Put and Take

by Bob Wyatt

nothing like a grumpy ole’ article from a grumpy ole’ man to brighten up a dismal sunday afternoon. enjoy !

With the demise of so many great fishing waters, and increasing pressure on the remaining wild fisheries, the best thing that has come down the pike for fly fisherman is the put and take fishery. Let’s face it, who has the time these days to put in the hours, years for chrissake, necessary to catch sufficient numbers of wild trout to be able to call yourself an angler? Well, nowadays, with these fantastic put and take fisheries, all that lore and experience stuff about flies and hatches and so on is just a bunch of boring old crap preached by boring old farts. No wonder the kids aren’t interested in fishing anymore.

And, even better, the P&T waters are just getting better all he time. No nettles, brambles or mud, all nice green grass and neat wood and concrete jetties to fish from, no need for waders and all the paraphernalia. Your nice expensive Nikes stay as clean as when you stepped out of the car, only feet away from the old fishing hole. And the fish keep getting bigger! We no longer have to work so hard for weenie little sprats like on the so-called wild waters. Now the time put in is worth something, all these fish are whoppers, easy two pounds and up. Some are real hawgs too, over twenty pounds of fighting rainbow swimming around out there in plain sight, with its mouth open. It’s better than Playstation!

No, there’s no two ways about it, ‘wild’ trout fishing just ain’t worth the candle. I have to admit though, catching hawg after hawg can get a bit samey. But I was thinking these same operators could provide something with a bit more edge for all of us who have logged the hours on the trout. You know, just for a change of pace. For a bit more money you could fence an area and stock it with chickens. They’re better eating than trout anyway. You go in there with a golf club or two and pay for a limit of, say, five. You don’t want it too big an area, because you’d never get a good swing at them, and of course you’d have to think about the disabled, maybe have wheelchair access.

Anyway, that would really get the blood running, so to speak, don’t ya think?. Good aerobic exercise, too, for the heart or whatever. There’d be all the same really interesting stuff about tackle and tactics, just like fishing. You know, what action you prefer, swing weight and so forth. No end of fun. And hey, if it caught on, which I’m sure it would, you could graduate to ‘big game’ – have an area stocked with pigs or something. Use a range of hammers. Sporting stuff, say 1.5 pound ballpean for light corner work, and heavy sledges for long range. You could have a weight class competition.

You can imagine the chat around the artificial campfire up at the lodge. “Man, that last one was a real stonker. I was going too light, definitely. Struck too hard and he broke me. I know where he’s hiding though. I’ll sneak up on him at dusk with the post maul.” 
Best yet, who doesn’t prefer BBQ ribs to fish farm trout? If you get a big bag, you could donate the catch to charity, hospitals and old folks homes and such, who are probably getting mighty sick of rainbow trout by now…

i feel better now, thanks for allowing me to share this Bob.

number One

a gorgeous ‘butter-brown’ first fish for me of the 2013 Gathering trip caught somewhere on the river Wye in England.
Gathering 2013 1st trout
a little fancified size 18 Bob Wyatt-style Deer Hair Emerger (peacock quill body and EP International fibers as the wing instead of deer hair) under the branches on the other side of the stream did the trick. it wanted to go dig into some exposed tree roots and actually did but thank who/whatever for Stroft nylon.

Gathering 2013 1st trout - 2a few seconds on the grass to get a quick pic of the 50 or so cm trout in full and off you go !

related articles

getting low-down and Double-Dirty

as impressionistic and effective as it gets, here’s a minor variation of Bob Wyatt‘s classic Dirty Duster general emerger pattern and because more dirty is better than less dirty…  the Double-Dirty Duster (3D) is born ! originally created as an easier-to-tie version of his famous DHE (deer hair emerger), this pattern is anything but a minor replacement. the abdomen is still under the surface film but the thorax sits slightly differently on the surface, the clipped hackle underneath offers ‘spikier’ legs and the whole surface imprint is much wider and leaves well, a big imprint, something that might entice a fish if they’re keyed-in to bugs with that silhouette.

Hans’ 3D3D and Bob’s original DD below.

as noted in the video, Bob winds the hackle a second time back over it’s first direction whereas Hans winds just once but with a denser feather and slightly extends the thorax. whichever one will be a hard-core, all over the World proven pattern that sorry to be so repetitive, if you target bug-eating fish then this absolutely needs to be in every fly angler’s box. amazingly simple to make, tie it big to small and everywhere in between and vary colors schemes. follow Hans’ excellent video tutorial at the bottom of the page and you can’t go wrong. enjoy !dirty_duster_clipped

What Trout Want

– The Educated Trout and Other Myths  by Bob Wyatt

there’s so much self-important  blah-blahing in contemporary fly fishing literature that new books of real interest are far and few between.
coming out somewhere around the 2013 new year, Bob Wyatt’s new book promises to set things straight by debunking popularized wishful thinking and insecurities… and  getting back to the subject of fish and fishing instead of the angler’s ego.
author of the highly respected Trout Hunting: The Pursuit of Happiness, this new one seems even more promising.

not from the up and coming book but i like his way of thinking and very much look forward to reading and studying this new book.

After decades of thinking about trout as cunning and fussy critters with eating disorders, my fly tying programme finally got traction with the ‘trigger’ concept. Behavioural science terms like ‘behavioural releaser’, ‘supernormal stimulus’, ‘optimal foraging strategy’ and ‘fixed action pattern’ entered my angling vocabulary. Everything just sort of came together and for the first time in my angling life started to make sense.

Where we get to with this behavioural business is the rather revolutionary idea that trout are, in fact, not cunning and fussy at all. But they are efficient. The simplest, and therefore probably the correct, explanation for why emergers usually work better than dry dun patterns is simply that trout quickly key onto the prey that is most abundant, most visible, and easiest to catch. “
-extract from Bob’s ‘The Hang of it’ via Carl McNeil’s Bumcasts

distributed by Stackpole/Headwater Books, pre-orders for the international market are already available through Amazon

Hangin’ on Bob

The Hang of It – by Bob Wyatt via Bumcasts

once again, Bob shares his experience and wisdom on fish behavior and fly design, some invaluable reading for the angler trying to make sense of it all.
leafy fashions come and go but the roots  always hold it all together and these few words go deep. call it a mantra if you will, i’ll always be happy to re-read them over and over. thanks again Bob.

D.H.E ‘deer hair emerger’


” After decades of thinking about trout as cunning and fussy critters with eating disorders, my fly tying programme finally got traction with the ‘trigger’ concept. Behavioural science terms like ‘behavioural releaser’, ‘supernormal stimulus’, ‘optimal foraging strategy’ and ‘fixed action pattern’ entered my angling vocabulary. Everything just sort of came together and for the first time in my angling life started to make sense… “

for more click HERE, enjoy !

DHE 2.0

Bob Wyatt‘s  Deer Hair Emerger, an updated version tied by Hans Weilenmann

what a treat ! a few months back we had seen Bob tie his Snow Shoe Hare Emerger variant of the mega-classic D.H.E. and here’s an awesome tutorial with a new twist.
notice the ‘reversed dubbing’, the pronounced deer hair stubs, Hans’ sparse use of thread and specially the ultra-buggy appearance of the finished fly.
this is definitely a pattern to have in different sizes and colors in every box. enjoy !

be sure to check out Hans’ site for the absolute best online collection of flies from around the world.

Tying the Snow Shoe Hare Emerger with Bob Wyatt

this most excellent fly is a variant of Bob’s famous DHE (Deer Hair Emerger) below.

as noted in the video, it’s a simpler process to tie much smaller sized flies with hare fur than deer, also making it easier for those who don’t like using deer hair. i wrote about scruffiness and the idea of an emerger looking like an explosion here but this one takes the cake !

be sure to pay special attention to the scenes at the end of the vid with the fly on the water filmed from underneath and with varying lighting conditions. the overall silhouette, footprint left on the water’s surface film and it’s scruffiness are what makes this bug work.
super-easy to tie and very resistant, it’ll imitate just about anything. this is one to have in different sizes and colors for just about any insect eating fish in all waters. thanks Bob !

video and photos by Carl McNeil of On the Fly Productions