Trout and grayling are without any doubt the most common preys for many of us. In some cases, a troutless river is considered as a “not” flyfishing water. Those who consider flyfishing more a phylosophy than a sport, have a different opinion and go after other preys if salmonids and thymallus are not present.
Chub is a fish offering the best sport to flyanglers, in many cases much more than trout. It is many people’s opinion that chub are more difficult to catch, shyers, more diffident, quicker and more exigent. If you live in an area where chub is the most common prey (and you have to drive say 45 to 60 min for the nearest trout water) you must develop a dedicated technique.
Chub live almost everywhere and are very common. You can find them in gin clear water and in muddy water as well, in fast flowing and in still water. In streams and in lakes. We have a lot of not so fast rivers carachterized by riffles and pools, ofter bordered by overhanging vegetation and trees.
Summer is the best period for the biggest specimens and we have developped a technique demanding slow movements, not so long casts, and greatest accuracy. We may call it “stalking fishing” and requires a lot of patience. We use a rather big (bulky) dry (Bivisible, Whickham’s, Peute, Wasps… on 12 to 8 hooks) on a 3-4mt leader (diam 0,16-0,18).
Before making the first cast, we move very very slowly along the bank and check the pools for the presence of fish. Normally they patrol the bank and the vegetation and you can see them swimming quietly and suspiciously. From time to time (but not on a regular basis) they rise to something you cannot see nor recognize. As a rule, they follow a more or less regular path and return to the same spot every few minutes.
In some cases, you see them still, motionless a few cm below the surface and cast to their tail. You don’t need a delicate cast: the noise of the fly falling onto the water is very important. The same technique applies in case of still fish: cast violently to the tail, not to the nose of the fish. In most cases, the fish will turn to the tail and grab the fly with a strong movement.
The strike can be a problem: you see the fish, you see the fly, you see the movement of the chub and 9 times out of 10 you strike too early. Of course, we do not use only this technique with chub. There are moments where you need extra thin leaders and microscope-flies but the “stalking” is perhaps the best in red hot summer days. Don’t believe? Book the first available flight in late june to end of august and I’ll be pleased to let you try!