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Thread: Articulated deer hair prawn flies

  1. #1
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    Default Articulated deer hair prawn flies

    Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere, but how should you fish the deer hair prawn flies for grunter, and are they effective? I want to test them out in the Southern Cape next week.

    Thanks!
    Tiaan

    Fly Fishing Addict

  2. #2
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    IMG_0001.jpgSlowly, with dead pauses inbetween. A photo of some experimental patterns included
    Last edited by Niel Malan; 12-10-16 at 06:38 PM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Niel - I assume a floating line is best? And let it dead drift a while with the current?

    Cheers
    Tiaan

    Fly Fishing Addict

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    That is 100% correct. Not sure what the experience of others are? 2016-04-26 19.24.32.jpg

  5. #5
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    Thanks Niel, I only had very limited time to fish it, but I had a hit from a grunter on it while I was daydreaming. So it looks very promising for next time.
    Tiaan

    Fly Fishing Addict

  6. #6
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    Awesome, I am very happy! They do not always hook up. I had a classic recently: put on a new fly, small strip, pause and then the fly just disappeared! Not large, but was like catching trout on a dry!IMG_0790.jpg

  7. #7
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    Thats a nice grunter Niel! I hope to get back to the southern cape soon to try again but I think it will probably be only next year.
    Tiaan

    Fly Fishing Addict

  8. #8
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    ...perhaps rather go for a steady retrieve than too many dead drifts..... this is how I got this last 65 cm one

    2016-11-15 08.47.50 low res.jpg

  9. Default

    Hi Yella,

    These flies are effective and has started quite a hype in recent years. From my experience, not extensive, is that a slow steady retrieve (roly poly), dead drift and twitch-pause can all be effective retrieves. The guys fishing at Karools on the Breede had a weekend in Nov 2016 where almost all of the fish (there where many) were caught on a dead drift. Also a weekend where the only hookups where on subsurface unweighted flies.

    Grunters are finicky fish and can switch from one day to the next. From what we could gather during the past few seasons is that you get "sippers/suckers" and "biters/takers", the latter being the easy "mood" to catch. Lately subsurface patterns had been more successful, not necessarily weighted flies but midwater and close to the bottom presentations. Also can be a factor of the clear water in some estuaries and the reluctance of the fish coming up to the surface under these conditions. I am sure we will learn quite a bit more ito technique under different conditions/seasons in the years to come.


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  10. #10
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    I have been finding this thread rather interesting and will describe my experience yesterday evening on the Little Brak River which is 5 minutes drive from my residence. But leading up to that, I have been fishing various flies for Grunter on my home turf for 27 years after taking my first one on a Permit Puff at the back of Leisure Isle on the Knysna Lagoon in 1990. Most of my catches have been on Dark Brown Crab imitations as that is the bait that does not last more than a couple of minutes in the water before you are "vas". But back to the Prawn imitations. I had about ten fish come to the fly, one on and off and one landed. My articulated flies are either hackled or a sculpting fibre back hook and shaped deer fur on the front piano wire shank which I bend myself - a lot cheaper than buying the real thing. The wind was pumping and there was a bumpy surface so the Grunter were coming to the fly, mouth open trying to inhale the fly which was hanging in the surface, hook down as the materials tied on the back tend to sink. With the wind and current, the fly was really moving around and the fish were missing the fly so I soaked the deer fur and fished the fly just subsurface and took the only fish of the session. So my theory has not been to make the entire fly out of deer fur so that the rear end sinks giving you a better chance of hook ups. Although the Leeries really eat them(those made completely of deer fur), especially in winter when the baitfish are scarce. This open mouth take on the surface often misses the fly so does the fish loose sight of the fly as this has also happened to me in calm conditions? I used to think that it was small Leeries attacking the fly until I strip striked into a 70cm Grunter on a 5cm cream hackled articulated no.6 fly. On type of retrieves, when the fish are on, my experience is that it makes no difference. Anglers are taking Grunter on big Zara Spooks on " walking the dog retrieve" so go figure. However, last evening, I was trying to dead drift the fly off a sandbank into a channel where the fish were waiting but due to weather conditions and strong current, it was not easy to maintain contact with the fly. However, with all my knowledge and experiences, I cannot tempt the Grunter feeding on the flats in Great Brak Lagoon. When the mouth is open and the tide is pushing, it is like sight fishing on a tropical flat but apart from a couple of half hearted follows, the place remains a mystery to me. Any suggestions are welcome as it is a magic place to fish out of season and during the week when there is no one swimming or disturbing the fish on the flats..

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