PT7. The Hackled Pheasant Tail Nymph Fly
PHEASANT TAIL FLY PATTERNS. Hook size 12 14 16 18 - $US each
PHEASANT TAIL NYMPH FLIES ON A SINKING LINE
On open water. I take delight in fishing floating line but sometimes the fish feeding a bit deeper and are refusing to come up the surface. Simply switching to a sinking line floating line rarely works unless you know what your doing. The two fishing techniques are totally different. Your success will grow once you understand the way fishing fly patterns behave behind a sinking line. For the novice, the lack of useful information you receive using a sinking line compared with the floating line can be quite irritating. What I'm talking about is that when retrieving flies just under the surface, you can obtain masses of visual information in the form of follows that may not result in touches, or takes. They help you planning the next cast and tactics. Very little of this type of visual data is available when fishing on a sunken line.
You may feel a bump on the retrieve to indicate that the fish was taking an interest in one of your flies, but it doesn't tell you which one. You don't know which fly pattern was the correct size and shape to tempt the trout or at what depth unless you actually get a fish on the end of one of your hooks. You need to arm yourself with some information to get the best out of the days fishing. Find out the depth of the water, either by looking on fishery maps, asking at the boat Lodge or by using a plumbline, thrown over the side of your boat that has depth markers on it. This will help you work out how much line and leader will need.
The next step is to find out what the trout are feeding on at depth. The easiest way is there to spoon a fish to see what it's been eating but this is not always possible. Ask the locals is the next tactic. Their knowledge should tell you what normally inhabits the lower depths of the Lake or reservoir. Another good method is to read up on local fishing reports, guidebooks, or check out the fisheries visitor book. Start with fly patterns that imitate the local aquatic bugs. An ace of spades matuka can be used to represent a leach. Pheasant tail nymphs and gold ribbed hares ear nymphs are useful for imitating cased caddis and larger buzzer pupae.
I try to cast a slower sinking line as far as I can. Then I let it sweep down until it finds the correct level at which the fish feeding. The faster the lines sinking rate, the shorter distance you should cast. In the evenings when you can expect a Hatch to occur and the nymphs are rising in the water column, cast a short length of fast sinking line and pay particular attention to the sweep up part of the retrieve. Cast the line out, make a figure of eight retrieve until everything goes tight without over drifting the line, then make a few long but reasonably slow retrieves. Then sweep up the Rod tip to bring the top dropper fly onto the surface film. Now hold in this position for as long as is convenient. This should result in a very exaggerated curve through the depths of the water. Normally the last part of the action, the sweep up and hold, should provide most of your takes.
Author - Craig Moore
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