by Roger Fogg
A Handbook of North Country Trout Flies is best known (perhaps only known) for its detailed description of soft-hackled trout flies tied with a variety of game bird feathers. However, of interest particularly to tenkara anglers is Fogg's description of how the North Country flies are best fished. For that he turns to Charles Cotton, with his 15 to 18 foot rods and light horsehair lines. As Fogg states, "Correctly fished wet flies require a long rod, short casts and light lines in order to keep the line off the water. Despite Cotton's reputation as the prophet of the "fine and far off" school of fishing, it must be remembered that to him a full length of line was little more than 20 feet in length, which would still be considered a short cast with modern tackle."
"... we ought to now be in a position to consider the kind of tackle necessary for traditional wet-fly fishing. We need a long rod to keep the line off the water and fish the flies near to the surface; at the same time, the line must be very light and the rod must be capable of making very short casts with such a light line."
"A trout soon feels the hook when the line is taut and just as quickly rejects the fly. Learn, therefore, to keep the rod well up and maintain some slack line between the rod tip and the stream. A movement of this line may register the take, if you have not discerned it visually, and the trout may be struck before he ever feels the pull of the rod."
"It is worth repeating the need for long rods and short casts when wet-fly fishing in the traditional style...First of all, the shorter the cast the more likely you are to see a visual take, either the flash of a turning fish under water, or a movement of the fly line."
Old Vicarage Publications, Congleton UK 1988
Hardcover, 222 pages
9 3/8 x 6 1/8 in.
1. Introduction and Historical Background
2. Fishing the Wet Fly
3. Dressing North Country Flies in Various Styles
4. Hooks & Materials
5. Trout Flies from Woodcock Feathers
6. Trout Flies from Grouse Feathers
7. Trout Flies from Snipe Feathers
8. Trout Flies from Partridge & Hen Pheasant Feathers
9. Trout Flies from Waterhen, Coot & Jackdaw Feathers
10. Trout Flies from Starling & Golden Plover Feathers
11. Trout Flies Dressed with Poultry Hackles
12. Winged Wet Flies for Rough Streams