Dry flies and a trip down memory lane

2008-01-05 00:00

Nowadays, the South African beginner flyfisher generally starts off with a few wets (Mrs Simpson, Muddler Minnow), some nymphs (GRHE’s, Flashbacks) a few dries (DDD and Joe’s Hopper) and, for good measure, some Woolly Buggers, Zonkers and other such lures. Of all those flies, it’s the biggest and the wettest that are the first to be used intensively. The dry flies rarely get an airing and are looked upon as something for the pros. Their use is put off to later days when the angler feels he might have gained enough experience to start using them with confidence. It’s as if dry fly-fishing is looked upon as a barely attainable goal, a final promotion in a flyfisher’s life. Worse yet, many anglers live out their whole flyfishing lives with only a sinking line and never a dry fly at the end of their leader. But in my early days, things were exactly the opposite.

Indeed,the true gentleman flyfisher in those days was not only a dry fly purist. On top of that he would rarely “fish the water”; that is, prospect the likely areas of a stream with his dry flies. He would wait for rises and never make a blind cast.

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