Keeping your flies in the zone

I fished llandegfedd reservoir the weekend for the rescheduled Welsh trial, weather went from one extreme, from not being let out on the lake, to it feeling like your sitting in an oven. Anyway, you can never take what happened on a practice day too seriously, with fishing, two days are never the same… something always changes and anglers must adapt.

I started off on the point of a bank which is called Laurences and within a couple of casts i’d hooked into my first fish, only for it to fall off. There were a few boats around us and who seemed to have the same problem, I saw a few rods bend over but no extended nets – within the hour most of the boats moved and me and my partner ‘Titch’ stayed as we hooked, but lost five or six fish each. We knew the fish were there it was just the matter of getting them out.

We both hooked our seventh fish at the same time only for it to again, fall off. We were using barbed hooks as I think we;d only landed one fish each, we kept a tight line on the strike and played most fish for a few seconds. We were both on different lines, I a Di 7 forty plus and Titch a Di 7 sweep. With a practice day under our belt, we knew a fair amount of info and these lines really stood out in practice.

It was only until I changed to the standard di7 Sixth sense sinking line –  that I could hook fish and keep them on. It’s funny how a change of line can quickly up your catch rate and turn the day on it’s head.

From what I could see the two fly lines we both went out on were only hitting the depth the fish were at for a second or two, by the time the flies had reached there, they were more or less coming back out of the ‘fishing zone’ and the fish seemed to be reluctant to take the fly properly. When striking into the fish, the line was coming back to the surface at a straight angle, pulling the fly away from the fish and out of its sight if it take is missed. The change made a big difference as the whole line sank to the depth you wanted, keeping your flies ‘in the zone’, takes were registering better at the rod end as the weight of the line was actually setting to hook before it could be pulled away.

The illustration below shows the angles of each line – excuse the drawing 😎 – hopefully you can see the different angles of retrieve/fly path each line gives and it’s all down to making the correct decision on the day or at the right time. Unfortunately starting off I didn’t, but mistakes can sometimes be rectified with some practical thinking.

Each line has their day and I would never be caught without one…

Brief overview on the lines –

40 + : A fly line based on shooting head with thin running line. Designed to give any angler more distance. I like this line, it’s a great way of achieving maximum distance and getting the perfect angle to fish the ‘Hang’.

Sixth Sense (SS) : A density compensated fly line which sinks at a set amount of inches per second (ips). Made with a braided core it has less than 6% stretch making it virtually non stretch. Great all round fly line and even better when the takes are soft and the fish are finicky.

Sweep: The airflo sweep fly lines are great for searching the layers. When you turn up to a lake which you have never fished before, a line which ‘sweeps’ its way through the water fishing two or three different layers can help locate the fish in no time. By bringing your flies through the water column, to a depth, then back up can prove irresistible to a following fish. Judging where the fish takes on the retrieve can give great indication to the depth their feeding at EG, if the fish are taking within the first couple of pulls/seconds you know their pretty high.

6 thoughts on “Keeping your flies in the zone

  1. Excellent write up and a sound conclusion Kieron. You could also have tried the Competitor to maintain depth?

    A good overview into the Competition anglers mind set.

    Best regards


  2. Hi Stuart,

    If I had a competitor It would have been on! lol.. Haven’t got round to spooling it up yet 😎

    It’s always good to keep thinking, sometimes the smallest and mos subtle changes can change the day completely.

    BR Kieron

    1. In Competition fishing, you have to be able to monitor changes, however small they are. It’s this Sixth Sense that sorts out the more adaptable fisher, against the rest.

      Of course you don’t need me to tell you this Kieron. You’ve already proved yourself, against the rest of the world. A major life changing achievement and well done on that acomplshment.

      Best regards


      1. I’m going to be nosey now and I don’t know if you’ve been asked this before.

        The day of a match. What’s your mind set? Worries and what if’s? How do you just tick over until the start time?

        Best regards


  3. Most of the time I try and go out with the intention of catching! (dont we all!) I try and think of a game plan, hopefully a practice day will enhance your thought, knowing what has happened the day before. Where to go, what im going to do when, how long im going to stick it out in one place if nothings happening.

    The only thing I try and do is locate the fish, most lakes you know where they are, look for the contours the wind direction etc.Working out what their feeding on and catching them is all on the day. As the post suggests, your never going to ‘know’ everything, there’s always so much you still have to learn!

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