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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Streamer Advice

Posted by chrisdore on September 20, 2018 at 9:35 PM

Matthew writes:

“Hi Chris. Thank you for all the helpful articles and posts that you write. One in particular that I really liked was your article on the Dore's Mr Glister with the list of materials and the way you fish it etc. Using stuff I had amongst my tying stuff I have tied a couple of similar flies (I didn't have exactly the same stuff as you use so used what I had that was similar) and have been having some success with them in a couple of waterways near where I work. One thing I have noticed using them has been the number of fish that will get drawn to them and at the last instant decide to swim off, not sure if it's angler error or the flies. If the trout goes for the streamer out of instinct they seem to take the fly but if they see it from a distance and follow it they turn away after a while of following it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.”

Dore responds:

“That’s awesome! Thanks for touching base. Your flies look cool by the way. Basically look at your retrieve. Fish don’t have the ability to be ‘curious’. They are efficient feeders. If they move on it, they want to eat it, but something as they close in has put them off. Try stripping faster when they take interest, imparting movement to your fly via the rod tip, and as they close in just stop! They suddenly find themselves right upon the fly and have only two choices: yes or no. If no, give it a short sharp strip and they’ll often hit it. You can also try dropping down to a smaller size. The bullies I originally tied this fly to imitate are half the size of the flies I actually use. And don’t worry about varying the pattern: that’s how you make improvements, the only reason the Mr Glister has a cone instead of a bead is that I ran out of large black beads and I kinda liked the effect of the cone!”

Galloups Antacid

Posted by chrisdore on September 10, 2018 at 9:45 PM

Well the brown beetle are now truly taking to the wing however we don’t always wait until beetle season to tie on a terrestrial. Galloup’s Antacid is a favourite of mine from the grassy, front country streams to the high country wilderness. Its subtle, uber buggy and fish everywhere just love them.

Fished throughout October, the Antacid offers a non-mayfly option before terrestrials show, then throughout the summer months it offers a sneaky alternative as fish become weary of blowflies and cicada patterns. Small and subtle the rubber legs and deer hair wing make it a favourite indicator dry for flat water or gentler runs, and dropped onto the edge waters along a grassy bank it can prove dynamite.

So stock up your box with a few Gallops Antacids this season. It’s another winner from the Manic Fly Collection.

Rules of Engagement

Posted by chrisdore on August 25, 2018 at 9:40 PM

1) You will never, never...never never never ever flick a tangle free from the rod tip.

2) If I say its a fish, its a fish.

3) If I say rock, its a rock. If you insist on casting to it, I WILL, walk away.

4) If the rock swims away as I walk past, we never ever speak of it again.

5) If it aint working, present it better. If you put the fly infont of the fish without dumping it on his head, he’s probably going to eat it.


Posted by chrisdore on August 25, 2018 at 8:55 PM

I personally don’t use stoneflies a lot in the waters I guide but they allow you to really go to town on profile, accents and importantly for big, come eat me legs, let’s talk more about this...

A good stonefly imitation is my go to in deeper, rocky runs, or big pools where you need your fly to be seen. On many of my Southern waters going too big, too soon can kill an opportunity, however for me personally after presentation, bling, then weight, I want a stonefly or two in my kit.

Rubber legs on a stonefly nymph add enticing movement whereas stiff static legs push water and create an aquaplane effect, enhancing the visibility of your fly.

Often something big, visible but lightweight is just the thing along the slack, knee deep edges and the addition of deep soft weight will get them plugging the runs if needed. Otherwise I reach straight for the tungsten, you choose.

Thinking More = Catching More

Posted by chrisdore on August 15, 2018 at 7:40 PM

Swinging sexy water. Don’t just fire out random casts thinking they will work. Identify structure in the water ahead of you and think about how your fly will present to fish holding around that structure. How fast / slow will the fly pass through the bingo zone and should it accelerate, remain uniform or slow as it does so? How deep / near the surface should it be. Will it present broadside or not? Should we add movement or just let it swing and once it passes that drop off and could we take a few strips, add a mend and have it slow as it passes that next big boulder on the swing?

Because there’s so much more to it than just banging big casts out there...

Brendons Casting Clinic

Posted by chrisdore on August 10, 2018 at 12:10 AM

Casting with Brendon. I dont usually go into a personal 90 minute session with a plan and even wing talks / group sessions depending on what they respond best to. We may cover a lot of ground or stick with one or two main focus points depending on how the student progresses. We usually begin with the student throwing a few overhead casts and go from here. These are the take-home bulletpoints from our lesson with Brendon, who adapted bloody well to longer leaders, changes in distance and wind position.


Brendons casting notes 3/6

Key advice:

Focus on your tracking ( remember the 180 degree rule on both overhead, and roll cast ), and pulling the rod butt through to a late squeeze. “Accelerate”!

* Tracking drill. Keep the shoulders steady and hand straight. Cast along a straight line such as the rugby field

* Grip on the rod. Hold it lower down to counterbalance the reel with the heel of the hand. Elbow low, but relaxed by your side. Relax the hand throughout the stroke, squeezing only to stop the rod.

* 5 essentials: Bill Gammell

* Straight Path of the Rod Tip

* Variable Casting Arc ( the slice of pie )

* Acceleration. Start slow, finish fast

* Pause ( loop presents hard - too short. Loop flies high and fly parachutes to the water - too long )

* Eliminate that slack line

* Relax!!! Relax the hand, elbow and shoulders. Stretch if you feel tight, rest if you feel sore. Make a coffee / cup of soup to rest with a purpose.

* Distribute weight on your back foot to maybe ease the back pain. Reconsider the type of vest you use and distribute weight maybe to the hips.

* Hand to forehead on the cross shoulder cast

* Present your backcast for longer, cross body casts - finger on top. Angle the ‘away cast’ upwards and the presentation cast down

* Elliptical cast ( sidearm backcast / overhead forward cast ) for tailwinds, heavy flies

* Straight Tracking and late squeeze for headwinds. Short backcast and low forward cast.

* Pile cast slack line presentation for slack down by the leader - low backcast, high, checked forward cast. Throw this off an elliptical cast to reduce tails

* Reach mend. Stop rod high and slip maximum line. Keep it smooth and you sweep the rod right, or left.

* Finally casting on multiple planes. False cast three times on each plane before tipping the rod out.

Options are Good

Posted by chrisdore on August 5, 2018 at 4:50 AM

Having a variety of flies, in a number of patterns and profiles, along with a variety of heads and sink tip options sure makes a difference on those slower, winter days. Add in a bit of imagination and a few different retrieves and you not only increase your options, but renew your entheusiasm with each change.

Because lifes too short to do the same old, same old.

Fishing the Mr Glister

Posted by chrisdore on July 25, 2018 at 9:40 AM

So I’ve received a number of messages this week as to how I fish Mr Glister streamers. Do I just swing it, do I strip it? Well, it all depends on the water etc and how the fish are reacting.

In larger, deeper pools I will often fish them slow and deep across and down, letting it swing under control across the current. While the fly sports plenty of movement from the rabbit strip wing, it can also be stripped in long pulls. If pulling fish from cut banks / cover etc I will land the fly a metre or so from the shelter, then strip very fast as if imitating prey trying to escape. Watch for fish chasing and be careful not to strip it all the way to the rod tip: the fish will usually see you and pull away. A handy tactic to avoid this is to simply stop the retrieve as the fish charges it down. Suddenly they find themselves upon their prey and only have two choices - yes or no.

In general runs / river scenarios my usual method is to pitch the fly upstream alongside of, or well ahead of the most likely water and strip the streamer straight back down: big trout are both predatory and territorial. If a smaller fish / your fly is swung away then it isn’t much of a threat as it’s leaving the trout’s territory. If they’re not hungry, they don’t have to move on your fly. However if your streamer is moving downstream, straight towards the fish and his territory, then it is a threat, and this can trigger an ultra-aggressive response

One tip that will often convert missed chances is what you do immediately following a chase down, or when a fish hits your streamer but doesn’t hook up...

Get it straight back in there, fast! The fish is still aggressive, pumped, looking for a fight so if you can get your shit together in those valuable few seconds after the miss, drop your fly just past him and strip into it again, the fish will more often than not hit it a second time.

Three Quick Tips:

1: remember, in clear water the fish will see your streamer from some distance. If you don’t land your fly where intended, fish it out anyway. If the fish are spooky it’s better to land your fly further away... they’ll still see it!

2: in dirty water, the splash down and movement of the materials / stripping of the fly will still get noticed. Fish even closer to cover.

3: Don’t switch off and fish totally blind: imagine what’s down there, fish to structure and visualise your fly working through the water... oh, and if you see a fish, cast today him... sight fishing with streamers can be super productive too!

We all have those days where the fish aren’t out or are just not playing ball. Having a Mr Glister or similar streamer in your kit, and an awareness of how to present it can change your day around... there’s more to it than ‘chuck and chance’.

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?

Forget The Forecast, Right?

Posted by chrisdore on July 15, 2018 at 7:40 PM

Playing with a few recently arrived lines... just couldnt wait to throw them, and #forgettheforecast right? Techy Thursday on my favourite winter kit coming soon...