But for me, and don’t judge me - I know there’s a little purist devil on my shoulder, the essence of dry fly fishing is fishing imitations (preferably, but necessarily) upstream to a rising fish you’ve spotted.
I simply love sitting down, watching the fish rise 5-6-7 times until I know where it takes, in heavy hatches how often and of course not least, *what* it takes. For that purpose I always carry a small, one-eye-binocular (is that a monocular?). Usually it’s not hard to get close enough to see what a trout or grayling is taking, but sometimes you need to manoeuvre to a casting position where it would be awkward to prepare the leader and tie on the right fly. And sometimes you think you’ve got fly choice right, and it turns out they’re just smutting #22 midges (the PoD is my favourite midge - a #22 black parachute). With the the monocular you can often tell.
Mayflies are of course an intergral part of this, and I happen to love the entomology too. You don’t have to. It’s fine just to “know” the yellow upping, which are usually approximately a #12 or #14 hook in size. 95% of my mayfly duns are tied as parachutes, just altering wing, tail, hackle and body colour. I tie parachtes from size 10 to size 20. It’s a really important style of fly tying to know, because they can imitate almost any mayfly, they are fast to tie, they float well and the present a near-perfect silhouette and surface imprint to the fish below.
So here’s a little shameless self promotion, where I tie a yellow parachute at the Ahrex Hooks YouTube-channel.
If only we had fish to fish for here in Denmark. There are so few trout and grayling left that only a hatch of the big Danicas bring the few that are left to the surface. We used to have fish on the surface from March until October. Not so anymore… Everything points to the cormorant as the big problem, but that’s another discussion.
Have a great weekend!