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“This changes everything…”

wild brown troutFly fishing, at its best, is delightfully simple. Minimalistic, elegant, subtle, but mostly, just simple. At its core is the idea of presentation. A fly fisher’s success is a direct consequence of how the fly is delivered, and its behaviour on and in the water. Although, maybe, fly fishing at its best is just about that simplicity. Good presentation is not a variable, it is an absolute, while trout and grayling behaviour is universal; only the waters and the circumstances are different, and even then there are constants.

The advances in the sport of fly fishing have been almost entirely river-based. I am not talking about the proliferation of any of the methods that are used to catch stocked fish in great numbers. I am not talking about stocked fish at all.  And on the river I am not talking about the squirmy-type flies, or indicator nymph fishing, or anything really that has become part of the instant gratification fad in the sport. If these things are for you, well, good luck, and enjoy.

Modern trout and grayling flies have developed considerably to be so much more than subjective, irrational collections of materials with variable ability to induce fish to take.  san zwierzin graylngToday’s flies, while simple and pragmatic, have built-in characteristics that affect both their presentation and general impression of size and shape, GISS, in an imitative sense. So too has the line, leader and tippet evolved considerably. These now allow outstanding presentation in all ranges of circumstances and conditions facing the contemporary fly fisher. This is what we have always sought. I call it the ultimate refinement. It often involves little or no fly line whatsoever, with the leader-to-hand or leader-only concept, or the fixed line, as in tenkara. Shortcomings in conventional fly lines and particularly the out-dated AFTMA weighting system, and the tired technology of thick PVC lines, have become obvious, though we now have a new generation of fly lines which as never before meet the requirements of the presentation-orientated angler.

Here, you can follow the posts and link to publications and sites, and explore the theme of presentation in fly fishing. You can also find details about courses and trips I organise, principally on the Eden system in Cumbria, the legendary San, in south-east Poland, and the chalk streams of northern France. If you are interested in ‘destination’ fly fishing, please follow the links to find out more, such as Go Active Travel which specialises in trips for wild trout, in fabulous locations. Alternatively, please contact me for more information about any of the locations.