Last week I was fly fishing for mainly Zander, but also for pike and perch all week long. Fishing in the days and fly designing in the nights. I can't tell you about which I was more fanatic. Ok, if I'd have to make a choice it would be fishing of course! ;)
For Zander in this time of year, which almost means winter, the Zander are staying deep close to the bottom. So my flies need to dig down fast. Mostly I fish in 4 to 5m water depth. Using a heavy sinking line combined with a slow sinking fly works in summertime and in early autumn, but right now it's only the slow sinking fly line combined with heavy fast sinking flies offering me the best possible contact to my fly. Most Zander inhale the fly within one third of a second only to spit it out again much faster. Without the perfect contact I am out of the game, totally in such water temperature as we have it now. The fast sinking fly pulling the slow sinking fly line makes for the best contact here! Also this combination makes for the best (highest) lift (of the bottom) per strip of my fly.
Since perch are mostly smaller and thus have less strong inhaling takes to offer, they are even harder to be caught on fly. Some weeks ago I was able to sight fish for proper sized perch for some days every morning. Clearly I could see (but NOT FEEL) around 30 perch each inhaling my fly every morning but only having 6 or 7 out of them hooking themthelves by turning off fast. It then was the running fish I felt, after having missed to feel the strike itself. The fly line absorbed all such short pulls, even on a very short distance.
No doubt we fly fishermen miss a lot of takes when fishing for Zander and even more when fishing for perch. In catching Zander I have now managed to come even in the number of catches compared to my buddy Hansi fishing for them with dropshot and thus having a perfect contact to his lure always. Fair to say this was a hard work to get to this point.
Fishing for perch both my friends Hansi and Leon still outfish me every day with their spinning tackle. But hey I am about to find the key for successfully catching perch, too!!! ;)
It's all about to happen soon.
Hopefully all those of you who aren't allowed to fish in these days based on the (crazy) current corona restrictions will soon be back to something I would call to be a normal life!
Healthy and proper week to all of you!
All my best
Some pictures as always...