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Thread: Deadly stillwater tactics and secrets

  1. #11
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    Thanks for raising this point fish. I neglected to mention the mono loop. I use this all the time with the kind of fishing I have been refering to. I definitely agree that the fly sits much more naturally in the water, as it is not dictated to by the set of the tippet's grasp on it

  2. #12
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    Chris, Your experiences with the snail pattern are very similar to my own. One thing I have noticed about fishing this pattern, is that the fly is normally taken viciously. I remember a day a couple of months ago at a stillwater in the Kamberg valley where my rod was nearly ripped out my hands by a 7lb rainbow steaming off with my #12 Peacock Snail pattern !! Definitely a very underrated pattern, considering what an important food source snails are in many stillwaters.

    Incidently, a mate of mine took a fish in the same stillwater as mentioned above and also decided it was one for the pot. On gutting it, he counted 104 snails in its stomach. How or why it had still taken his fly boggles the mind !

    For waters that have a lot of platana (Common River Frog) which seems to be most of the waters I fish on here in KZN, I find a Black Marabou Muddler fished sunken, to be a brilliant pattern. I caught a 6lb rainbow hen last weekend on the Muddler that proceeded to regurgitate 8 of these frogs, some of which were nearly 9cm long. This fly is fantastic and very versatile in that it can be fished sunken as mentioned above, but the cool thing is that the deer hair gives it a bit of bouyancy/neutral density once waterlogged, so it will stay normally stay above the weed. To me it is more effective than flies like the Woolly Bugger in this regard. The other way, probably more traditional way to fish this fly is on the floating line, at last light. I have experienced some of the most incredible takes on this fly at last light when stripped back in short, sharp strips, so it "plops". I've had trout come rocketing up out of the depths and somersaulting into the air with the fly in its mouth on many occassions using this technique. Truly heart stopping stuff !

    My other "go to" technique which normally gets me out of trouble on those slow days is fishing a suspender midge on a shortish leader, around 8ft, sunken on an intermediate or sinking line, and retrieved incredibly slowly. This has often meant the difference between a blank day and 1 or 2 fish. Very very effective, but with a lot of patience required, and the takes are often very soft, almost as though you need to "sense" that there is something on the end of your line, rather than feeling it.
    Last edited by ShaunF; 03-10-06 at 05:21 PM.

  3. #13
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    I have experienced some of the most incredible takes on this fly at last light when stripped back in short, sharp strips, so it "plops". I've had trout come rocketing up out of the depths and somersaulting into the air with the fly in its mouth on many occassions using this technique. Truly heart stopping stuff !

    Hi Shaun

    Yes, this is the kind of stuff that keeps us coming back hey?! Truly awesome stuff!

    I am glad you experienced the same thing as me with the snail. I have often wondered why they always take a snail so aggressively. I mean, it is not like the snail is going anywhere in a hurry or anything like that! Maybe someone with more knowledge in this regard can shed some light on this for us.

  4. #14
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    Chris

    Can you send me the recipe for your parachute snail? Think it will work on the rivers? Can you tie it down to size 20?

  5. #15
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    the fly is simplicity itself. I am almost embarrassed to share the recipe

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Shelton View Post
    I have often wondered why they always take a snail so aggressively. I mean, it is not like the snail is going anywhere in a hurry or anything like that! Maybe someone with more knowledge in this regard can shed some light on this for us.
    Chris, to me I have always considered an aggressive take as meaning that the pattern has been taken with confidence. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that snails do not put up and form of struggle and are thus eaten with confidence, swallowed and the fish immediately moves on to pick off other snails out the weed.

    With other food sources such as minnows, and even dragons that can put up a fight or attemt to escape, the fish will often attempt to disable the prey first so that it can eat it, hence hitting the prey several times before finally taking it solidly.

    Just my theory !

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Shelton View Post
    the fly is simplicity itself. I am almost embarrassed to share the recipe
    Chris, I saw you mentioned the use of neoprene in your snail pattern which I found interesting.

    I use a black closed cell type foam often used for beetles for the shell, and a peacock herl underbody, and rib the whole lot with fine copper wire which gives a nice "shell effect" I find this closed cell foam stands up well to fish and doesn't lose its bouyancy easily. Perhaps give that a try on a few patterns and see how it compares.

  8. #18
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    I have always seen savage takes as a sign that the fish are competing for a single food source so they are trying to eat as much as possible before other fish can get it.

    This happens a lot to me when I fish subsurface buzzers in midge hatches. I imagine the fish are flying around under the surface eating as much as possible, hence the savage takes I get with buzzers.
    "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

  9. #19
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    My first discovery of snails was in a heavily weeded dam. I landed an extremely fat fish that felt like a rugby ball, except, the stomach felt full of lumps. Curiosity got the better of me and i had to perform an autopsy to see what the cause was. I discovered and intestinal track that was absolutely stretched to the limit with tufts of grass and snails. (See Piscator No 126 for my full article)

    The grass is the clue guys....and this should be incorporated into the fly pattern. Marabu does the trick beautifully. I think the trout literally tear away at the grass to get to the snails, hence the vicious takes! This is my theory for what it is worth.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Shelton View Post
    My first discovery of snails was in a heavily weeded dam. I landed an extremely fat fish that felt like a rugby ball, except, the stomach felt full of lumps. Curiosity got the better of me and i had to perform an autopsy to see what the cause was. I discovered and intestinal track that was absolutely stretched to the limit with tufts of grass and snails. (See Piscator No 126 for my full article)

    The grass is the clue guys....and this should be incorporated into the fly pattern. Marabu does the trick beautifully. I think the trout literally tear away at the grass to get to the snails, hence the vicious takes! This is my theory for what it is worth.
    Now you've really peaked my interest, with incorporating "grass" into the pattern. Please post a pic of this snail pattern ?

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