Trout Fishing Tackle

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Brief Guide to
Trout Fishing Tackle

The
diet of the trout is fairly wide ranging consisting of whatever is
locally or seasonally available to them. They will hunt small shoaling
fish such as minnows, they will relish worms and grubs dislodged by a
swollen river but the staple diet of the trout is most commonly made up
of insects in their various stages of life. It follows, then, that trout
can be caught on a wide variety of natural baits and lures. They can be
caught on a worm, minnow or other natural bait, methods requiring
considerable skill for consistent success in all but spate conditions.
They may be caught on artificial spinning lures in a great variety of
ingenious designs.

But the method which holds the greatest
general appeal, in offering the highest potential for enjoyment,
challenge and interest is undoubtedly fly fishing. So
let’s take a brief look at the
trout fishing tackle needed for fly fishing for wild brown trout
in Scotland’s lochs and rivers .

Trout Fly Fishing Tackle

Trout Fly Rods

The advent of carbon fibre as a
rod making material has given the trout fly fisherman a great choice of
highly efficient, and sometimes very expensive, fly rods, although it
has not perhaps revolutionised his sport to the same extent as it has
for the salmon fisherman. Indeed, many trout fishermen still have a
great affection for the more traditional rods built from split cane, or
even fibreglass, which, in the shorter lengths, can be very pleasant to
fish with. His choice of rod will, of course, be dictated by the type of
fishing, be it rolling a short line from a drifting boat, tripping a bob
fly across a good wave on a highland loch, casting a delicate dry fly to
the wary resident trout of our larger rivers or fishing a team of
spiders down a rock strewn upland burn. The loch fisherman has
traditionally favoured the longer rod, in lengths up to eleven feet or
more. Similarly, the long rod might have found favour with those fishing
a team of Clyde style wet flies, while the dry fly man would have gone
for something shorter, perhaps eight or nine feet. Long rods in carbon
fibre are now light enough to fish all day, without undue strain or
fatigue and are still popular on the Scottish lochs. For river fishing,
or fly fishing from a loch shore, there has been a general move towards
a slightly shorter fly rod of perhaps nine or ten feet, casting a fairly
light line.

Trout Fly Reels

Many trout fly fishermen view
the fly reel as little more than a place to store the fly line,
retrieving and giving line to a hooked fish by pulling on the line or
allowing line to run through his hands, with no use of the reel at all
while fishing. Others prefer to play a hooked fish from the reel, to
hear the screaming of the reel when a trout runs and to wind the line
back on the reel whenever possible. Modern fly reels are offered in a
great range of designs, some with disc drags, ball bearings, large
arbours and anodised paintwork, others of more traditional construction,
fitted with a simple, and to my mind perfectly adequate, spring and pawl
click drag, as on the lovely old Hardy reels, still in high demand

by both fly fishermen and
collectors – reels like the Hardy Perfect, the Princess and the Marquis
– or the solid fly reels made throughout much of the last century in
Redditch by J.W. Young of Redditch, reels such as
the Pridex and Beaudex, or the less expensive but eminently practical
Rimfly reel, made, until very recently, in the south of England.

Trout
Fly Lines

Long gone are the days when a
trout fisherman would have only one reel and one line, made of oil
dressed silk, greased at the start of the day to make it float and
carefully dried and redressed with grease before the next outing, or
perhaps left partially or wholly untreated to fish as a sinking line.
Today we have lines in all sizes, weights and profiles imaginable. We
have double tapered lines, weight forward lines, floating lines, neutral
and intermediate lines, slow, medium and fast sinking lines and, of
course, we need a reel or spool for each one. Life is no longer simple
for the trout fisherman, although it must be said that the new plastic
lines are much more easily maintained and very practical. For our trout
fishing here in Scotland, though, all that is needed throughout much of
the season is a floating line, perhaps in a size 6, which will cope with
most situations on loch or river. I prefer the simple practicality of a
double tapered line, which is pleasant to handle, is more durable and
generally more flexible in use than a weight forward line. Although it
is quite conceivable today that your fly line may, if you are not
careful, cost you more than your fly reel, there are many excellent fly
lines available at reasonable cost from makers like Aircel, Cortland and
Shakespeare, which, if properly cared for, will last many seasons.

As for the
flies…..see
trout flies

Trout Fly Rods

Trout Fly Reels

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