Blog, news and reviews from Snowdonia Fly Fishing Guides
Fly tackle - the basics
When starting out the array of tackle available can be daunting, and the terminology used confusing. Below is a simple beginners guide to fly tackle.
Wind knots are not caused by the wind but by tailing loops.
A tailing loop is caused when the rod tip follows a concave path during the acceleration stoke (see definitions above) on either the forward or back casts. This creates a wave in the fly line that eventually causes the upper, or fly, leg of your loop to cross, twice, the lower, or rod, leg (see sketch). The reasons that lead to this happening are many and varied and I list below just a few:
1) Casting arc to narrow for bend in rod - cure, reduce force applied to cast or increase width of casting arc
2) Creep - cure, introduce drift (definition above) into your back cast
3) Incorrect application of force - cure, use only the force required for cast and ensure it's controlled
4) Finishing haul too soon - cure, continue hauling into the stop on your casting stroke
5) Slack line in the back cast - cure, remove slack
6) Finishing the acceleration stroke too soon - cure, extend casting stoke by using drift or increase stroke length
If you need help with your casting or a fault finding analysis of your casts please contact me.
There are some fundamentals essential to achieving a good cast. I have listed these below, however getting them right takes plenty of practice and I would strongly recommend having a lesson or two. This will prevent you adopting bad habits, or identify faults you may already have.
The weather today started warm, sunny and calm and visibility through the water was perfect with polarised glasses on. I started off on the afon (river) Tryweryn watching a small shoal of grayling ignore every fly I put across, over, under and in front of them. Dries, wets and nymphs in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours were either ignored or followed and rejected. Finally the wind picked up and the ensuing ripple prevented me from seeing my prey. In the ripple a solitary sedge was taken from the surface, a chance! After tying on a G&H sedge a cracking grayling took it on my second cast, success I'd got my first fish of the day.
In the afternoon I decided to try the Dee. There were occasional rise forms indicating that fish were feeding in spite of the low water (we really do need some rain). I decided on a two fly cast with a tungsten nymph on the point and a waterhen bloa on a short dropper. Within a few minutes a sea trout took off from the water vertically having taken the dropper and was not happy about it! I on the other hand I went home happy after a challenging but enjoyable day.
A well know fly fishing guide and instructor John can often be found fishing or guiding on the Welsh Dee or passing his knowledge to others at game fairs and country shows.
Guided fly fishing trips on rivers, streams and upland lakes in Snowdonia. and surrounding areas of North Wales.
Fishing for summer & winter grayling and wild brown trout.in the spectacular, tranquil countryside that is Snowdonia National Park.
Fly fishing and casting lessons for beginners. Casting fault analysis, single handed spey, slack line and presentation casting tuition for more experienced fly fishers.
Develop your watercraft skills on freestone rivers and upland lakes.