During “Skateboard Dave” Egginton’s presentation to an eager gathering of Wandle Piscators on Thursday night, we didn’t think to ask him if he had a motto.
But if he does, we bet it’s something like “Try it till it works!”
Once we’d eventually persuaded Morden Hall’s projector to resolve its professional differences with Dave’s laptop (thanks to “Whistlekiller” Richard from the Fly Fishing Forums, where wise posters go by noms de peche in case real life ever catches up with virtuality), the revelations started – and only stopped for a whistle-wetting extra pint halfway through.
Clearly, Total Flyfisher columnist Dave has learned a huge amount through semi-stolen 20-minute sessions, striking while the bite is on, trying endless combinations of different flies and materials, persistently just being there on the canals, rivers and lakes when everyone else… isn’t.
So here’s some of that good stuff we found out:
Pike: they’ll take anything big and ugly. But wouldn’t you rather give ‘em something big and pretty instead?
Perch: it’s all about the moves. Jerky, tantalising, come-and-get-me moves… tungsten bead-heads are the business.
Chub: very predatory. Try a couple of tiny olive tadpoles, or a big red-tagged stickfly. Or maybe a nice juicy bullhead?
Rudd: when you’re sight-fishing with a size 22 Klinkhamer or seed-bead nymph and they’re still not taking, go smaller. No, smaller. With a size 26 or 32, maybe you’ll be getting somewhere near the zone. But relax and enjoy, because rudd are nowhere near as tough to catch on the fly as…
Roach: ‘nuff said. Try a double rig of black (jackdaw scalp) and peacock spider, and a red seed-bead pheasant tail nymph. Always smaller than you’d think, almost too small for a photo here. But not quite:
Dace: fish downstream with spiders on conventional droppers behind a tiny, heavy tungsten red tag to regulate depth. Apparently cyprinids suck flies in, rather than snatch them like trout or even grayling – so they’ll often bounce off a New Zealand style bend-tied rig.
Stillwater carp: put away the mixer, chum. Landing with a little plop, marabou bloodworms will stalk ‘em and call ‘em from miles around:
Thanks for coming all the way down from Leicester talk to us, Dee. And roll on Monday 16 June, the start of the Wandle’s coarse-fishing season!
First 3 photos by John O’Brien – thanks John!