Preparations for Sweden

Preparations for Sweden

Viking Lars | Saturday, 22 October 2022

I still have a few fly patterns I want to get ready for my Sweden-trip next weekend. I haven’t fished fresh-still-water for some years, so the fly box isn’t exactly well stocked. I don’t need many patterns, it’s late October in Sweden. Subzero temperatures are to be expected, at least during the night, so dry fly activity will be more than scarce. I’ll come armed with a small selection of Griffith’s Gnat and I’m certain that’ll see me through the occasional rising fish.

Other than that, boobies, booby-damsels, damsels, small palmers, a few Woolly Buggers and a selection of small soft hackles is fine. Oh, and I think that there are plenty of small Red Tag Palmers in the box as well, they are always handy.

Just this morning, in fact as I was sitting down to write my FP (originally a different subject, now for another Saturday), I remembered that I need to tie a little handful of dropper-leaders.

I sometimes fish two flies in the salt, not all the time, but every now and then. Up until a few years ago, when we lost access to that small still water I’ve been fishing for 10 years, I regularly fished a dropper, when there was no surface activity.

For those who might not know, a dropper is a second fly on the leader, maybe even a third. On the point of the leader is the point fly (clever terminology) and up the leaders is/are the dropper/droppers. I *very* rarely fish three, only when I can get away with quite short casts. When spey casting is needed, I never fish droppers - they seem to tangle way to much for me on speys. There are a myriad of ways of tying leaders for droppers.

A very simple one if knotting on a tippet ring to the leaders, and use this for both the tippet and a a short piece of mono for the dropper. This will cause the dropper to cast and fish parallel with the  A sliding knot is also a possibility - one that allows your dropper to slide down to the point fly. This has a major advantage - a much smaller risk for the point fly (even a lower dropper) snagging weed as you play and land the fish. But they’re a pain to re-position and they can weaken the leader significantly if tied too tightly. Some use a sliding know, immediately over a leader-knot, which prevents it from sliding down. This works well. The sliding knots have the dropper sticking out at a right angle, which gives a very fine presentation and lowers the risk of tangles.

One final method (well, there are probably many more) is to knot main leader and tippet together with a water knot and leave the backwards (towards you) pointing tag end long and use this to tie on the dropper fly. This also causes the fly to point away from the leader, reducing tangles and gives a good presentation. I learned this method from Paul, in his book, “A Beginner’s Guide To Stillwater Trout”, which includes some advanced thinking.

I have no golden combinations of flies - I just always think about giving the fish two, significantly different choices.

Which ever method you choose - always remember that the dropper must be weaker than the main leader.

Have a great weekend!