Any areas where you have a sudden drop off are less visible but can also be key.

  1. Tackle & Leaders: Perch don’t demand the heaviest tackle, but with bigger than average flies and often the risk of pike, it’s unwise to go too light. Some of my friends have fished with as light as three or four weight tackle on waters where there are no pike! A more common starting point would be a six or seven weight outfit on most waters, but go heavier if pike are common.

You can use a floating line on many shallower waters, along with a leader of 7-8 feet. But where greater depths exist, a fast intermediate or a full sinker will often serve you well too, with a shorter leader of as little as five feet.

Where pike are not an issue, fluorocarbon is fine to use as leader- but there’s no need to go lighter than about 8lbs. If there are pike, step up to at least 12lbs strength and add a wire trace. Small, unobtrusive snap links and fine, knottable wires are subtlest option- avoid thick wire and bulky swivels and hardware.

jack pike
Jack pike are also fond of perch flies- so on many venues you must be prepared and fish a bit heavier.

3. Flies for Perch: Various designs will work for perch, but my own have plenty of flash and movement, and are rather bigger than the lures you’d typically use for trout. The Perch Special and Drop Shot Minnow Flies are ideal for shallower water and useful where you want a slow sinking fly to keep above weed or cover.

Turrall perch flies- Dropshot Minnows and Perch Special

For a lot of structure fishing or deeper water however, weighted patterns such as my Perch Jig Flies will get down better. Flies that fish “point up” are also handy to lessen the risk of snagging.

jig flies for perch

If you tie your own, you can also have some fun. Typically, I would recommend hooks in sizes 1-4 and my absolute favourite colours for perch would be white and yellow, often with a hint of red in the mix, plus a few strands of pearl, silver or gold flash material (Krinkleflash or Multi Flash are both very good).

  1. The Right Retrieve
    Perch are not as quick or as willing to move several feet to grab a fly as pike, so the key is often in getting the fly close to the fish. My retrieve tends to be twitchy and “busy” but not overly fast, unless the fish are obviously scattering fry near the surface.

More often it’s a case of keeping your perch fly moving, but not stripping so fast that your artificial lifts up in the water, out of the strike zone. If it’s really cold or challenging though, another useful trick with the jig flies is to twitch or “hop” them across the bottom. 

Retrieve speed and keeping the fly at the right depth are crucial for perch.

Don’t always feel that you need to cast far for perch. The other advantage with weighted flies is that you can work them right under the rod tip along structures or around cover. 

  1. Striking and Playing Fish: Perch don’t always give the biggest bites and nor will they always hook themselves. Keep your rod tip low while retrieving and be alert for any little nips or picks on the line. Strike at any decisive movement, but do so with the line, only lifting if you feel contact. Quite often you will get a nip or two, but by continuing the retrieve or having another shot you will get a second or third chance and a solid hook up.

Perch fight well on light tackle, but can quite easily come adrift. A forgiving rod is ideal to play fish smoothly and cushion those head shakes that often betray a hooked perch. I like to use a nice through actioned 9ft 6/7 weight- although if pike  are a regular threat an eight might need to come out to play.

6. Change your clock and your mindset! The unwritten rule in so much of perch fishing is that it becomes a tough exercise at the wrong time or in the wrong conditions. Find the right time and local feeding spells and you will catch in a fraction of the time.

On big, deep waters or those that are murky, sunny weather can work. But more commonly, on small clear drains, rivers and canals, an overcast or downright grotty day will serve you much better (the specimen perch pictured at the top of this post was caught during a drizzly day with winds consistently over 20mph!) .

The first and last hours of light are very often peaks of activity- so do be prepared to make an early start or have your excuses ready for a late finish.

Perch of all sizes are fun to catch.

Further Information

For more on the subject of perch fishing on the fly, Dom Garnett’s book Flyfishing For Coarse Fish has more handy information, tips and fly patterns to try. You can order this, along with ideal fly patterns for perch at www.dgfishing.co.uk

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 Do also keep an eye on the special site for more news, tips and catches, plus an exciting annual competition judged by a panel including Matt Hayes and John Bailey. flyforcoarse.com

 

 

Fly fishing and tying tips: The Humungous

With the colder days of the fly fishing year ahead of us, lure style flies really come to the fore on small stillwater fisheries. Hence our fly of the month for November is one of those classic stillwater lure patterns that can be relied on to keep the takes coming.  This month’s blog provides some fly fishing tips and a handy step by step guide to tying one of the all time greats, the Humungous. 

Humungous and rainbow trout

Although it’s a regarded as something of a classic for rainbow trout in small, stocked fisheries, this design of the humungous fly pattern actually originates from the waters of Loch Leaven in Scotland. It was here that the fly gained infamy for catching big brown trout.

These days, however, the original has spawned a number of variants worthy of a place in any fly box. Our range includes classic olive coloured patterns, along with black and silver and viva style variants and even versions in hot orange and Cat’s Whisker hues.

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Fishing the Humungous

Like other lures for trout, there is a lot more to catching fish than launching the thing out and stripping like a madman. You could indeed try a few quick retrieves high in the water to kick off, but should no early chases or takes commence, try counting down to different depths to find the fish.

A slower and steadier retrieve also keeps the fly deeper, holding it in the taking zone. A figure of eight, with regular twitches thrown in is ideal. You could fish it on a floating line with a longer leader between a rod’s length to twelve feet. There is little need to go any lighter than 8lb fluorocarbon.

Should you want to retrieve faster at depth, you could try a sinking fly line and a shorter leader of just six or seven feet. If you do bring it in quickly though, do be sure to throw at least one pause into the mix each cast. A little “break” in the retrieve can often be the trigger for a fish to hit the fly as it stutters and speeds up again.

Last but not least, try to make a mental note of how long you had let the fly sink when the bites come. If the action is hard and fast, or you use the same flies for more than one session, a hook sharpener is also an excellent idea to keep the point nice and sharp.

How to tie the Humungous
Colour choices are quite wide for this fly pattern and humungous variants are numerous. For extra attraction however, we would recommend a touch of extra flash in the tail and body materials (our UV Multiflash and UV Fritz are ideal for adding some extra sparkle!).

The other notable feature is the weighted head. Chain eyes do the job perfectly, but you could also try larger eyes, such as tungsten dumbbell eyes to create a fast sinking trout lure for really deep waters.

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In this case, however, we have chosen classic Viva style colours, with a black marabou tail and green body.

Humungous (Viva variant)
Hook: Long Shank Lure Size 8-10
Thread: Standard Black
Eyes: Bead chain eyes
Tail: Black Marabou, with a hint of Turrall UV Multiflash
Body: Green Fritz Chenille
Hackle: Palmered grizzle cock

Step 1: Run some black thread just behind the eye of the hook, until it catches.

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Step 2: Now pinch the chain eyes just above the hook, behind the eye. Carefully bind in place, using tight turns of thread in an X shape, as shown. Build up plenty of tight turns for security here- and you could also add a spot of varnish as you do so.
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Step 3: Now run the thread towards the hook bend with a series of tight turns. Stop when you are above the hook point.
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Step 4: Now for the tail. This is easiest to tie in two parts rather than one bunch of material. Start by snipping off a pinch of black marabou and measuring against the hook. A tail that protrudes about the same length as the hook itself is about right.
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Step 5: Once you have bound the first pinch of marabou in place right along the back of the hook, you can then add a little sparkle. You needn’t go too crazy; 4 or 5 strands of flash is ample. As with the marabou, you will create a more secure, even body by tying right the way along the back of the hook, rather than securing just at the end.
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Step 6: Now add another pinch of marabou of similar size to the first to complete the tail.
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Step 7: Now take a grizzly cock hackle and tie securely along the hook as shown, so that you have plenty of feather to work with.

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Step 8: Take a section of chenille and strip away the outer to reveal the core. Strip away enough so that you can tie this right the way along the back of the hook, as shown.
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Step 9: Now make a body using even, touching turns of chenille, before tying off and trimming just behind the chain eyes.Turrall_Lures_humungous13

Step 10: Now wrap the feather around the hook in open, evenly spaced turns, like this. Make an extra couple of turns just behind the eyes to make the head a little bushier.
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Step 11: Secure in place with 2-3 tight wraps of thread before trimming the hackle off.
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Step 12: Now ring the thread so it sits just in front of the chain eyes. Here’s a useful fly tying tip for any pattern: Rather than only appealing varnish at the end, try applying a little directly to the thread before you whip finish, as shown. This way, the varnish will set right inside the knot, rather than just coating it.Turrall_Lures_humungous16

Step 13: Whip finish and trim to complete.
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Last of all, do have some fun and try your own colour variants. Sometimes one colour scheme will outfish the rest. Bright colours can be deadly for stockies, while a predominantly olive or black version is also worth a cast for brown trout too.

Keep an eye on the Turrall Flies Facebook page and our Blog Archives for more step by step fly tying guides, tips, deadly new patterns and more.

Deadly new flies, from river to predator patterns

 With exciting new options for wild trout, pike, perch and zander, Turrall have some fantastic fish catchers on the way for late 2015. Combining fresh ideas to our top class hooks and materials, both Chris Ogborne and Dominic Garnett have created new must have flies that will appeal not just to traditional anglers, but also predator fishing fans.

Barbless River Flies by Chris Ogborne

For anyone who ever had that nagging feeling of not having the right flies on the river, this new selection is the perfect solution. The concept was to bring all of Chris Ogborne’s experience into a single fly box, providing dries, emergers and wets that cover virtually every base.

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The dries (above) are tied beautifully sparse

For anyone who ever had that nagging feeling of not having the right flies on the river, this new selection is the perfect solution. The concept was to bring all of Chris Ogborne’s experience into a single fly box, providing dries, emergers and wets that cover virtually every base.

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 Nor are these flies like all the rest. Tied beautifully sparse, unlike so many commercially tied flies, they also feature top quality barbless hooks that make them ideal for catch and release. Among universally useful patterns, there are also some great twists in the set too, including a river emerger buzzer and deadly sinking nymphs. Available individually, or as a beautifully presented collection, these flies will catch anywhere in the world.

Depth Seeker Predator Flies

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Filling a really useful niche, these new flies have lots of movement and a faster sink rate that makes them brilliant for deep or running water. Featuring dumbell eyes, they also fish “point up”, making them less prone to snagging up when you fish close to the bottom.

Flyfishing for Coarse Fish author Dominic Garnett has refined these great predator catchers over several seasons, taming not only big pike, but zander with them. When predators are sluggish or lying deep, their fast sink rate and deadly jigging motion make them succeed where standard pike fly patterns fail.

Drop Shot Minnow Flies

Have we got a screw loose with these new gems? Not in the slightest! A great option on either game gear or drop shot tackle, these will appeal to lure fishers as much as fly casters.

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With super sharp, wide-gape dropshot hooks, these patterns fish “point up” and have excellent hooking properties. An exciting new development, there are many ways they can be fished. All predator fish will take them, but they are especially good for perch.

We will be showcasing these new patterns at the 2015 Tackle and Guns show, for general release this autumn. Do also keep an eye on our Facebook page for further news, updates and giveaways.

Tying and Fishing with Daddy Longlegs Fly Patterns

If the excitement of the dry fly season seems to be waning as we reach September and early autumn, there is still one very good reason to get excited. With a long body, big wings and gangling, clumsy legs, the crane fly (better known as the daddy long-legs) is a fly to excite both trout and anglers.

Just about any water bordered by lush fields will contain these beasts, which proliferate in the late summer and autumn. Not only are they hard to miss, they are also –if you’ll forgive the turn of phrase- completely crap at flying. Any keen wind is liable to send them blundering across the water, where they do an even worse job of swimming.

Unsurprisingly, they draw full-blooded takes and fishing the daddy long-legs fly is not so much a game of finesse, but a more visceral experience for the fly fisher. We produce a whole host of effective daddy longlegs fly patterns at Turrall: our foam bodied classic daddy is one of our best selling flies of all time, while detached-bodied, CDC and even sinking daddy long-legs are all popular choices.

However, for our fly of the month in September, we are going to look at the muddler or Muddle-Headed Daddy Longlegs. Why? Because when the fish are really hammering the natural flies, or need a bit of extra provocation this is a superb pattern to try.

A muddler style head of deer hair is the key with this pattern; not only does this make a nice commotion when twitched, it also renders the fly very buoyant so you can move it with little risk of the fly sinking.

Fishing the Daddy Longlegs
Before we look at a step by step tying guide, we’ll quickly look at a few fly fishing tips:

-A breezy day is best for trying daddies, on rivers or lakes. Pick an grassy bank or meadow where the wind is blowing out onto the water.

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-On small stillwaters, the daddy will also work around cover, flicked under branches.

-For tackle, don’t go too light with leaders. You could step down to a four or five weight rod, but very fine tippets can get twisted or kinked by these meaty flies. We’d recommend starting with 5lb tippet.

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-Don’t just cast out and wait. By all means use any natural drift, but try recasting regularly and twitching too (especially good with our fly of the month!).

-Takes can be violent, but don’t strike too early or too hard. Let the fish engulf your fly properly, before giving a measured lift.

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-Finally, don’t think of the daddy as purely a trout fly. It can be excellent for chub, while carp will also sometimes take one fished static.

Tying the Muddler or Muddle-Headed Daddy: A Step by Step Guide

Hook: Mayfly, size 10
Thread: Brown
Body: cream or off white floss or thread
Legs: Turrall daddy legs
Head: Deer hair, tied muddler style

Step 1: Begin by running the fine cream floss onto the hook, a little distance from the hook eye, to leave space for the legs and head.

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Step 2: Build a nice even body. With a little care, you can create a tapered effect as shown.

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Step 3. Tie off the body material, before running a little base of brown thread just towards the eye as shown.

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Step 4. It’s time to select our legs. You can knot these yourself, but Turrall also produce ready tied Daddy Legs that save time and fiddle.

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Step 5: The legs are easiest to tie in each side separately. Trap with a couple of turns of thread and splay them out a little.

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Step 6: Now we can add three legs to the other side, before covering up the stumps with thread.

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Step 7: Take a good pinch of deer hair for the head (the best part of a pencil’s thickness is ideal). Pinch in place and apply one loose turn of thread.

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Step 8: Now make another turn and pull steadily, allowing the deer hair to flare out and turn around the hook. 

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Step 9: Make another tight turn, before sweeping back the hairs and making a few turns of thread at the head, to keep the eye clear. 

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Step 10: Now you can tie off the thread and begin trimming. A really sharp pair of scissors really helps here. I prefer to trim the head fairly tight, but then leave some longer fibres facing backwards, which will add a little more profile and disturbance.

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Step 11: The finished fly. Apply some fly floatant straight from the vice, as well as another coat on the bank, and you have a super buoyant fly that can easily be waked or twitched without sinking.

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(Below): A fine rainbow trout taken on the muddler daddy; this one wanted dinner with a twitch

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More Info: For more fly fishing news, patterns, tips and prize giveaways, check out our Facebook page.

Tying and Fishing the Diawl Bach: Fly of the Month (August 2015)

From small stillwaters to wild lakes, the Diawl Bach is a deadly little all rounder. Here are our top fly fishing and tying tips for this excellent, easy to tie nymph pattern.

A go to pattern in so many fly boxes, the Diawl Bach must take its place as one of the best stillwater flies of all time. It might look skinny and modest in the palm of your hand, but there is something both brown and rainbow trout find irresistible about this fly.

Turrall_Daiwl Bach01

The pattern has its roots in Wales (the name means “Little Devil”), where the original was a busier, more traditional looking fly to the version most of us know today. Traditionalists may sigh, but the slimmer, modern Diawl Bach has well and truly earned its place as a top fly for lakes of all kinds, from small trout lakes to the giant reservoirs.

Devilishly Simple
One of the key strengths of the Diawl Bach must surely be its simplicity. With a sparse design and only a few key materials, this leads to infinite variations. At Turrall, our range includes several Diawl Bach variants that you’ll find useful, or can easily try tying yourself (see our step-by-step fly tying sequence “How to tie a Diawl Bach” at the end of the blog for see for yourself!).

The basic Diawl Bach is simply a sparse, peacock bodied fly with a tinsel rib- an excellent all-rounder. But alternatives worth looking out for include our red ribbed and UV versions. UV-reflective materials certainly give an edge to flies , coming into their own when light levels are low (see our blog on tying with UV materials). The red variant is nice, visible option where you find less than clear water or algal blooms.
photo Turrall_Daiwl Bach01_zpsdqnbuqqc.jpg

Of course, you can always mix and match with colours. Bachs can be fished singly, but are quite often fished in a team of three or even four nymphs. Try different versions of the fly on the same leader to see which the fish prefer.

How to fish the Diawl Bach

For many stillwater trout fisheries, Diawl Bachs can be fished in a similar style to buzzers, with only a very gentle retrieve. The leader and end of the fly line should be watched carefully for takes that may only be a slight draw.

The Bach might be most heavily associated with reservoir fly fishing and rainbow trout, but this is also highly underused fly on lochs and wild lakes for brown trout. If the fishing is tough, or there is little wind, a Diawl Bach on the point presents a subtler target for less aggressive fish.

Another key area when fishing the Diawl Bach is the end of the retrieve. Never rush to bring the flies out of the water, but make a slow steady lift, by gradually lifting the rod as you bring the last few feet of fly line in. This can take twenty seconds or more and the ascending motion will quite often bring a late take if you get it right.

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How to tie the Red Daiwl Bach: a step by step guide

Even if you’re only just beginning fly tying, the Diawl Bach is a fly that shouldn’t pose too many problems. With just three materials other than the hook and thread typically, it is one of those easy to tie fishing flies that is reassuringly simple to master.

For our step by step, however, we will tie a red-ribbed variant that is useful for coloured water.

Hook: Standard or heavy nymph, size 10-16
Thread: Red, fine
Tail & throat: Red game fibres
Rib: Red Turrall Multiflash
Body: Peacock Herl

Step 1: Fix your hook in the vice and run on some thread in neat turns, stopping just before it reaches above the barb.
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Step 2: Select a little pinch of red cock fibres for the tail. The tail length is a matter of taste, but I like about half the length of the hook. It is best tying the feather fibres in right along the hook shank, as shown, to get an even body. 

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Step 3: Run plenty of turns of thread evenly up the hook to bind the tail materials down securely. Once you reach near the eye, catch in your rib material and bind this in place and start to return the thread towards the tail again:

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Step 4: Once you’re at tail, you can then attach your body material, a single strand of peacock herl. Again, this is best bound into place by tying evenly right along the hook to get a nice even body. Stop when you get about 2-3mm from the eye of the hook:

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Step 5: Wind the peacock up the hook in close turns to make an even body, before securing with a couple of turns of thread.

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Step 6: Now the rib can follow. Wind the tinsel round in nice even, open turns, taking care to keep plenty of the little peacock spikes exposed. Again, secure at the head with a couple of turns of thread.

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Step 7: The next part of the fly (tying in the throat hackle) is easiest with the hook upside down. With a rotary vice this is easy- but for more basic models you can carefully open the jaws and turn the fly over.
Now take a little pinch of red cock fibres and measure up, before pinching and tying in place securely.

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Step 8: Flip the fly over and all that remains is to whip finish, trim the thread and add a spot of varnish.

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Final tips and tweaks…

– If you’re getting an uneven or thick fly, try a thinner thread. This way you can get more turns in without bulking things up too much.

– A standard nymph hook works fine, but it can also be worth experimenting with heavy nymph hooks for faster sinking flies- or indeed an emerger hook for fishing just under the surface.

-Do also check out our Facebook page for more news, flies and tips, while you’ll find our excellent range of fly fishing materials and accessories, as well as our various Diawl Bach variants, at your nearest Turrall stockist or online fly tying shop. For your ribs, our UV materials are brilliant, while Turrall Multi-flash gives you several different colours in one pack:

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Fly of the Month (July 2015) How to tie a Bibio

With a bushy profile and a dash of colour, the Bibio is an excellent loch style fly, that works on wild lake trout wherever you find them. We also like it because it produces well in the sort of blustery, unsettled conditions that have characterised large chunks of the British summer this year! Here’s how to tie our fly of the month for July 2015, along with some fly fishing tips:

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The Bibio is a best described as a bold, no nonsense fly for targeting the trout of windswept waters. It can hardly be called a realistic fly, but is nonetheless highly effective. The busy hackle can suggest any number of waterborne or drowning flies, while a dash of red makes it easily locate for trout even when conditions are rough or visibility poor.

It is a fly few loch fly fishers would be without in the larger sizes such as a 10 or 12. That said, finer versions also work well for smaller trout or less blustery lakes. This is no finesse fly however, and works best when pulled or tweaked through the water on breezy days, when insects are blown in and the trout are aggressive.
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There are different ways of tying the Bibio, not to mention one or two little tweaks that can improve the fly further. One is to use hen hackle, for example rather than cock. Black hen is less stiff, but gives better movement, especially with smaller flies.

The other parts of the fly can also be adapted. A little sparkle mixed in with the dubbing can add attraction. The rib itself can also vary. Our tying sequence shows a rib made of oval silver tinsel, but silver wire is much easier and clogs up the hackle less if you tie Bibios down to sizes 14 and smaller.
Hook: Turrall Standard Nymph size 10-14
Thread: Black
Rib: Oval silver tinsel, or wire
Body: Black and red dubbing (seals fur or sub)
Hackle: Black cock or hen
1: Run some thread onto the hook until it catches.Bibio01
Step 2: As you wind the thread down the hook shank, catch in a length of silver oval tinsel or wire.

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Step 3: Once the thread is roughly above the hook point, rub some some black dubbing on between your finger tips.

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Step 4: Apply the dubbing in even turns until you reach just before half way. Now apply a little red to the tying thread. It’s easier to apply too much than too little, but you can always tease excess off the thread.

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Step 5: Make 2-4 turns to form a red centre point.

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Step 6: Now apply just a little more black dubbing, leaving ample space to form a head later.

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Step 7: Tie in your hackle, as shown. You can use either black cock, or hen for a softer hackle.

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Step 8: Wind the hackle back in even, open turns, taking care to keep the red middle exposed.

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Step 9: Now comes the tricky part: pull the feather tight at the end of the body and trap in place with two tight turns of your rib. Keeping the tension, trim the end of the hackle feather.

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Step 10: Now pass the silver rib back towards the eye of the hook in secure, even turns. You can always undo a turn or two and try again if you don’t get it right the first time. Trap the rib with tying thread, close to the eye of the hook.

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Step 11: You can now use a dubbing needle to tease out any trapped feather fibres and make the body a little buggier.

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Step 12: Whip finish and add just a spot of varnish to the head to finish.

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Further Pointers…

A few Bibios in sizes 10-14 are worthy of a place in any fly box. A fly to rely on when the wind is up and the chips are down, they work singly but are even better as part of a team of three- and if there is a good chop on the water, don’t be afraid to give them a lively retrieve to grab the attention of the fish.

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Should you want a few flies to start you off, our range includes not only the Bibio and other loch style classics, but some great value fly collections with the Turrall FlyPod.

Happy fishing for now and don’t’ forget to follow Turrall Flies on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for regular news, flies, tips and giveaways.

Stalking Success: Fly Fishing Tips for Clear Water

Wherever fly fishers find clear water, the challenge of stalking your quarry in clear water is a thrilling -but testing- challenge. Whether the quarry is trout, chub, carp and any of the coarse species, these tips and fly patterns should stand you in good stead:

1. Who spotted who?

Fish of virtually all species can spook easily on bright days. Do move slowly and carefully on the water, and watch the position of the sun to avoid throwing a shadow over the fish. Remember, if you can spot a fish, you only need one good cast to catch it. Far better to make one or two really good casts than to rush in and make many.
Chub are especially spooky, with trout a close second. Remember that these fish tend to face into the flow, so cast upstream to them if you can.

2. Subtly does it…

Fish are often more suspicious of flies in clear water, so it often a question of going a bit smaller. A Beaded PTN or Copper John is excellent for trout on rivers, while a classic Stalking Bug is often the favourite for stillwater rainbow trout. If the fish are spooking, try smaller versions of your favourite flies.

That said, stalking with a fly rod can work excellently for perch and chub, both of which like a good mouthful. For chub, try a large dry fly such as a Hopper, Kicking Beetle, or Black Cricket. If they won’t move from cover, a small streamer can work. The same is also true for the perch: try a Woolly Bugger or Perch Special.

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3. Cut down on false casts: 

Most fly fishermen make too many back casts. Ok, so it’s not a shooting offence, but the more times you put that fly line through the air, the more likely the fish are to take cover. Try making just one back cast if you can. Keep everything smooth and deliberate, and make few but clean casts.

4. The anticipation is killing

Stalking is very often a game of clear anticipation. It is about presenting the fly where the fish can see it, but not spook it. Casting a slow sinking fly so that it just nestles into the path of a sighted fish is a real art form, but only truly comes with practise.

Try not to alarm fish by casting too close to them- fish aren’t stupid and as tempting as they look sitting there, you don’t want to be hitting them on the head. Even pike will spook with the wrong cast.

Clear water is often deceptive, and it can take a few seconds for the fly to sink. Try beaded nymphs if the fly isn’t getting down to the fish quickly enough.

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5. X-Ray Specs

It should be bleeding obvious, but don’t forget a good pair of polarizing glasses. They’re easily lost or abused, so buy a spare pair for the car and keep your best on a lanyard. That is all (says the man on his thirteenth pair).

6. Be ready to strike

Be honest, how many times do all of us spot a fish, but not react quickly enough? Tangled line or a loose fly can take vital seconds to sort out- and this stalking style of fly fishing is all about taking opportunities at a moment’s notice. The remedy is simple: keep the fly located in one of your rod guides, and your fly line tidy and to hand.

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The magic of ultraviolet: Tips for using UV fly tying materials

If ever there was a phenomenon in fly materials to take the modern tying scene by storm, it has to be the world of ultraviolet (or “UV”) reflective materials. Why the fuss? And more importantly, can such materials really make a difference to your catches? We certainly think so. The results are backed by catches on the bank and science, besides hype, with several of our best selling flies incorporating UV materials.
Can you see the difference with your own eyes? In practical terms it would have to be a no, because strictly speaking, ultraviolet light is a form of radiation not visible to humans. Various fish species are indeed sensitive to UV light however, and trout seem particularly responsive to it. Flies incorporating special UV reflective tinsels, fritz or dubbing have an additional appeal to fish when light levels are low and standard colours get lost. This makes them especially valuable early and late in the day.
We’ll spare you the science lecture on this occasion, but suffice to say that UV materials seem capable of enhancing many of the patterns you favour, turning good flies into deadly flies. But it isn’t just a case of using them blindly, or flooding hooks with fancy extras. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective uses, tips and products: Fly Applications There are various ways to incorporate UV reflective materials into your flies without overkill. For the rainbow trout fisherman, perhaps the most obvious is by adding simple cheeks to nymphs and buzzers. You don’t need a vast amount of material and in fact tiny slips are ideal:

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An extra tip here for those who struggle to tie in fiddly little slips of material is to simply stick in place at the end using head cement or epoxy; a dubbing needle is far better than fingers too.
Ribs are another classic- especially with either light coloured materials or those with a naturally reflective sheen to them such as peacock. A UV rib is superb with classics such as Daiwl Bachs. Again, you don’t need loads to make a fly that stands out and another good tip for smaller flies is that you can make a thinner rib by gently stretching most tinsels and flash materials.

 

Which materials would we start with? Packs of UV Multiflash or UV Enhancer are both ideal for a range of uses and great value, since each pack gives you two or more colours to try:


The original purpose of these flashy strands was for lures and predator flies however and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use them for exactly that. They can be used for some deadly reservoir trout flies but another popular use would be in pike fly tying. You don’t need a huge swathe of material, but just a few strands of UV reflective material seem to really appeal to the fish. Dawn and dusk, when UV comes into play even stronger, are also absolutely key times for pike to feed as any keen predator angler will tell you. Here’s a variant on Dom Garnett’s “Black Beast”, which makes good use of our UV fly tying range:

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On the subject of predator flies and lures, a really easy way incorporate some neat special effects into your flies is to use some UV fritz. The “Kennick Killer” has been one of our most popular reservoir flies for several seasons now, with original creator Duncan Keir a huge fan of UV. In fact, we had so much interest in the materials that we ended up producing “UV Killer Fritz” in various colours and guises.

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The sky is the limit as regards your own tweaks. Another area well worth investigating is using little patches of white or light colours beside your UV hints, for example, for maximum reflection. River anglers can also try swapping the gold beads on their river nymphs for silver or even white versions for deadly effect. Whether you experiment with your own ideas, or simply grab a few of our bestselling flies that use the special effect of UV, we’re sure it’ll put another few fish in your net this season!
Remember you can also share your catches with us on Twitter, using the handle @TurrallFlies while we also have plenty of exciting news, tips and more on our new Facebook Page. Meanwhile, you can also catch some mouthwatering images of our favourite fly fishing haunts, catches and favourite flies on our Pinterest galleries.