Trout Flies for DAA Waters- Dawson's Dozen

Below are a set of flies each DAA member should have in their fly box as recommended by John Dawson who says:

Good presentation and accurate casts, I find are far more important on the DAA rivers than an exact imitation of the natural insects. Thereofore the flies that I select are rather generic and can cover a range of insects. I only have a few patterns in my fly box, but in a range of colours and sizes. Do not be afraid of using very small flies and nymphs. Turn a few stones over and you will notice that the insects are relatively small.  Fish your flies with confidence; keep your line as tight as possible at all time and watch the line (grease the tip of the line to make it float high on the top of the water) for the slightest movement to donate a take.
As we return our fish please use barbless hooks or flatten the bard down well. 

Wet Flies

Gold Hare's ear - a must have wet flyGold Head Hares Ear Nymph size 14
  A tried and tested pattern that is a general imitation of a lot of insects. Fish it as near the river bed as possible in the fast and slow currents. An unweighted version works well in mid-water. In bright sunny conditions an unweighted flashback version can be deadly. Sizes 14 to 18 in natural, black and olive.

Copper JohnCopper John
The Copper John is my stand by nymph on our local rivers. A good all round nymph that imitates a lot of naturals insects. An ideal fly to use as the nymph under a floating fly New Zealand style. Best fished near the bottom or in mid water.
Sizes 14-18 in colours copper Black and olive.




Pheasant Tail - a must have fly for South West rivers

Pheasant Tail size 16
A good all round fly that can be fished near the surface or in conjunction with a Copper John or Czech near the bottom.
Sizes 12-16 colours natural, orange and olive



Black Spider - an imitation of a drowned insect

Black Spider size 16
Spider flies imitate drowned flies. They work very well fished downstream in shallow fast water and I have success with them tied above a heavy nymph fishing upstream.
Sizes 14-18. Other patterns: Partridge and orange, snipe and purple and the black and peacock.



Czech Nymph - a fast sinker in any water

Czech Nymph grey / green
A very heavy nymph that imitates the caddis larvae that sinks very quickly even in fast water. Fish it deep in its own right and in a team to take lighter flies (spiders and pheasant tails) down deep.
Sizes 12- 16 various colours.


Olive nymph- fish it downstreamOlive Nymph sixe 14
I have a lot of success with this nymph fishing it downstream into the tail of the pool, down the deep gullies and round the weed beds.
Sizes 12- 16.


Dry Flies

another fly that will sit highParachute Adams size 14
A good representation of most of the hatching flies on our water that floats well in the surface film.
Sizes 14-18  

not many people still dress this with the hair from a ram's scrotum but still a great flyTupps Indispensable size 16
A Tiverton fly that has stood the test of time and represents all those small light coloured flies sitting on the water
Sizes 14-18 or smaller!


an imitation of an emerger

F Fly
A really simple fly that sit just in and under the surface film – an emerger – that imitates tiny hatching midge.
Sizes 14-20. Colours black and olive.



floats well and high viz - balloon caddisBalloon Caddis (sedge) size 14
A really useful fly that floats well and it is easy to see. Use it when the sedge or any of the larger insects are hatching. 




Another Adams variant this one with a high viz post

Adams Suspender Fly Size 16
I like this fly tied with a polystyrene post which makes it easy to see  and keeps it the top film even in fast choppy water. If the current sinks the fly it will soon bob back up on to the surface again. The fish will take it for most of our hatching flies including the olives.
Sizes 12-18. Colours: black, grey and olive



do not leave home without one -  KlinkFluorescent post, black klinkhammer size 14
Klinkhamers sit perfectly in the surface film imitating a hatching fly and with the bright fluorescent post this fly with the bright fluorescent post will float all day, is easy to see and is the ideal fly to hang a nymph from when using the New Zealand method of fishing.
Size 12-16. Colours: black, light and dark olive.