Dry or wet?

Dry or wet?

Viking Lars | Saturday, 4 June 2022

There are so many aspects of fly fishing as a whole that’s attractive to most, who fly fish. Of course, I know eager fly fishers, who never tied a fly in their life. I know fly tiers, who never wetted a line. Personally I enjoy everything about it. Casting, fishing, tying, perfecting and there’s hardly a corner I haven’t sat in, at least for a while.

The same goes for fly fishing - as in catching fish or at least trying. Fishing for pike, trout, grayling, salmon, perch - I can’t think of a fish that doesn’t have some attraction to me. The same goes for fishing methods. There are obviously some I prefer, but given the situation I’ll try anything once.

I was thinking last night of fishing for trout and grayling. I thoroughly enjoy that as a whole and the different methods all have their attractive characteristics. Dry fly fishing is fascinating, because of the visible element, the the choice of selecting exactly which fish to target in a rise, the search for a good fish rising, choosing the right imitation and the general delicacy of the fishing.

Upstream North Country-style holds much of the same and can be equally effective on rising fish as well as fished blind over likely lies. Done right, most of the takes are also visual. Anyone who’s read my front pages know that I love the flies and their history too.

Nymph fishing is probably the most difficult method, which in itself is attractive - I like being challenged and getting good at something difficult is rewarding. Although I prefer fishing without it, I appreciate fishing with an indicator. I was given a lesson (a near-humiliating-one) by Hans van Klinken many years ago. We were fishing one of my home waters and I passed a section, where I’d never caught a fish. Hans paused, tied on one of his heavy Lead Head Caddis, folded a sticky-back-foam-indicator on the leader, really far up the leader. “It looks deep…”, he said. And then proceeded to catch three or four beautiful, big grayling. Then I decided to learn nymphing with an indicator.

Swinging wets (in general just flies swung and fished deep enough that you’ll never see the fish) is fascinating. The challenge often is to find the right lies to fish and then presenting the fly in the right depth, at the right angle and at the right speed. Expecting and something getting the pull from a fish, hoping to set the hook (or maybe letting the fish turn and set the hook itself) and feel a weighty fish is, whether it a trout, a grayling, a sea trout and regardless of fishing running or still water.

Just for the fun of it, I’ll sometimes bring one of my split cane rods and a silk line. It’s June, so every option is open for nearly every species of fish - one can go nuts trying to decide.

Have a great weekend!


PoD: Somewhat arbitrarily a new silk line I just bought.