High Temperatures & Low Water = Small Flies

I'm writing this after a few pretty hot days - with more to come if the forecast is to be believed, and our rivers are pretty low already - below normal summer levels - that's when we start to think about breaking out the small flies in our fly boxes.

*** For some great small fly setups and tips take a look at the end of this email ***

During the warmer summer weather with low flows and even lower rivers, most of the fish during the day will head for cover. This will usually be in deep pockets, undercut banks and under their favourite overhanging trees/bushes. When the fish are hanging out under trees and bushes they are in the perfect spot for opportunistic meals of terrestrials which fall from the bankside vegetation.

High temperatures in the summer months promote plant growth, which in turn creates lots of aphid activity on the leaves - these regularly fall (and get blown) onto the water and the trout love them! This is when you should break out the smaller dry flies - and a great opportunity for me to introduce you to our Aphid Selection:

Here's a run down of the flies included in our Aphid Selection:

Para Aphid - An easy to see small greenfly imitation, green body and pink sighting post. Selection includes 2 each of size 20 and 24.

Generic Aphid - A generic aphid imitation with green body and white wings. Selection includes 2 each of size 20 and 24.

Krystal-Loop Greenfly - A greenfly imitation. with a krystal flash looped wing. Selection includes 2 each of size 20 and 24.

Krystal Midge - A super small midge imitation. with a krystal flash tail. Selection includes 2 each of size 20 and 24.

Please Note: We have checked these with various tippets and can thread all 7X (0.104mm) through the size 24's.

A  review of our Aphid Selection by a customer (thanks David) said:

"I am delighted to say these flies are so much more than an aphid collection. I will use them for gnats, midges, caenis, pale wateries as well as aphids. These flies are beautifully tied as you would expect from Barbless Flies and the service as always is fantastic."

Our Barbless Aphids are only available as a selection of 16, 4 different patterns (2 each of sizes 20 and 24), priced at only £20. All delivered free of charge wherever you are in the world.

If you love your small flies, you're going to love this ...

As well as our Aphids we have bundled together our best small flies and created the Ultimate Small Fly Selection, this consists of our Midge Selection & Aphid Selection and is presented to you in an 8-compartment magnetic fly box - so they don't all blow away!

*** This Ultimate Small Fly Selection is strictly limited - we only have 15 available - if you would like one you will need to be quick off the mark ***

Ok, you've sold me on them, "What's the price?" I hear you ask - we are making this Ultimate selection of small flies available to you for only £39.99 (that's roughly a 20% discount on buying them individually).

Generally, if you're in the UK you will receive your order the very next day.

(for more detailed images please visit our website by clicking on any images or buttons above)

Go on you know you want to!

As always, all of our fly selections are delivered free of charge, anywhere in the world

Leader Setup for Small Flies

Firstly, when setting up your leader, do not use fluorocarbon tippet, as this will sink and drag your fly under with it, use a thin supple mono (there are plenty to choose from such as RIO Suppleflex & Stroft).

When building your leader, take note of the river size, if you are fishing a small overgrown stream, it's going to be difficult in most places to cast a 14ft leader, so try cutting back a 9' 6X leader by a few feet, and replacing that with your chosen tippet. All it means is you will need to wade very carefully in order to not spook any fish.

Cast to Use

Use a Bow & Arrow cast to get your fly into those tight spots:

  1. Hold the fly with your free hand (by the bend of the hook).
  2. Whilst trapping the fly line with your finger on the rod, force a bend into the rod.
  3. Using the rod tip as a sight, point it to where you want the fly to land and release the fly.
  4. Out she flies hopefully landing in your chosen spot.

Top Small Fly Tips

Here are a few tips to help you when fishing with small dry flies, which we hope you find useful:


  • Use the most flexible and limp tippet material you can find, often in 6X & 7X. If possible, do not use fluorocarbon, as this will sink and cause even more drag.
  • Make the tippet length form about 30% of the total leader length. This can make the tippet pile up when presented, which may give you a few more seconds of drag free drift.
  • The majority of the time you will lose sight of the dry fly once you have cast it. One option is to de-grease your leader, but leave the last foot near the fly, this should then allow you to see the leader and then track it to your fly.
  • Another option to indicate where your fly is positioned, is to use a minute yarn sight indicator, place it about 3 feet up your leader.
  • Alternatively, why not fish with 2 dry flies, about 18" apart. Use one with a visible sighting post in size 18 and then maybe a size 24 dry as a point fly.

 Tight lines & have fun.