ESSENTIAL SKILLS: VOLUME 3 FISHING DRY FLY ON A CHALK STREAM & MAYFLY TIME
Author: Oliver Edwards
Publisher: DGP PRODUCTIONS, Mar 2003
Two programs on one DVD. FISHING DRY FLY ON A CHALK STREAM: Olivers mainstay dun imitating dry flies are the Paradun and his Footprint Dun. They are both prototypical patterns, readily matching any of the Olives or Spurwings, right down to size 22. The Paradun is very easy to tie and floats like a cork, and the Footprint Dun is for those occasions when you encounter really picky, difficult fish. MAYFLY TIME: Ephemera danica, the Greendrake, is famed for hatching in vast numbers The Duffers Fortnight. However, on rivers where the hatch just trickles off, the trout can be almost as cautious as when taking small Olives. This is when Essential Skills come into play DVD, 120 min.
Theres a saying - 90% of the fish are caught by 10% of the anglers. Entomology, tying and fishing imitative patterns are not just for advanced anglers. They are the Essential Skills you will need to become one of those anglers who catch 90% of the fish. They are simple practical skills that you can learn easily from watching these videos.
Fishing Dry Fly on a Chalk Stream
My mainstay dun-imitating dry fly patterns are the Paradun and my Footprint Dun. Theyre both prototypical patterns, so you can match any of the Olives or Spurwings, simply by changing material colours and hook sizes. Both these patterns beat the old slip winged flies hands down. For a start, the Paradun is simple to tie, theres no messing about with fragile starling slips. Also, it floats like a cork, lands correctly on every cast, and is very robust.
The Footprint Dun is a little more tricky to tie, the microfibbets are often a bit problematic. But it is a great pattern for wily fish, those that come up to the fly and then turn away at the last second. Such fish are usually fooled by this fly.
I am sure the fish see the little footprints in the film as the initial trigger, then when the single wing comes over their window, they are convinced it is a real dun and take. You should tie a selection of these in one or two sizes and colour-ways, to match the hatch on your stream.
Mayfly Time on a Chalk Stream
Our largest Upwings in the UK are represented by only three species Ephemera danica, Ephemera vulgata and Ephemera lineata. The distribution of Ephemera vulgata can be very localised and Ephemera lineata is quite rare in the UK.
The Greendrake or Ephemera danica is by far our most common species. It is the fly which hatches in hundreds of thousands, millions even, from the Chalk Streams of Southern England every year from late May to early June, in what is known as The Duffers Fortnight.
However, on many rivers, there are times when the hatch just trickles off, then trout can be almost as cautious as when taking small Olives. This is when Essential Skills come into play. Your artificial will have to be a good imitative pattern, and it will have to be presented accurately and delicately if you wish to be consistently successful.
The middle reaches of the Wiltshire Avon, the river fished in this video, is a chalk stream which has a trickle hatch. The Greendrake starts to emerge about the middle of May, but trickles on with peaks and troughs until August, with odd duns still coming off as late as September! In trickle hatch situations, the artificial has to present a much more convincing target. My Mohican Mayfly fits the bill, not only does it look like a floating Greendrake to the fly fisher, it also offers the trout an excellent silhouette as it floats into its window. It is robust, it lands correctly virtually every cast and floats like a cork. It is also great fun to tie.
THE OLIVER EDWARDS APPROACH TO IMITATIVE FLY FISHING
Trout and Grayling 'learn' from an early age what is edible and what is not. They make this identification in a flash by the outline or silhouette of the food items. These silhouettes are a combination of the shape of the abdomen, thorax and head - the body of the insect - and I have christened this the 'Primary Trigger'. It is the foundation of all my artificials.
"Fish have very acute vision, even in fast broken water they can snap up minute organisms."
There are however other bits and pieces attached to aquatic creatures. How important are legs for instance? Do these also play a part in confirming edibility? Fish have very acute vision, even in fast broken water they can snap up minute organisms such as very early instar nymphs that are less than 1mm long.
"I am convinced these add considerable fish deceiving qualities to my artificials."
These are not accidentally sucked in but are picked off one by one. So it is reasonable to assume that fish see legs, tails and wing pads very easily indeed. These details I call the 'Secondary Triggers'. I am convinced these add considerable fish deceiving qualities to my artificials.Copying the primary and secondary triggers are the cornerstones of imitative, or as I prefer to call it, superimpressionistic fly tying.
"It is the only way to match the insects on your local rivers."
This video covers entomology, tying and fishing. You don't have to go the whole nine yards from the beginning and tie the patterns before you start to fish. But don't skip the fly tying. Watch how I design and tie the flies and you will acquire the knowledge to make the correct choices with shop bought flies. However, I would urge you to tie your own, it is the only way to match the insects on your local rivers but more importantly, nothing comes close to the pleasure you get from tying your own flies and catching fish with them - it's your choice!
WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING:
Fly Tyer Winter 2001 - David Klausmeyer
"...These tapes are well produced with clear photography and well planned tying sequences; learning from these videos is a pleasure."
Fly Fishing and Fly Tying
November / December 2000
"It's quite simply the best and most complete fly-fishing / fly tying tapes I have ever seen."
Trout and Salmon
"If mastering the intricacies of the Czech Nymph style or North Country Spiders is your target, then who better to ask than Oliver Edwards?"
"The Daily Star (Scottish edition)
20th January 2001
"Hand on heart - this is the BEST instructional video I have ever seen."