Coming through May a favourite tactic of mine is to swing lake tributaries for big, migrating browns.
Low light, elevated water levels and deep holding fish often require different tactics and if I have to resort to blind fishing I just don’t feel upstream nymphing covers things efficiently when targeting fish who may not be actively feeding.
The benefits of swinging flies are that you can cover maximum water, with big enough flies to get often sullen fish to chase, and you aren’t having to pitch your fly upstream into the now prevalent gusty nor wester.
As tight surrounds, bush, high banks and gorge pools are often a given in some of the best late season water, Spey casting tactics allow the angler to present the fly without the need for too much back cast space. Here’s a tip: Spey casting refers to a style of casting, not specialist 15’ rods and multiple head set ups. That fly rod and line combo you are holding in your hand is perfectly capable of roll casting a streamer out across the river. So I hope you’ve been practising.
And what better to swing than the good old woolly bugger. The trout love them and chances are you have a couple. Olives, black or brown to suit, or my personal favourite, the Yoshi bugger with its attractive orange bead.
But how about trying something of similar profile but more targeted towards swinging across and down this winter. Tim Angeli had these thoughts when he designed the Foxy Swinger, and if your fly box doesn’t contain a handful of these then you’re missing out on fish buddy...
Foxy Swinger Black / Orange
Foxy Swinger Olive / Green
Foxy Swinger Purple / Pink
A large, coloured bead to keep the fly down as it swings across the current, a slim, dubbed body and Arctic Fox wing, tied long for streamlined movement, a splash of grouse and a touch of flash, this fly is designed to offer minimal resistance across the current, yet have maximum fish appeal. Add to this a razor sharp, short shanked stinger out back to ensure every hookset sticks and we have a winner folks!
Available in black / orange, olive / green and purple / pink there’s a colourway to piss off any territorial brown or fresh run bow. All you have to do is feed it to them!