General Tips for Coarse Fish:
- Tailor your flies to your chosen species. Trout flies can work fine, but remember coarse fish come in many sizes and have different preferences. Smaller patterns, right down to an 18 or a 20 are perfect for dace and roach, while even a small chub will devour a size 8 dry fly.
- You don’t need to retrieve your fly vigorously for many coarse species. For roach, rudd, carp and other cautious feeders, try letting the fly settle naturally with minimal interference.
- The exception to this rule are the predators- perch, pike and zander like a lively retrieve, but this needn’t be hell-for leather! One great advantage over other methods is that you can work a fly at slow speeds.
- Where possible, pick a clear water where you can spot and cast to your quarry. This is not essential, but a big help. If the water carries some colour you could try brighter flies: a pink shrimp is great for chub or roach; pike and perch respond well to yellow, black or hot orange flies.
- A great way to fish flowing water is the “New Zealand” method. This means using a highly visible floating fly such as Klinkhamer, and attaching a short length of fine (18-24”) directly to the bend of the hook to connect a nymph. The dry fly will shoot under when a fish takes your suspended nymph- this is an excellent method for chub and dace.
- Never be afraid to take your cue from nature. Have a dip in your chosen water and see what you can find. It’s great fun finding out what the fish might be eating- and will help inform your fly choices.
- Watch the water. It sounds so simple, but there is so much to learn just by watching fish and insect life. This is fishing at your own tempo. Taking in what’s going on is not only relaxing, it’s enlightening. “Watch more, cast less” is a good philosophy to adopt.
- Always keep mobile and carry polarizing glasses, which not only protect your eyes but make fish spotting much easier.
- At close quarters, fish can be easily spooked. Try to make as few back casts as possible and practise getting the fly to land gently, in natural fashion.