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Small flies... and large
Fall fishing for sea trout means small flies. Here are my favorites... and a couple of not so small ones that have proven useful as backups.
Low water Red Tag, Copper Bully
and Killer Bug
Red Tags - a normal size 4 fly with full body and heavy hen hackle and a selection of low water specimens
Black Frede a large and fluffy variation of an old trusty pattern.
One more fell for the Moyerfokker. This 1½-2 kilo fish took with vigor in bright daylight and gin clear water.
When brought home and examined the fish will mostly reveal a stomach filled with the smallest and most discrete animals in the ocean popularly known as sea flees. These are less then 5 millimeters (1/5 of an inch) in length and are a dull shade of grey in color. Some species are red or slightly pink, but mostly they are just... boring.
Hence the imitations are also very boring. The most boring one is a pattern that doesn't hardly deserve a name, but to my knowledge is generally known as the Killer Bug.
I usually start out with this fly at tying demos because everybody can learn to tie it. It's also so easy that I can't fail... Last - but not least - tying this fly also demonstrates how little it takes to tie a good fishing fly. It's nothing but grey dubbing on a hook. Thats it! It's one of my most productive flies for rainbow in salt water and a very good autumn fly in clear, calm water. And it's a good imitation.
A Bully and a classic
The Copper Bully is a pattern I started using with great succes this spring. It was shown to me by a guy in a local flyshop, and proved its worth on its first few trips. I tie it smaller than the original and use some copper dubbing which is not as bright as that used on the original. My version could rightfully be called a Fancy Killer Bug.
My last small, fall favorite is a true classic. The Red Tag is a regular in my fly box. I use two versions: an ordinary wet fly tied on a streamer hook and a low water version tied on a hook almost the same size. The idea of low water flies is old as Methusalem (almost) and is simply a way of tying a small fly on a larger hook. My thought was that when it can be done with salmon flies, it can also be done with Danish salt water flies. A small fly on a big and sturdy hook - ready to take on a 5 kilo (10 lbs) fish.
When it comes to large sea trout flies, few are better than this one - how ever ugly it might look. A true Moyerfokker...
Small flies are mostly the right stuff for fall fishing... mostly. Some times the small flies just don't work. Don't ask me why. The fish are supposed to eat small things, and mostly they only have very small things inside them. My flies imitate those small things and should be perfect for 'matching the hatch'. But the fish just don't seem to bite.
If the cure for fish not taking large flies is decreasing fly size then the cure for fish not taking small flies must be the opposite. Using this simple logic I have started changing to larger flies when small ones are refused.
My two favorites for this stunt are the Black Frede - a variation of an old and trusty friend, The Grey Frede - and a new fly, The Moyerfokker. The latter was inspired by Morten Valeur's large Pike Streamer, slightly shrinked and modified. The fly is still large by my normal standards, but thanks the the mylar flash which does not soak water it's light and easy to cast. The eyes make the soft mylar work very well in the water.
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