Where flies are concerned, I travel light. No more than half a dozen or so types of nymph and maybe an equal number of dries. I’ve always been like this, even in my still-water days I preferred a handful of small imitative paterns and spurned the large and the gaudy. There is no rationale for this stance, it is a simple preference, a habit that I appear to have grown into.
I’m a lucky man. I have friends in Phoenix, Arizona who have kindly agreed to take my wife and I as house guests for a couple of weeks in late April / early May. This is a godsend for me, not only do I get to spend my holidays with dear friends but it gives me the opportunity to fulfill a long held ambition to fish for Apache Trout (Oncorhynchus gilae apache) in the White Mountains.
In preparation for this trip I thought I’d get a few pointers on how to go about catching this rare and beautiful fish so I enrolled in an Arizona based Fly Fishing Forum. Now I know that the US & England are two countries separated by a common language but this was a real eye opener. ‘Streamers’, ‘Buggers’, ‘Zonkers’, ‘Fox’s Micro Poopah’?? More research required. It turns out that while our US bretheren use small, indeed tiny flies, they also use these [to us] strange, large & colourful lures to great effect.
So my question is this. Are we traditional English anglers missing out by not employing flies and tactics that other nationalities ‘go to’ without hesitation? In recent years some of us have adopted NZ style & Czech Nymphing – so why not employ these flies with a retreive & strip, totally alien to our dead drift?