Tails &Ripples

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Tails &Ripples

Use side pressure but be ready to hold the rod up high to avoid obstructions if the fish takes off.a clear sink tip and you are almostready. I use fluorocarbon leader, steppingdown to a 6 lb tippet, but if youare blind-casting and not pinpointingyour targets, make sure you step upyour tippet to keep the flathead fromdepleting your fly box and coveringthemselves in hardware.There are a few reasons why Ilike fluorocarbon, but only one whichmakes any real difference in thiscase—it is as hard as nails. Remember,you are fishing Flathead Central,amidst pieces of rock and shell. Thesethings will turn a soft supple leaderinto a fuzzy nothing with just a coupleof rubs.Your choice of flies will depend onthe conditions. When it is calm, smallpoppers can provide some exhilaratingsurface action, with packs of breamoften competing for the chance toThe tail dips down and the cloudswirls to envelop it. The fish is nowjust a faint suggestion of colour,a ripple on the surface, hidden in ashroud of silt and sand.Tails & Ripples. . . continuedFist-sized hole indicative of feeding bream.as they spot your fly, snatching lineand almost hooking themselves. Othersare less gung-ho. If unsure theywill just follow, sizing-up your fly andwatching how it behaves, undecidedand tantalisingly close.In these cases it pays to know whento stop. Don’t lead the fish to yourrod tip, but stop with enough distancebetween you and the fish so that youhave another chance. Try a differentfly, something subtle that landsgently to avoid spooking them. Thesefish aren’t just curious, they are alsowary. If they approach too close, toa point where they are likely to spotyou, leave your fly motionless in thewater and stand absolutely still untilthey lose interest and move on. Theyare attuned to movement. No matterhow slowly you raise your rod torecast, if they are looking towards you,you will stand out against the sky likea signpost flashing DANGER! Theseare anxious moments but you must bepatient. Choose another fish to targetwhile the suspicious few settle backinto feeding.Once the tide begins to fall, the fishbecome more flighty and start to moveback to the safety of deeper water.But you can still find some that havenot yet had their fill, and feed witha newfound sense of urgency. Makethe most of these final moments. Youropportunities to sight-cast are runningout as swiftly as the tide.GEARING UPSix-weight rods are a good compromisebetween power and finesse. Adda floating line, a clear intermediate orClouser variant imitating a prawn or shrimp.snap them up. Otherwise, flies likeWoolly Buggers and Crazy Charliesare a good place to start.When the water is clear, the sun ishigh and the bream are spookier, youmay want to try something that landsmore delicately and sinks more slowly.Small Key-style tarpon flies are deadlyin these conditions and can be landedclose to the fish with scarcely a ripple.16 F LY L IFETake time to survey the shallows for subtle signs of feeding bream.Andy with another hefty Sapphire Coast bream.F LY L IFE 17

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