Fly Fishing with Chris Dore

Your FFF Certified Fly Casting Professional, and Member of the New Zealand Professional Fishing Guides Association

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Size Matters

Posted by chrisdore on July 20, 2018 at 9:15 AM


One thing I often see in many anglers fly boxes are a plethora of different patterns but sure enough, most are of a similar size range, and usually tungsten beaded.


Now we all know that trout will most likely eat your favourite size 14 beadhead but what if they don’t? Will you switch to another 14 of a different flavour? Chances are, changing down a size (or two) will get the result. I fish very few patterns, but those that I do are carried in a range of sizes and in the case of nymphs, weights.




It’s no use fishing that size 12 on the Mataura when the fish are focussing on 18’s, and while those 18’s may work on that big headwater brown, getting them down just isn’t happening too easily in that deep, bouldery run. Your double tungsten 14 may be just the trick.



Today Russell Lister, son O.J. And I fished a small, hatch driven stream where most fish were found at the very top of ankle deep riffles. Unweighted nymphs were the go and if they were larger than a size 16, “Forgeddaboutit” (you read that in an Al Pacino voice, didn’t you?) Any weight whatsoever in such low, skinny water and we were catching up on the streambed.



Small size 16 split case PMD nymphs, Quill Bandits and Soft hackle PT’s were the order of the day today and it got me thinking - how many little unweighted flies do YOU carry?

Categories: Fly Fishing, Flies & Fly Tying