Useful Accessories for Fly Fishing

Before we get on to the tangled question of fly choice, there are one or two other things on the market that you'll find helpful.

A product such as Permaflote is useful if you want to make a dry fly or leader float. There are also products that will help to make your leader sink well. Alternatively soak a piece of sponge in washing-up liquid — you'll find this does the job nearly as well when the leader is pulled back through it.

Strike indicators are pieces of plastic that stick on the leader, show up brightly and act in the same way as a fisherman's float. Choose ones that are light, highly visible and stick to the leader during casting. You will find these very useful if you are fishing for grayling in the winter, for example, or using nymphs for trout down deep, (Do watch out though and check local rules — they are frowned upon on some waters.)

You'll certainly need a fly box

Once again, there are plenty on the market, with many at budget prices. There's no great advantage going for something really fancy early on.

You will also need clippers to finish off your knots, and a hook sharpener is a very good idea, especially when the trout are rising in a finicky mood.

On many waters, you will be able to take home the trout that you catch, so you will need a priest to tap a fish on the head. Do not, under any circumstances, try to kill a fish without a priest. Rummaging around on the bank for a stick or a stone while a fish is flipping its life away miserably is not a humane way to act.

Lures, Nymphs And Dry Flies

Finally, of course, you'll need some flies. Go into any serious tackle dealer and you will be overwhelmed by the choice. Again, don't panic. There are simple rules to follow.

Let's start with hires first -largish flies, tied to imitate small fish, or anything to attract a trout's curiosity. You should carry a stock of lures in the principle colors of black, white, yellow and orange. Stock up on some leaded and some unleaded, with a selection of different sizes. There are days when a lure will work exceptionally well for no apparent reason, so it pays to experiment with what you've got until you find the right fly.

All anglers should then aim to build up a selection of at least the popular, well-tried, nymphs. Once more, these should vary in size and color, with some leaded and some unleaded. Remember that there are some trout experts who fish nearly all their lives with hardly anything but nymphs. Start off with tried and tested favourites such as the Pheasant Tail and perhaps some of the Czech-type nymphs that imitate caddis grubs and shrimps.

A dry fly is one that floats on the surface — the most obvious example being the huge and beautiful mayfly Anyone fishing streams, and even-stillwaters, in the early summer should have a few mayflies in the box. Beyond that, ask the advice of the tackle dealer about favourites on your local waters, and build up a small selection that should be able to match the hatch reasonably closely at any given moment.

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