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Thread: Changing flies (or countering "dip n donner" syndrome)

  1. #1
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    Default Changing flies (or countering "dip n donner" syndrome)

    In competition bait fishing the less experienced participants often resorted to charging their bait every 10 minutes with another dip and just hammered away with a P5 weight when things got tough next to the water ("dip n donner" syndrome).

    What is the fly fishing equivalent? How often would/should you change a fly, and why?

    There are so many different patterns out there, and some fly boxes can be compared to the muti boxes of the 90's (I believe even muti boxes got toned down a bit in the 21st century to a few favourite dips and that's it) and some fly boxes are much worse.

    What's the correct process of finding fish when days are tough out there on the water?

  2. #2

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    A well respected Protea angler that I spoke to last year said that "... if you haven't caught something in ten minutes change what you're doing. Not JUST your fly. Change the depth, the retrieve, the spot you're fishing, the type of fishing and your fly". He is, I admit, somewhat outspoken in his views, but I felt this was good advice.

    He also said that a good angler will change flies when he's not catching, but a great angler will change flies when he IS catching to improve his catch. I'm still at the point where I'm thrilled when I find a fly that's working and stick with it.

  3. #3
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    One of the best Vaal anglers on this forum has recently made me think about this as well. He has a very basic fly selection, basically maybe 10 patterns in different sizes and color variations. That just leaves you with two variables, what size the current insect selection in the water is and what size they are.

    Best thing is to start the day with what you know has a high success rate, but as you move through the water, try and get hold of water grass and check what is inside, turn up a few rocks and the winner would be to sift the water with a fine net to see what turns up. That gives you a good idea of what size and colors would be the winner.

    I usually fish a set of flies for 30 minutes before changing if nothing happens.

    This is just what works for me.
    Fishing is just my thing. I don't know what it is but it seems that i just can't get enough of it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by wernerm View Post
    One of the best Vaal anglers on this forum has recently made me think about this as well. He has a very basic fly selection, basically maybe 10 patterns in different sizes and color variations. That just leaves you with two variables, what size the current insect selection in the water is and what size they are.

    Best thing is to start the day with what you know has a high success rate, but as you move through the water, try and get hold of water grass and check what is inside, turn up a few rocks and the winner would be to sift the water with a fine net to see what turns up. That gives you a good idea of what size and colors would be the winner.

    I usually fish a set of flies for 30 minutes before changing if nothing happens.

    This is just what works for me.
    You forgot fly weighting - whether lead wraps, glass bead, tungsten etc weighting is the third side to the "what fly" question. The fish key onto a particular species, in a particular colour in a particular zone.
    Check your knots!

  5. #5
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    Yes you are right jock0, I did forget to add that,

    depending on the water you fish, as you move on through the river your fly weight also comes into play, heaver rig for deeper and faster water and lighter or smaller dropper in shallow rifles. Depth en flow plays a large role to fly selection.
    Last edited by wernerm; 22-01-12 at 05:48 PM.
    Fishing is just my thing. I don't know what it is but it seems that i just can't get enough of it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Taylor View Post
    A well respected Protea angler that I spoke to last year said that "... if you haven't caught something in ten minutes change what you're doing. Not JUST your fly. Change the depth, the retrieve, the spot you're fishing, the type of fishing and your fly". He is, I admit, somewhat outspoken in his views, but I felt this was good advice.

    He also said that a good angler will change flies when he's not catching, but a great angler will change flies when he IS catching to improve his catch. I'm still at the point where I'm thrilled when I find a fly that's working and stick with it.
    Very good advice, as you know I'm also one to challenge the flow of things so I absolutely agree with him.

    I change flies most often when the fish are on the bite. This gives me the opportunity to try new flies that I have tied and build confidence in them. It takes a lot out of one when one fishes a new fly during difficult fishing. Then I mostly stick to what works. Every fishing session is always a discovery and improving on your current fishing methods, it's definitely not about catching lots of fish for me, it's all about improving on what I know. The biggest thrill for me is when I catch fish on something new.
    Last edited by wernerm; 22-01-12 at 09:03 PM.
    Fishing is just my thing. I don't know what it is but it seems that i just can't get enough of it.

  7. #7

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    While I wouldn't say that I change flies a lot when I'm catching, something new I've started doing this (stream) season is to fish a technique and fly that I'm comfortable with (upstream dry) until I've got a fish or two. - then I switch to another style of fishing to try and learn something new (Nymphing or soft hackles). Hopefully, one day I'll become a moderately competent angler.

  8. #8
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    Today, for the first time in 3 years, I tied on a GGY, leader, ( as posted on these forums ). Surprise. surprsie, no tangles.

    Lost the whole rig in a tree, too high to reach and too slim to climb.

    Tied on my Herman's cheat and felt so comfortable after that and caught fish.

    Always try something new, or different,if you don't, you will "Stagnate ".
    It's not in the catching, it's in the learning something new.
    view albums at. http://www.flytalk.co.za/forum/album.php?u=659

  9. #9
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    Great Herman, glad you enjoyed the fishing today, sorry I wasn't there, this damn bug now has me man down for the fifth day. Can't wait for our next session.

    (To feed the daemon I've been on here permanently for the past week. My wife says I'm addicted)
    Fishing is just my thing. I don't know what it is but it seems that i just can't get enough of it.

  10. #10
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    Changing the fly is not as important as changing what you are doing when things are not working.

    That is my opinion.

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