Fishing My Way
by Adrian Freer

At the LFFA September 2005 meeting members were treated to a short talk by Adrian Freer.  Adrian has proved to be somewhat of an expert over recent years when it come to fishing Ringstead Grange, having won the last two 'Senior Members' competitions there.
Senior's Outing 15th June 2005

The LFFA "Seniors" ready for their barbeque on their annual outing to Ringstead Grange. Left to right: Alan, Harry, Ewen, Gil, Louise, Don, Keith the chef, Ray, John and Alan.
(Adrian of course remains anonymous as he took the photograph)

Adrian explained that he made a habit of spooning each fish that he caught (assuming that it was not being returned) and studied the stomach contents to guide him as to the choice of the most appropriate fly patterns to use to match the food that the trout had been eating.

Photographs of 6 spoonings (shown below) were circulated and members were asked to identify the major contents in each case. See if you can identify the contents.

This autopsy from a boat caught Rainbow Trout in April showed that it had been feeding exclusively on daphnia. With over nine hundred separate but identical food items present, it could rightly be described as an example of selective feeding.
The stomach contents of a bank caught Rainbow in May which had been feeding on black buzzer pupae, caddis larvae, freshwater louse, a few bloodworm, a damsel larva and a buzzer shuck.
This assortment of aquatic life including damsel larvae, freshwater louse bloodworm, buzzer pupae, a leech, a caddis larva and other items were all found inside one Rainbow Trout. Bank fishing.

Bloodworm predominated in this spooning of a Booby caught Rainbow taken on the bottom in 24 feet of water. It also took a few buzzer pupae and a lot of bottom debris. Boat fishing on a cold day in May with a North wind.

This Rainbow contained just one revolting looking Horse Leech (Haemopsis) which was 3¾" in length. It was taken on a deeply fished Black and Green Fritz Tadpole. Boat Fishing in July.
After two days of continuous rain and an extra foot of water in the margins, this fish had been feeding mainly on earthworms. It was taken on a green epoxy buzzer however! Bank fishing.

Having studied the stomach contents of the trout he had caught over a number of months, Adrian set about identifying those fly patterns that best represented the food items that he had found.  This resulted in Adrian selecting 22 patterns that would form the neucleus of his flybox.  Not only did this reduce the size and weight of the flybox that he carries with him but it also make initial fly selection much easier - less patterns to choose from!  Of course Adrians fishing bag has not lost much weight as he still likes to take with him the several hundred other flies he has - just in case, you understand!!

The following pages show pictures of the 22 flies that Adrian selected (see links to Patterns below). I wonder how they compare to the patterns that you use on a regular basis?

I hope that you will find the pictures, and this short article, just as interesting as we found Adrian's talk.  Thanks Adrian.

Links to other pages
Patterns 1
Patterns 2
Patterns 3
Patterns 4