Nymphs are aquatic insects that are still in their underwater stage, not having reached their adult, or flying, stage of life yet. Trout have a diet that consists primarily of sub-surface insects (nymphs).
A key to using nymphing as a successful fishing fly is being able to know how to get your nymph pattern to the right depth. Therefore it is important to make accurate casts with these trout flies, so as to allow the nymph to sink to the right depth where you believe the fish may be!
Buzzers / Chironomidae are midge pupa; they start life as a bloodworm living in the soft mud found in most still waters. Blood red worms get their colour from the oxygen and haemoglobin held within their bodies. When they are getting near to hatching, they lose their blood red colour and take on a more sombre appearance. At this stage they then make their way from the lake bottom up through the water columns to the surface. They swim towards the surface in a wriggling action, stopping either to catch their breath or waiting for the right conditions to hatch. When they stop wriggling towards the surface they slowly sink back down before swimming upwards again. Eventually when they reach the surface, they hang from the surface film and hatch out in to adult buzzers or midge. These trout flies make great imitations of natural buzzers.
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Freshwater Shrimps are readily available trout food throughout the season. Most of the lakes and still waters have an abundant freshwater shrimp population living in the shallow areas of a lake in amongst the bottom vegetation. Vegetation and weedy areas act as both protection from predatory fish, and a food source for shrimp.
Czech / Polish nymphs fly patterns are tied to imitate caddis larvae and Gammarus. Hence, they are in a wide range of colours; including green, brown and grey. The Czech fishing method requires fishing flies that will sink quickly which is why these patterns are heavy and slim.
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The damsel fly nymph ranks is a most importance food source for our trout. The Damsel nymph is normally stationary clinging to bottom vegetation. When it does move, it crawls or swims much like a fish by sweeping the tail back and forth in a tantalizing manner. However , often this nymph will remain temptingly motionless in the water column or on the bottom for a period of time.
Stoneflies are terrestrial as adults, but in the nymph stages they are strictly aquatic, and are usually found in flowing waters of relatively high oxygen concentrations due to their gills.
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The Diawl Bach is a very effective 'modern' classic fly fishing pattern that has very quickly become a standard in stillwater flyboxes. This simple dressing is a killer that can be fished on any line, from floating to fast sinker and at most depths. It can be fished up and "on the hang" on a fast sinker or fished slowly on a floating line. This Diawl Bach pattern has spawned a range of variants to fit different fishing waters and conditions with great success.
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Emergers / Suspenders are designed to resemble the not quite mature hatching aquatic insect as it leaves the water to become an adult insect. They imitates an emergent pupa, a time in the life cycle of natural flies that the trout are always interested in.
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Buzzers / Chironomidae are midge pupa; they start life as a bloodworm living in the soft mud found in most still waters. Blood red worms get their colour from the oxygen and haemoglobin held within their bodies. When they are getting near to hatching they loose their blood red colour and take on a more sombre appearance. At this stage they then make their way from the lake bottom up through the water columns to the surface. They swim towards the surface in a wriggling action, stopping either to catch their breath or waiting for the right conditions to hatch. When they stop wriggling towards the surface they slowly sink back down before swimming upwards again. Eventually when they reach the surface, they hang from the surface film and hatch out in to adult buzzers or midge making a staple trout fly pattern.
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Goldhead and Beadhead fishing flies alert trout to their presence through their sparkle and colourful heads. Very importantly, the weighted head creates a fall, rise and fall action. This movement creates an almost sensual motion especially if the fishing fly has a long flowing tail which trout often find irresistible.
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The Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear and the Pheasant Tail are the two arguably 'most effective' fly fishing patterns of all time.
If ever limited to two fishing flies for the rest of their lives many anglers would choose the GRHE and PT patterns.
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The nymph takes up the majority of a trout's diet. Mayfly nymphs live underwater for six to twelve months; sometimes longer.
The chironomid life cycle includes egg, 'larva', 'pupa' and adult stages of the fly.
A caddis fly pupa usually looks like a plump, soft little worm resembling a common grub.
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When stalking a trout you need to get down to the selected individual fish fast! Simplicity is the key when stalking, use a weighted Black or Red or Olive nymph that gets down pretty fast and can be fished as deep as you need; add a smooth profile plus an exciting tail for extra trigger points. Fish take advantage of natural cover, bank, reeds and overhanging bush/trees are prime spots. Be discrete in your approach, if you can see the trout they can see you.
To be successful, when you spot a fish, stop; relax and watch him for a while. Don’t hurry! From watching you may decide to catapult your stalking bug in front of the troat and induce the take by twitching the fishing fly.
A weighted nymph gets down pretty fast and can be fished as deep as you need.
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The new UV Straggle has taken the competition scene by storm. A bonus for all stillwater fly fishers; the exciting flash through the colour brings the fly pattern to life, giving that little bit of extra excitement. The high visibility will tempt the fish to investigate further, watch out for the takes though they can be savage!
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