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Thread: help please...Fly's, hatches and life cycles for dummies...

  1. #1
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    Default help please...Fly's, hatches and life cycles for dummies...

    hi there guys...I hope someone can help and contribute. Being a bass fisherman the majority of my life the change to trout has been so overwhelming yet so rewarding so far at the same time. What I used to know as food for fish was...well anything that would go into it's mouth...crabs, frogs, fish, snakes, freshwater turtles, birds, ducklings...well anything that fits goes....

    Here is my dilemma...match your standard sort of fly with a 12'' Man's Jelly Worm and you get my idea...a fish has one life cycle...it's a fish....and so does all of the above mentioned foor sources...

    I am so overwhelmed...the one moment it's a bloodworm, the next it's a larvae the next thing it's some sort of flying insect...same goes for virtually all these insects....life cycles and stages...the next thing I really struggle with especially when buying flies are the names and description...eg, what does a ghre simulate? Or a copper john? Or a ptn...then you have them weighted and unweighted...then you get things called buzzers, and caddis, and emergers...and the colors are so intimidating...

    Not thinking about color now as I guess you try look around and match the hatch but I generally like to stay natural in most colors for most species of fish...I am a firm believer that one should fish natural....yes colors make a difference but I am not too phased...stained water, rule of thumb is go darker...although the fishes prey does not go darker to make itself more apparent to fish...that side done...

    It seems to me like this whole thing isn't actually so daunting...what makes it daunting is that every manufacturer or person has his own idea, stage or pattern when tying a certain fly...it is starting to look like there is only a hand full of the basics...and what makes up the volume are their various cycles and life stages....

    Could someone please give some examples of these insects...their life cycles, what they are called and what flies are supposed to immitate them...obviously I wont expect this from one individual...but if the guys that are clued up could maybe add as the thread goes along...this will be the most important tool for any newby willing to go to second base...you can't fish effectively if you don't understand the food...how they behave...which retrieves work to make that particular fly seem natural...these are so very important and crucial...

    I really hope a few of you can help...also maybe specify if they are more likely to hatch in winter, summer or what season...do they hatch better or change cycles better during certain parts of the day...how does one maybe look for these insects to try match the hatch...do they prefer sandy bottoms, rocks or vegetation? I think if the more experienced guys could each even just add one insect with it's life cycle that would be great...

    This could really change the life of a newby and I believe enhance his/her's chances a great deal if we understood the the food better and why trout react the way they do...
    Last edited by emjaysmit; 22-03-14 at 10:48 PM.
    The principles in life you gather from fly-fishing will make you a better more successfull person...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Speaking as a dyed in the wool River and Stream Fly Fisher I think I can say that the state of confusion you feel is quite Normal.
    Any new untried venture one embarks on has its ups and downs and if you allow that feeling of near panic to get a hold you could be in for a rough ride. RELAX!! take it easy and what ever you do don't try to reach for the heights until you have plumbed the depths.

    Time is your best friend and as you make progress you will find that the extremely broad horizon you saw at the start of your journey has narrowed markedly and the hazy uncertainty is gradually coming into sharp focus.

    Fishing with a Floating Line in a stream or river has a few basic facts that need to be heeded if you are to have any Fun. Basically the Food Source of trout has Three Basic forms. Nymphs, Emergers and the Adult Fly.

    Nymphs hatch from the eggs deposited in the water by the Adult Fly and spend the greatest part of their lives on the bottom of the stream or darting about in the weeds.

    At maturity the Nymph heads for the surface and if conditions are right it will penetrate the surface and hatch into the next stage of it's life as a Fly.

    Trout feed on them as Nymphs under the surface and will also enjoy a good feed as the Nymph heads for the Surface. This is where the term Emerger comes into being as the nymph pierces the surface film and bursts from its nymphal husk and after a short spell to Dry and stretch its wings. It flies free to seek a mate and then return to the surface to deposit eggs for the next generation. exhausted and dying the fly now floats on the surface and becomes food for the trout in the form of a Spent Fly.

    Many of the questions you pose will unfortunately only be answered by you seeking to improve your ability to enjoy your chosen past time and getting a few bumps on the way.

    The greatest thing that could happen to you is meet up with a fisher who is prepared to spend time showing you the ropes. If you do meet such a man or woman. Treasure them.

    TROUT FLIES. To get off to a good start ask your local tackle man for a pointer or two. most will put you on the right track.

    Your arsenal should have a few Nymphs : Hare and Copper : Pheasant Tail : Prince :

    It should also have a few Dry Flies : Wulff Royal Coachman as a searching pattern : Adams in both Standard and Parachute : Black Gnat In sizes to suit your local waters.

    Man O Man that hasn't even scratched the surface and I have Writers Cramp.

    I wish you well in your endeavour and am sure other fishers will try to assist you where they can. Have Fun.
    A man is only as big as the things that annoy him.

  3. #3
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    thanks a million for the insight....really appreciated that. The three cycles I kind of understand...spend alot of time on youtube watching these life cycles. I am just trying to figure out how many there actually are locally. I fish mainly dullstroom, lydenburg and sabie. Whats the difference between a stillwater damsel and dragonfly damsel? A dragonfly damsel becomes a dragonfly...what does a stillwater damsell turn into? I heard the bloodworm is a the larvae I think of a Sedge and only sometimes due to the haemogloban in the blood do they turn red...more often than not they are brown and natural...why dont we have the bloodworm immitations in more natural colors? Then you get stoneflies...do I even have them in my area...

    What is n gnat...I have some of them in n few sizes...and a mayfly?..are there more than one species where I come from...we have lets say 50 000 packets of flyes hanging in a shop. What i want to know...so we basically have in oue waters mayfly, stone fly, damsel, dragonfly, sedge...these all have there three life cycles...this is the food I am concentrating on?

    My problem is in the Lowveld oom Jax there is no teacher or friend like that...we fish for bass and tiger, some guys carp, our local tackleshop has a little selection, well the 3 of them, the closest shop with a bit of variety and know how is Mavungana...Tom and Mike from Fronteir give such awesome service who wouldn't use them...the things they haven't gone through for a client...ask me I know, I will be buying from them from now on...our biggest problem is down my neck of the woods people want to load your basket and dont really know what they are talking about or care that they are selling a bunch crap to you. So that won't really help. I have most flies already in most sizes that we would come accross....I am just trying to figure out where the food chain fits in.

    When researching this I will know how they move...their colors...their habbits....and where to find them and when to find them. It will help my retrieves trying to copy them underwater. I know I have time....but the my passion is for fly fishing now, I have basically wasted 25 years of my life is how how I see it...so I would love to catch up a little lol....I want to be able to pick up a rock and identify what the insect is....not just like a 2 year old pick up a rock and go....goga....what do I do with that sort of info hahahaha....

    Maybe I should just get myself a book with gogas in....a few bottles, and go collect and study them...make like the older generation...start studying and pin them down on boards...will also greatly help with fly tying once I get into that...

    Anyways any help will be appreciated...thanks alot for the words of wisdome oom Jax...
    Last edited by emjaysmit; 23-03-14 at 08:42 AM.
    The principles in life you gather from fly-fishing will make you a better more successfull person...

  4. #4
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    This will tell you all you need to know.
    "So here’s my point. Don’t go and get your ego all out of proportion because you can tie a fly and catch a fish that’s dumb enough to eat a car key.." - Louis Cahill - Gink and Gasoline

  5. #5
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    There is a link at the bottom of this page to the DWAF booklet
    .http://www.yellowfish.co.za/index.ph...ka-yellow-food

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by redhumpy View Post
    There is a link at the bottom of this page to the DWAF booklet
    .http://www.yellowfish.co.za/index.ph...ka-yellow-food
    thanks so much that is super helpfull...exactly the kind of thing I am looking for...
    The principles in life you gather from fly-fishing will make you a better more successfull person...

  7. #7

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    Another good resource for the info you are looking for - http://www.troutnut.com/hatches
    “Apparently people don't like the truth, but I do like it; I like it because it upsets a lot of people. If you show them enough times that their arguments are bullshit, then maybe just once, one of them will say, 'Oh! Wait a minute - I was wrong.' I live for that happening. Rare, I assure you” ― Lemmy Kilmister

    Reap the Whirlwind - WM

    Paradise = A 3wt Rod & a fist full of someone else's #32 parachutes

  8. #8
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    This thread has been supe helpfull so far guys thanks a million...
    The principles in life you gather from fly-fishing will make you a better more successfull person...

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