1. Always buy (or make) two flies of each type, size and color: it’s so irritating to have found the winning fly on a particular day only to lose it in an overhanging tree.
2. If you can’t match the natural flies and nymphs perfectly, don’t worry too much – it’s how the fly behaves in the water that matters just as much as how it looks.
3. Always try to think how the natural fly does behave, and attempt to make your artificial work in the same sort of way. So don’t twitch methodically, but vary how you retrieve your fly. Put a bit of imagination into it, and concentrate all the time. Results will rocket.
4. It’s probably true to say that 90 percent of takes are never even guessed at by the angler. A trout can swim up, suck in a fly, and then reject it without the angler having a clue what’s happened. For this reason, keep everything tight to the fly and watch both your line and your leader with hawk-like concentration. Strike if you think anything is a miss, and you can often be rewarded.
5. Very often anglers use bite indicators – little pieces of putty or polystyrene – on the line to help with bite indication. These act like floats in bait fishing. They are especially useful when fishing for grayling in winter on rivers. Always consider having a packet with you for very difficult situations.
6. One of the most useful tricks in nymph fishing is the induced take. The idea here is that you can see a trout looking at your nymph beneath the surface. It can’t make its mind up, so you do it for it. You do this by twitching the nymph quite vigorously at precisely the moment the trout comes to investigate. The nymph rises 6 inches (15cm) or so in the water and this triggers an instant reaction in the trout. Woof! You are suddenly playing your fish.