Monday, 31 March 2008

Bass fly fishing Ireland - Part 1- General Fly Choice

Choosing Flies

What fly should I choose for saltwater fly-fishing in Ireland? Its not and easy question to answer in one sentence, and I guess its probably not possible. Saltwater fly selection can be as simple or as complex as you make it. You have so many choices and so much information that it can often become terribly confusing. You can buy flies at tackle shops, on the Internet, or indeed learn to tie your own often to no particular avail.

I am asked all the time what the best fly to fish with, when making fly selction choices bear in mind the species you are pursuing. Saltwater fly patterns are relatively few in number in comparison to the huge number of flies used in freshwater so that makes things a little simpler. Saltwater flies are somewhat restricted in their scope - mainly baitfish and crustacean patterns, yes there are smaller bugs like slaters and hoppers and things so ‘matching the hatch’ is an option for the creative tier. The obvious answer is ‘.... Something that looks like a small fish!’, but we all know its not that simple and there are many factors other than a small ‘fishy’ looking fly that also need to be examined before making the decision to tie on a fly. Size, type, colour, and target species - when and what do I choose?

I have caught several species on one pattern, I have caught bass on bonefish patterns, I have caught mullet on seatrout patterns, and I have caught flounders on rainbow patterns! What does this tell us about saltwater flies, or indeed about saltwater fish? Given the predatory instinct of the fish and the tactics of the careful and strategic angler the WHAT type of fly becomes less important (but not entirely so) and rather the HOW the WHEN and the WHERE becomes much more relevant and important.

So the following are flies I would recommend for the beginner in Irish saltwater fly-fishing

Deceivers – White and white and chartreuse, olive and brown and tan – size 2 – 2/0

Clousers – White and white and blue, pink and white and olive size 2 – 2/0

Others – Charlies in tan and brown, Fredes, Minkies, Gotchas in black and white and pink and white, oh and some surface Poppers/Gliders/ Gurglers.

Next Month ()- the instinct of the decision

New Website

The beginning AND the end…

Forwarded to - The Irish Bass Policy Group (David McInerny, John Quinlan, Shane O Reilly, Mike Hennessy, Dr William Roche, Dr Nial O'Ma...