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This I am sure has been discussed a great deal on here, but with the "Depth" thread live, I just wanted to ask if the speed varies for time of year/conditions or should it be varied at all times?
In the spring, I am always trying to slow down a fly - makes sense in big cold water. However, on the Tweed a couple of weeks ago, we were trying to fish slow as well. It was biggish, perfect height i'd say, but not cold. Yet all the fish landed were caught stripping. A few fish were lost mid swing having taken yards of line (I have another theory on this fish). When I used to fish the Dee in September/October, most fish were caught stripping flies at all depths, the faster the better.
So is there a "correct" speed for a given situation, or should I be trying all speeds as I fish down a pool - which is what i try to do. Maybe I'm wasting my time?
I use the example of all the fish taken on rapalas and spoons with their exaggerated actions.
We're trying to illicit an aggression response not a feeding one so I believe movement is key.
Also I seem to find that the Findhorn and Spey like a faster fly than the Wye for example.
Cold water fishing is definately a different job, and I have to say not my thing. I'm pretty sure slow not fast is going to be the go. I think around 11c is the point where they will take big falls, and that indicates it is the lowest temp for a "high speed" approach. I'm not sure how steep the downward curve is but I'd guess below 4 there not moving much. So I'd say 4 and below, as slow as you can, while you gently freeze, then speed up all the way to 11.
A note from experience - I do seem to catch more sea trout than any of my pals while fishing for salmon, stripping big flies. But I think i fish a fly faster than they do.
In the summer when it gets really warm on the Miramichi very slow swings are more likely to be taken, dead-drifted dry flies even more so.