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Ronan's report


Tuesday August 14th, 2007

I’m on a grayling trip, fishing the Muonio and Kinnerpuska, where I enjoyed superb dry-fly fishing last season. This year the fishing has been slower than I would like, the grayling seem reluctant to come to dry flies and are mostly spread in smaller groups so nymph fishing is proving unpredictable. Now and then one of us finds a pod of willing fish and rattles out a few, usually smaller fish.

Then, today, one of the group worked out what his guide was suggesting and had a minor bonanza – several dozen fish in the space of an hour or so.

The lesson was simple – unless a fly drags fish will take it – made hard to understand because the fishing technique used to allow that dry to remain drag-free seemed counterintuitive.

To a UK dry-fly fisher the ‘classic’ approach is upstream. Fish can only see a little leader and the fly, when the fish rises the angler lifts and sets the fly, pulling the hook back into the fish’s mouth. Part of the idea was the fly is cast, at most, a yard or so above the target and drifts down – no drag and relatively short drifts.In fact upstream-dry became more than a fishing technique – on some waters casting downstream or allowing the fly to drift down is/was considered unsporting.

More modern fishing attitudes have expanded our horizons, we cast and allow a fly to drift and far and as long as possible. My fellow graying fisher was introduced to the most exaggerated example of long range drift I’ve seen on any river. The idea is simple, grayling group in slacker deeper water, cast to the seam between the fast and slower current and hold it drifting there as long as possible. Allow it to drift by feeding line downstream – huge amounts of line as much as the current requires. To achieve a 20ft drift may mean casting 30ft directly downstream and feeding 40yds of line beyond the tip of the rod. The line lies in a long deep U from the angler’s toes down and upstream to the fly.

The counterintuitive part of this comes from the idea that it’s impossible to strike with that much line between angler and fly. Try that configuration, simply watch what happens to a drifting fly when you stop feeding line and lift the rod - the fly instantly drags downstream – or into a fishy mouth, the hook-up is instant. That long downstream loop acts like a pully and the weight of dragging line plays the fish while you retrieve. For those who worry about such things, we used barbless hooks and the pressure of the line ensures the hook stayed put. More fish tomorrow!

Magnus

PS - Yes of course there’s a Sexyloops® Hoodie fishing here! Lee (Totsie) can explain for himself.

PPS – Good year for mozzies!


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