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Thread: Dry Fly vs Nymphs

  1. #1
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    Default Dry Fly vs Nymphs

    I can't remember which thread it was in, but I remember some guys talking about nymphing vs dry fly fishing on the cape streams.

    I must say I really enjoy fishing both ways and go through phases of what style i prefer to fish. For a lot of the time, my preferred nymphing technique was indicator nymphing, but has changed to dry fly/dropper, and more recently short line nymph techniques. The soft hackle thing hasn't really bitten me yet but i am sure it will in time.

    I like the versatility of nymphing, and in my own opinion, nymph fishing is more effective, but unfortunately my fishing records don't agree with that. Possibly my records are scewed because the dry fly is more popular and therefore used more, but is it more popular because it's a more aesthetic way of fishing our streams, or is it because it is in fact the number 1 technique for fooling our trout? I don't know, but i just thought I'd share what the records I have kept for the last 3 years say.

    Out of the top 6 flies that i have witnessed catch fish on the streams, 4 are dry flies, and 2 are sub-surface. I say sub-surface because 1 is a traditional nymph and one is an ant pattern. The numbers indicate fish caught by both myself and my fishing buddy for the day. The fly is not size or colour specific - just the pattern in all it's different forms. Most of the guys I have fished with are not dry fly purists, and will happily fish with a nymph under their dry.

    1) RAB - 200 fish
    2) HB Nymph - 120 fish
    3) CDC & Elk - 60 fish
    4) MSA Hopper - 43 fish
    5) Beadhead Ant - 43 fish
    6) Parachutes - 42 fish

    Dries: 345
    Subsurface: 163

    So that's 67.9% of fish on dry - basically 2 thirds.

    As a further fact in the Dry fly's corner, I have kept records of temperatures for each day's fishing, and the sub surface flies were most effective at extreme temps - the HB at low temps and the ant at high temps, with the mid range of temps (12 - 16 degrees) showing significantly lower catches on these two flies. The dry flies, however, were effective across all the temps (except the MSA which is definately a high temp fly).

    These may not be objective records - I don't proclaim they are, but they make interesting reading. I do wonder how they will change in a couple of year's time though.

    comments?
    "So hereís my point. Donít go and get your ego all out of proportion because you can tie a fly and catch a fish thatís dumb enough to eat a car key.." - Louis Cahill - Gink and Gasoline

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkieser View Post
    comments?
    Very interesting so far having just glansed through it quickly,need to study it 1st

  3. #3
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    Hi grant,this ties in with Chris Sheltons (proffesional guiding) thread the other day when he was talking about fishing dry flies,in fact it holds up nicley about it being more succsesful on our streams...i am fishing Smaalblar 5/6 on saturday and i asked what 3 dry flies i should buy, his three where

    1.Iron Blue dun
    2.RW
    3.pare post hackled mayflies

    what would you choose and waht size
    I think no innocent species of wit or pleasantry should be suppressed; and that a good pun may be admitted among the smaller excellencies of lively conversation.
    James Boswell.


    [T]his planet is covered with sordid men who demand that he who spends time fishing shall show returns in fish. ~Leonidas Hubbard, Jr.

  4. #4
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    Hiya Nic,

    To buy? I would say those are good ones that Chris mentioned.

    When it gets hotter and the water gets thinner, my personal view is that fish need to feel it's worthwhile to expend the energy required to shoot up and eat something. In my own experience (which I doubt many people agree with) i have found larger dry flies to work as opposed to going to 18s or 20s in thin hot water. I believe the larger ones will draw the fish from a further distance.

    For those reasons the ones I would recommend to buy for the current time in the season are:

    1) #14 or #12 Stimulator
    2) I would stick with the para-mays that Chris mentioned - #16
    3) Maybe some Humpy's in a 14?

    That's to buy, but check this thread from a week or so ago. That shows what dry flies a lot of guys are fishing with. The ones I chose in that thread are different and i didn't put them in this thread cos I don't think you can buy them in most of our stores and so they need to be tied.

    Hope this helps - and enjoy the fishing! I m on the holsloot on saturday. Looking forward to it as I have not been on the streams for ages now!

    Cheers
    G
    "So hereís my point. Donít go and get your ego all out of proportion because you can tie a fly and catch a fish thatís dumb enough to eat a car key.." - Louis Cahill - Gink and Gasoline

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkieser View Post
    Hiya Nic,

    To buy? I would say those are good ones that Chris mentioned.

    When it gets hotter and the water gets thinner, my personal view is that fish need to feel it's worthwhile to expend the energy required to shoot up and eat something. In my own experience (which I doubt many people agree with) i have found larger dry flies to work as opposed to going to 18s or 20s in thin hot water. I believe the larger ones will draw the fish from a further distance.

    For those reasons the ones I would recommend to buy for the current time in the season are:

    1) #14 or #12 Stimulator
    2) I would stick with the para-mays that Chris mentioned - #16
    3) Maybe some Humpy's in a 14?

    That's to buy, but check this thread from a week or so ago. That shows what dry flies a lot of guys are fishing with. The ones I chose in that thread are different and i didn't put them in this thread cos I don't think you can buy them in most of our stores and so they need to be tied.

    Hope this helps - and enjoy the fishing! I m on the holsloot on saturday. Looking forward to it as I have not been on the streams for ages now!

    Cheers
    G
    cheers Grant,the more i read the more i learn......will pick up some stimulators got some humpys already so will take them along.......going to start tying after xmas hopefully...do not have the tiime just now...but cannot wait to start.

    cheers Nick
    I think no innocent species of wit or pleasantry should be suppressed; and that a good pun may be admitted among the smaller excellencies of lively conversation.
    James Boswell.


    [T]his planet is covered with sordid men who demand that he who spends time fishing shall show returns in fish. ~Leonidas Hubbard, Jr.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkieser View Post
    Hiya Nic,

    To buy? I would say those are good ones that Chris mentioned.

    When it gets hotter and the water gets thinner, my personal view is that fish need to feel it's worthwhile to expend the energy required to shoot up and eat something. In my own experience (which I doubt many people agree with) i have found larger dry flies to work as opposed to going to 18s or 20s in thin hot water. I believe the larger ones will draw the fish from a further distance.

    For those reasons the ones I would recommend to buy for the current time in the season are:

    1) #14 or #12 Stimulator
    2) I would stick with the para-mays that Chris mentioned - #16
    3) Maybe some Humpy's in a 14?

    That's to buy, but check this thread from a week or so ago. That shows what dry flies a lot of guys are fishing with. The ones I chose in that thread are different and i didn't put them in this thread cos I don't think you can buy them in most of our stores and so they need to be tied.

    Hope this helps - and enjoy the fishing! I m on the holsloot on saturday. Looking forward to it as I have not been on the streams for ages now!

    Cheers
    G
    Yup, all of those are excellent!

    I also agree with Grant as far as the big fly thing goes, but I find that in stillmoving shallow pools, the sparser spider like parachute flies that sit in the surface film are more convincing. When I have the patience to fish these big pools, I like to go far and fine, and just let the fly drift around. I have picked up many cruising trout this way, and they are mostly the bigger size trout that are cruising around hunting for food.

    I have also had the odd day where I found myself on the flight path of hoppers and jeez, did I have fun with the Joe's hopper on that day. The bigger the splat, the further the trout would venture out of their lies to grab the fly. Those are magical days indeed.

    Last year I witnessed a moth invasion on the Holsloot...huge #6 olive coloured moths. The trout became highly selective and the closest thing I had was a Hamill's Killer, which I dressed and fished dry to great effect.

    One needs to have a variety of form and colour in your fly box to cover every eventuality........and only time on the stream teaches you this.
    "Innocence is a wild trout. But we humans, being complicated, have to pursue innocence in complex ways" - Datus Proper

  7. #7
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    This is an example of one of my spider like RW variants that have been very good to me of late. This photo was taken directly after I released a close on 18" fish this morning.......and this is the fly that the fish came up a good 5 feet to fetch!

    RWV.jpg

    Notice how the hook has been bent open! Only noticed it myself now
    Last edited by Chris Shelton; 03-12-07 at 10:45 PM.
    "Innocence is a wild trout. But we humans, being complicated, have to pursue innocence in complex ways" - Datus Proper

  8. #8
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    Grant
    Iam extremely partial to the dryfly and in the past I would not be caught dead fishing a nymph. Simply because of the fact that I prefered to see trout come to the dryfly sharply, still do. As time past slowly, but surely I came around to nymphs how effective they could be on our streams particularly on days when the elements are a bit undesirable. I still rarely fish nymphs now, but I won't hesitate suspending one under my dryfly if trout prefer them on the day. The dryfly however, is something unique to our streams and our trout, because they always seem to look to the surface for tasty morsels. As a result of looking upwards they "prefer" taken flies of the top. This behaviour is also evident when fishing dryfly/dropper, the nymph would be ignored and the dry intercepted.
    So, in my objective opinion both types, dry fly and nymph fishing, respectively are of importance to the Western cape flyfisherman. Each with its own merits, but we should be able to exploit both styles of fishing given the disired conditions.


    My 28 billion Zim dollars

  9. #9
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    Grant- the only reason the HB is number 2 is because it's always on the end of your tippet

    Jokes aside- that is one seriaasly successful pattern that you came up with- an absolute winner.
    " Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian." -Dennis Wholey

  10. #10
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    The best goto fly in my arsenal is the RAB. I sometimes wonder why I bother with all the other flies and I seriously have to force myself not to first tie on a RAB, but give some of the other (Para Adams, Elk hair caddis, etc.) a go. THe few times I fished a dry& nymph combo using an NZ rig, was an absolute abortion. Most of my time was spent undoing knots. At Nationals, I noticed the guys fishing the dry as a "dropper" and the nymph as the point fly. What an eye opener. Chriss showed me the knot (a water knot if I remember correctly) and I fihsed it with some success.

    I prefer fishing dries only, but having a nymph floating below does improve your chances.
    Rudolph
    No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.
    Confucius

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