Paul Arden | Monday, 4 January 2016

I was asked a question last week about buzzer fishing... "I been searching online for quite a while looking for tips to improve my nymphing techniques. I have struggled to find the information / tips to suit my waters until I read some of your articles online. I'm wondering if you might help me out..? I have only recently discovered that long tapered leaders are vital. My nymphing before consisted of a 4lb Fluorocarbon Cast with 3 nymphs hanging from same. The lake I fish is Lough Leane in Killarney. This is mostly a top of the water fishery and the average trout are only a half pound in weight. I fish a lot of club competitions on this lake and I have discovered that the top anglers are getting the trout high in the water just under the surface. I have googled all types of information on keeping the flies high in the water, down to greasing up leader and tippet. Fishing washing line method with fluorocarbon and not mono. Fishing mono only as leader and tippet and so on. My problem is that I'm just not sure what technique to use to improve in my catch rate. I use a 5 weight rod. Not sure if I should drop to a 4 weight.? I normally use either a float or sink tip line. Would you be good enough to point me in the right direction here. I suppose what I'm hoping to achieve is to be able to have a method of fishing my small size 14&16 lightly dressed nymphs just under the surface or deeper if required as naturally as possible. I would be grateful if you could offer me some advice on this."

I'm sure that there are lots of views on how best to achieve this and it will certainly be a good question for the Board. To answer your specific questions first, Tony, I do notice a big difference in sensitivity between 4 and 6wt lines, maybe not so much between a 4 and 5wt but it will certainly be there. My set-up would be for a 9ft tapered leader to around 10lbs (I like the RIO Trout, Varivas, but not the SA in this regards). Then a small tippet ring. 2-4ft to the top dropper, 3-4ft to the middle and maybe 6 feet to the point. The most important thing I find is that the point to the middle is at least 1.5 times the distance than the middle to the bob. If they are the same length I get problems with tangles and turnover.

I would not be using Flouro for two reasons, the first is that it sinks quicker (OK this is a tactic in its own right) and the second is that I never use it anyway! I'm happy to use a decent copolymer in 6lbs for tippet and have never found the need to drop to 4lb on Stillwaters unless fishing smaller flies than #16.

To keep the flies close to the surface they should be dressed with fur, fibres and maybe a sparse wet hackle. A suspender on the point can of course help keep flies close to the surface but palmers do the job fine. I never grease my leader, I believe a floating leader gets many refusals and as soon as you put any floatant on the leader it's going to get everywhere.

Many buzzer fishermen I know like to use an indicator, but you have to do some fancy sliding connections with long leaders and I personally prefer to fish with the greater sensitivity that the lighter line gives. If an indicator is required I'd make the top dropper a small Grafham Hopper or similar.

For my buzzer fishing, I like to think in terms of the adult fly (very difficult when they are taking egg laying adults by the way), Emergers (Shipmans and Suspenders), just subsurface (wets - Spiders/Palmers), a bit more subsurface (feather and fur patters, for example Cove PT), deeper still (glue/epoxy buzzers) maybe with a leaded point fly - all on floating lines. I do fish them on Intermediate lines too, but when you fish slowly you end up under the boat.

That's about all I can think of at the moment, but there are a couple of articles on Sexyloops you may not have found... 

and of course the Stillwater section which was written rather a long time ago now! I will also start a topic on the Board.


PS My fly box usually has MANY more wets!! Cool