The fish on my local water have only just started coming on to fry patterns since the cold spell. We’re still catching on nymphs and buzzers but the last few weeks white lures have started to catch a the majority of fish.
I normally use a small Cats Whisker or a Mini Snake on the point with a few nymph droppers and fish them slow with the odd few sharp pulls. Or, if the fish are in pods and I’m getting double hook ups or breaks I’ll use a single fly with lots of movement. On the bank it’s normally a case of trying to spot fish activity or just keep on moving around the lake with a searching fly, something white and weighty with movement, and finding the fish. Most of the time this works. Last time it didn’t.
Once I got the water there were already 2 others there but none had caught yet. I could see fish moving around, splashing after fry but they were hard to reach so on went the 40 plus line and my usual fly setup. After an hour or so in a few different spots with no luck I decided to try a new fly I’d got hold of. I normally tie all my own flies but this one had caught my eye and I didn’t have the materials to tie one myself.
The Cut Throat Apache is an interesting fly with a mink body and red belly. Almost looks like an injured fry and seemed ideal to use as my point fly fished slow. After a few casts I still had no interest but on one retrieve I pulled the fly right into the bank and saw a fish following it in. I never know what to do in these situations – use the hang, pull it hard, leave it static – so I ended up pulling it a bit, then leaving it to sink, then pulling and leaving it again. As I could see the fly and the fish I noticed how much the mink body pulsated in the water and the fish kept coming up to it, nudging it, swimming away and coming back again. It wasn’t until I left the fly completely alone that the fish came back round and snatched it! So I cast out again and tried a different retrieve, one that I don’t normally use to be honest. Two pulls and a pause to let the fly sink then pull again and wait and repeat. After another few casts I was into another fish on the Apache. And then 15 mins later into another and another. I had 4 fish within an hour pulsing with the Apache. I had other flies on the droppers but they didn’t take any of them.
I moved around the lake until I found another area with fish showing and tried out a few other flies without much success apart from one fish on a white humungous that jumped on the end as I was reeling in my fly ready to move platforms! So onto another part of the lake and back on went the Apache. Another few hours of action and another 4 fish on the pulsing and wait retrieve. I’ve never really fished like this before with other flies but it certainly worked with the Apache. On what was deemed to be a tricky day by others at the lake the Apache caught me 8 fish and plenty of other action. What an amazing fly.
Next time at the lake I’ll give it another outing to see if it still performs as well. I’m hoping it will and I can get rid of half the winter lures in my already overcrowded fly box!