Sunday, April 22, 2018

Fly Fishing Italy: The River Noce

Some months ago I posted about a trip to Italy and fishing the Sarca River, which is one of the rivers chosen to host the 38th World Fly Fishing Championships. The other river that has the honor of hosting a session in the World finals is called the Noce River and this was the location for my most recent trip to the region of Terntino Italy.
During this trip myself and two of my fishing buddies David O Donovan and fellow Irish Team member Tom Beecher took part in the Val De Soil Fly Cup competition on the Noce river. This competition was held over three sessions of one hour and fifty minuets long. While you steward a session the beat above it will be your beat in the second half of the session and the angler fishing first then controls you for the same length of time. This format is a very educational one as you get to watch some of the top Italian competitors in action on there own rivers.
We flew into Milan on the Friday morning and had a two and a half hour drive up into the mountains to our location, with the competition starting on the Saturday morning we were keen to get a couple of hours on the river before dark. Our good friend Alessandro had been fishing that morning and the report from the river was that it was fishing very hard and after a few hours spent searching the river this was indeed going to be a tricky river to crack. We began the Saturday morning unknown as to what lied in store for the competition and unsure what sort of catches were expected from the beats. I was glad to be controlling first, for one to see how the locals approach the river and secondly the sun would be on the river when my session was on, which made a huge difference to catching fish. The Italian competitor had 3 fish for his session on slim but heavy nymphs varying in colours and beads, his beat was a fast flowing section and he approach was to search all the margins of the river for fish lying in out of the current.  Following his hour and fifty minuets it was my turn and on the few hours practice the day before we had some fish on scruffy plain Hares Ear nymphs and some with orange thorax's so I began with the same nymphs and through out the session I managed to pick off six trout and take second place in the session, a good start. Results over all were mixed with Tom doing well also and Dave who fished first thing and in a incredibly fast beat found it hard to locate some scoring fish. During the second session Dave had 11 fish and I had the very same, with Tom picking up another good score from his beat; at the end of the first day we were doing ok I was lying in first place, Tom in fourth and Dave and Alessandro in mid table, it was all to play for. 

The river flows down a steep gradient of rock at the foot of the mountains that tower over it and with the snow tops thawing into the river it made the water temperature quite cold. So fishing the first half of the morning session before the sun warms up the air makes it for tough fishing indeed. I began the last session picking up a fish in the first five minuets, but that was to be my score and with only hitting one other fish I fell back down the leader board and finished the competition in tenth place over all. However Tom managed to climb up into third and bronze position for the competition, a great result away from home.
Alessandro finished in 9th place and Dave in 18th over all. It certainly wont be a river that we will fear later this year when team Ireland heads over for the World Finals, its brown trout and pocket fishing waters is similar to our own fishing here and the result was a great confidence boost for Tom who will be competing at the event in September. 
To finish off our four day trip we drove over the mountains to get the evening session and next day on the other competition water, the Sacra River. This river as always served up an abundance of fish for the day and is a contrasting venue to the Noce River, with its gliding pools and clear shallow water. The venues for the World competition in September surely will test all the skills of the anglers and I cant wait to see the array of tactics used to get the fish on the score cards. 
We will make one more practice run to Italy for a competition on the Sacra River in mid May. Hopefully it will be another successful adventure to the Italian mountains with great fishing, great fiends and good results.  
The competitions over here are very well organised and we would like to thank all the organizers and sponsors of the events. They are very sociable tournaments and great opportunities to lean more and more about this ever developing sport we love. i would recommend this location not only for a fishing trip but if you want to develop your skills and learn then theses competitions are a must. I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and if you have any questions or queries please feel free to contact me. Also make sure and check out my website www.piscari-fly.com for all your tungsten beads, Dohiku barbless hooks, the amazing Syndicate Fly Rods, Reels, leaders and much more. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Fishing the Dry Dropper: A dry that catches the fish

This method of fishing rivers has been around for a bit and takes on several names including Klink and Dink, some calling it New Zealand style fishing also; however, I like to call it Dry Dropper. This name describes best how I find it should be set up, well for me anyway. I am no expert on this form of fly fishing, but I have spent a lot of time over the last few years trying to better my self at it. This is due to its importance in catching fish, especially in the water that is difficult to nymph euro style. Here is a couple tips I have picked up along the way and for this post we will really look at the importance of the dry fly more so than the nymphs. 
It is my understanding that the dry has 3 fundamental functions in this set up. One, it must float well, second you must be able to see it and thirdly it must be able to support the weight of the nymph or nymphs below.  But there is another one I would like to add to that and this is; it must be able to catch fish. For some anglers a lot of the emphasis when it comes to the dry fly or indicator fly is the first three components and they sacrifice the important aspect of the dry not catching fish. 

I often get asked what dry I use for my set up when fishing this way, and often this comes from anglers that are struggling to see their dry, its not sitting right for them or they are not catching fish with the ones they are using. This is the dry I find that ticks all the above boxes.
 Hook: Dohiku 611 from size 12 to 14 
Thread: Fine strong Silk 
Post: Pink or Orange Para wing 
Rib: Fine Pearl Tinsel 
Body dubbing: Natural Hares Ear 
Hackle: Grizzle Cock Hackles 
Thorax: Mixed natural hares ear, gold lite bright, purple dubbing and red light brite all blended in a coffee blender. 

I always tie the dry fly on a short dropper as I find that I catch more fish when the fly is on a dropper rather than attaching tippet to the bend of the hook to connect the dry fly to the nymph. 
The distance between the dry and nymph is crucial for this method to be effective also. I have a general rule to begin with, that the distance is the depth of the water to your best guess and half that again to the nymph. I tend to use a short aggressive dry leader and I like to fish the set up as close to me as possible to save lining fish by casting any distance away from my position.  
I normally treat the post of this dry with water shed to help it float for longer periods of time, this also make it easier to dry off with less false casts. This dry will count for 15% of fish caught on the dry dropper the majority of days fishing it. It is highly visible, floats extremely well and sure as hell catches fish. Have a selection of sizes and colours in your box to suit the conditions and requirements on the day. on different days you may need larger ones to support two or heavier nymphs and on other days the one different coloured post could be more visible than the other. 
Also it is important to remember that the dry dose not have to disappear or sink to indicate a take, a slight movement which is unnatural to the current of the water can be an indication that a fish has picked up your nymph. the high visibility and fishing the set up in close proximity will aid you in spotting these tell tale signs of a fish. 
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and it has sparked some thoughts in developing your fishing and fly tying going forward in the new season. If you have any questions or queries please feel free to contact me. Also make sure and check out my website www.piscari-fly.com for all your tungsten beads, Dohiku barbless hooks, the amazing Syndicate Fly Rods, Reels, leaders and much more. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Want to Catch A Fussy Trout: Try Beadless Nymphs

For the last season or two I have been tinkering more and more with beadless Nymphs and getting good results.
We all know that the bead has several purposes on a nymph; one, to add crucial weight to get the fly down to the feed zones; secondly, the colour can be the factor that attracts the fish to take the fly.
But as we all know the colours vary and one day when sliver works the next day it will be gold or some other choice from the array of colours now available on the market. So is there a time and occasion for weighted nymphs with out beads, the answer is yes.
When I like most other anglers began fishing many years ago the nymphs we were using was a pheasant tail maybe with a lead shot up the cast to drag the nymph down to the trout or a sinking line would do the same job. However with the evolution of fly tying the tungsten bead has allowed the angler to present their nymphs to the depths very quickly.
As a competition angler I am always aware the the fish can become used to the different colour beads especially when you are fishing 3 to 5 sessions in a competition. So having some beadless Nymphs can be the answer in those late sessions or fishing in over fished waters and when you are looking to catch those fussy trout.
Tying the nymphs slim and getting some good quality lead and a few small tungsten beads in there will allow the nymphs to penetrate to the required depth, just as quick as a beaded nymph.
Fishing shallow runs and glides you will have no problem in getting the nymphs down to the fish and maybe you will have to punch them up stream a little further in order to allow them more time to get to the bottom.
Also a good addition to this approach is an aggressive leader set up so that when you make the cast the natural turn over of the leaders will ensure the nymphs will enter the water at pace and the nymphs will get down faster. This leader set up is something you will have to make up your self to get the best results. A good light weight rod with a good responsive action will aid you in getting these lighter nymphs to there destination also. Make sure and check out the Syndicate 10 foot 2 weight as this is the rod find good and the one I use for this approach.
Here is some of the beadless patterns that I have useful over the last couple of seasons and are we'll wort having a go with this year for some fussy trout.
The pheasant Tail 
Hook: Dohiku 611 size 16
Thread: Fine strong silk 
Tail: fibers of pheasant tail 
Tag: Glo Brite No.4
Rib: Copper wire 
Body: Pheasant tail 
Thorax Cover: Pheasant Tail
Thorax: Olive mixed dubbing 
Legs: Natural Partridge Hackles 
Another option you have is fishing the dry dropper set up with one or two beadless nymphs under the dry just make sure the distance between the nymphs and dry is long enough so that the flies are where they need to be. Make sure and secure in the beads and lead well with a good strong thread and some super glue. Also, lead and tungsten beads or sheets are the best option for adding weight to your flies using wires don't contain much heavy metals to make a difference and can be more expensive that flat lead. 
The Olive Quill  
Hook: Dohiku 611 size 16
Thread: Fine strong silk 
Tail: Coc De Leon
Under Body: Flat lead covered in olive thread 
Body: Transparent synthetic quills 
Thorax Cover: Pheasant Tail
Thorax: Olive mixed dubbing 
Legs: Pheasant tails tips folded back . 

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and it has sparked some thoughts in developing your fishing and fly tying going forward in the new season. If you have any questions or queries please feel free to contact me. Also make sure and check out my website www.piscari-fly.com for all your tungsten , barbless hooks, Syndicate Fly Rods, Reels, leaders and much more. Thanks for reading.