Upstream wet fly?

Sitting here during yet another almighty downpour and the likelihood of a trip to the river looking a million miles away has got me pondering.

After reading a comment on a fly fishing forum that postulated that fishing spiders “down and across” attracted generally smaller fish. Hmmmmmm.

Now I am a simple man.. as those who know me will testify to….. and my style of choice always has been wet fly , down and across working downstream swinging my flies through likely looking holes and runs, mending the line as and when to try to control the drag.

Generally I do alright plenty of bites and pulls, plenty of fish in the 6-8” bracket but  .. not exclusively small, I do also manage to get into the odd decent fish here and there too..

I personally think there is a lot of cobblers and over complication towards fly fishing, that’s not to say you cannot always learn something new though.

But am I missing a trick here, would I do any better if I fished exclusively upstream , casting my straggly bunch of misfit homemade flies upstream and letting them dead-drift back downstream whilst keeping in touch with them and a close eye on the end of my fly line for takes?

I can see the benefits of a drag free run through some likely looking holes but would the flies lose something in movement just going on a dead drift?

I can also see the benefit of stealth by fishing and working upstream

Also fishing upstream you are approaching the fish from behind and I guess they would in theory be easier to hook as you are pulling the hook in to them .

Well there seems to be only one thing for it.. sounds like time for a bit of a go at it me thinks….. My next trip….. whenever that is going to be official upstream spider day, I will give it a good and proper try and see just what the results are…. all being well this will be next weekend, i.e. 18th, 19th May as I suspect anytime before them the river will still be well high.

You lucky people will of course get to read all about it in due course !!  🙂


4 thoughts on “Upstream wet fly?”

  1. I’ve been flyfishing for about 17 years now. When I started down and across was the way to go. It was relatively easy, and I hooked fish. Never anything too big though. When I learned the upstream high-stick nymphing with a small indicator. That’s when I really started to catch decent fish. It’s all about imitating naturals. If you can drop a nymph on the nose of a big trout, he’ll eat it. He doesn’t have to move far for it. Second, big fish feed subsurface most of the time and rarely do they feed on dries (may fly hatches excepted). Also, a swinging wet fly doesn’t really imitate anything except a very small stage of a flies life, when emerging to become an adult. This is a very minute time period in an insects life. If flies are emerging, down and across can be deadly. I saw that this summer on the Grand River in Ontario Canada this summer when swinging a small caddis emerger was the way to catch fish. It rarely is the case though! High stick nymphing is the way to catch big trout. Plain and simple.

  2. It’s been ok. I’ve only been out twice this year so far. I’ve got finals in three weeks so haven’t managed much more than that. Have had a few nice fish though. I think I managed 10 or so fish each day out. One really nice one around 16-17 inches. Rest all in the 12-14 inch range and smaller. Can’t wait till June 13th and I’m free!

  3. i have enjoyed reading your blogs. Like you I am trying upstream spiders. I am trying to wean myself off the dry fly or Klink and Dink I normally rely upon. I have noticed however, that when I fish the spiders down I get lots of bites from small fish during the retrieve. Anyhows, I am interested to know how you enjoy the Blyth. I have joined NAF this year to fish the Coquet but it is a bit of a trek.

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