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Essential Skills

Fishing Dry Fly on a Chalk Stream / Mayfly Time on a Chalk Stream - Run Time 2 hours

Fishing Dry Fly on a Chalk Stream / Mayfly Time on a Chalk Stream - Run Time 2 hours

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Fishing Dry Fly on a Chalk Stream (Programme 1)

My mainstay dun-imitating dry fly patterns are the Paradun and my Footprint Dun. They're both prototypical patterns, so you can match any of the Olives or Spurwings, simply by changing colours and hook sizes.

Both these patterns beat the old slip winged flies hands down. For a start, the Paradun is simple to tie, there's no messing about with fragile starling slips. Also, it floats like a cork, lands correctly on every cast, and is very robust.

The Footprint Dun is a little more tricky to tie, but it is a great pattern for wily fish, those that come up to the fly and then turn away at the last second. Such fish are usually fooled by this fly.

I am sure the fish see the little footprints in the film as the initial trigger, then when the single wing comes over their window, they are convinced it is a real dun and take. You should tie a selection of these in one or two sizes and colour-ways, to match the hatch on your stream.

Mayfly Time on a Chalk Stream (Programme 2)

Ephemera danica, the Greendrake or Mayfly, is famed for hatching in vast numbers. Our largest Upwings in the UK are represented by only three species - Ephemera danica, Ephemera vulgata and Ephemera lineata. The distribution of Ephemera vulgata can be very localised and Ephemera lineata is quite rare in the UK.

The Greendrake or Ephemera danica is by far our most common species. It is the fly that hatches in hundreds of thousands, millions even, from the Chalk Streams of Southern England every year from late May to early June, in what is known as 'The Duffers Fortnight'.

However, on many rivers, there are times when the hatch just trickles off, and then trout can be almost as cautious as when taking small Olives. This is when Essential Skills come into play. Your artificial will have to be a good imitative pattern, and it will have to be presented accurately and delicately if you wish to be consistently successful. 

The middle reaches of the Wiltshire Avon, the river fished in this DVD, is a chalk stream that has a trickle hatch. The Greendrake starts to emerge about the middle of May, but trickles on with peaks and troughs until August, with odd duns still coming off as late as September! In trickle hatch situations, the artificial has to present a much more convincing target. My Mohican Mayfly fits the bill, not only does it look like a Mayfly§ to the fly fisher, it also offers the trout an excellent silhouette as it floats into its 'window'. It is robust, it lands correctly virtually every cast and floats like a cork. It's also great fun to tie.

Contents Include

  • Leader Make Up for Mayfly and Dry Fly
  • Casting Technique – The Snap Roll Pick Off
  • Fishing the Paradun
  • Fishing the Mayfly
  • Tying the Paradun
  • Tying the Footprint Dun
  • Tying the Mohican Mayfly

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Last updated 15 06 22

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