Dizzying Heights And Disastrous Lows

All in all it was a strange weekend of fishing. A mixture of dizzying heights and disastrous lows leaving me with a day off work and a limp – oh I have torn my breathable waders in a few places as well.

The Story

Strangely the plan for both days was to hit the White Cart, but seeing as how conditions were perfect for the upper Clyde (raining all week) this put most rivers at a fair old height with a touch of colour – perfect, we thought, lets head upstream on the Clyde where usually the water is gin clear and the trout spooky like a ghost house at a dodgy carnival. A bit of colour may well make them, er, less spooky

Alex and I had the classic idea of taking sausages, bacon and egg and having a fry up before starting fishing. We marvelled at our genius idea as if we were the first anglers to ever cook anything beside a car – to be fair people who were passing us looked very jealous of us as we tucked into rolls n’ sausage doublers.

This meat energy food gave us the power to walk a couple of kilometres in search of trout which we caught in abundance – Alex caught far more than I using the killer technique of a New Zealand dropper.

New Zealand Dropper

This technique is used to double your chances of hooking a fish as you are using two flies- a dropper is tied to the hook of the “point” fly. A length of nylon is tied to the bend of the hook and the second fly is tied onto this length so that it is about 12 inches from the first fly. Some people say it should be longer, around double the depth of the water you are fishing but Alex seems to do remarkably well with a very short dropper. This set up is then cast to various likely holding places for trout and its trout attracting abilities are well known. I don’t like it though as it feels very ungainly when casting and if I see a rising trout it affects my accuracy.

Its Just Like Fishing with a Bung

Alex has managed to get the technique just right using a very aggressive cast with a “half haul”. I was talking about this fishing technique to Alberto (Master Caster Extraordinaire) who stated that the guys who fished in competitions on rivers stated this method was basically just like fishing a bung! (Essentially just a float) I always thought it might put the trout off taking the dry fly but if anything it seems to make the trout more willing to take the dry – possibly the trout follows the nymph and then at the last moment has a snatch at the dry instead. This seems to be a common phenomenon.

Anyway, on the Saturday I was picking up the odd trout but was full of doom and despair- I felt as if I was not on form – missing takes and not fishing the water fully. Even my teasing of Alex regarding his use of the New Zealand method had a hollow ring to it as he was naturally hauling them in like a commercial fisherman – every time I looked up, he had his net out.

I used the New Zealand technique on Sunday with a little more success – at one point losing a nice trout of a couple of pounds – it got below me and shed the hook. I also picked up several trout to the dry fly…

Disaster Strikes

On the way back to the car I was just thinking that I had got the old fishing mojo back when I took a tumble whilst climbing over a barbed wire fence – I lost my footing somehow and ended up almost crucifying myself. As it was, I got away with some scratches to my hands and several tears in my Vision Endurance breathable waders. At that point my leg was a bit painful but I could walk back to the car ok. Later on, returning home, the pain in my leg started to get worse meaning a severe lack of sleep which meant I had to take the day off work on Monday. Something which is a very rare occurrence – usually I drag myself in as I feel too guilty being off work. I walked around like a pirate a lot and was the butt of many jokes on arriving to work on Tuesday.

I am now faced with the prospect of shelling out cash for a new pair of breathable waders or trying to patch my Vision Endurance ones up. Beloved wife said “buy a new pair” which was nice and other fishing friends shook their head sadly when they heard the story. I think if I end up patching them I will just be in for a season of leaks which will bug the hell out of me. I am reminded ironically of my thoughts on breathable waders not being up to the job – I was actually thinking I may get a couple more seasons out of these ones if I played my cards right.

So if anyone out there fancies giving me recommendations for breathable waders I would appreciate it. I am considering a pair of Orvis but am open to suggestions. I quite like the idea of Orvis ones as the boots I bought have been doing rather well – they did not in fact explode on contact with water but are really quite comfy and sturdy. The only downside is the laces which have frade and broken after only a dozen or so serious sessions. I am also considering the new Vision waders with the fancy zip up the front which will make it easier to pee and the Simms.
I now limp away to do some housework.

[tags]new zealand dropper,torn breathable waders,river clyde,orvis waders,vision endurance,vision extreme [/tags]


  1. Tom Chandler · May 15, 2007

    Bummer about the fall, but then again, I’m glad you had an adventure worth blogging about. I haven’t heard much from the UK blogs (which I love).

    As for patching your old waders, you can do a surprisingly effective job, though tracking down all the pinhole leaks (that often accompany a big fall) can be annoying.

    I own the Orvis ProGuide waders and had problems with them early on, but Orvis replaced them right away and life is good.

    They’re extremely durable (five layers of fabric in the legs and seat), though the tradeoff still exists — the more durable they are, the warmer and less breathable they tend to be.

    Still, since my river is overrun by plants with stickers, thorns, and other unpleasant things, I wouldn’t go with anything less.

    I’m not sure why the “Dry and Dropper” rig you described is called a New Zealand rig; it’s been around for many years.

    I fish it from time to time, and keep the dropper longer than 18″ — otherwise, a fish that takes the dry will inevitably get foul hooked by the dropper, something I couldn’t countenance.

    Good luck with the waders!

  2. Alistair · May 15, 2007

    Hey Tom,

    Thanks for the comment. I have been waiting for some of the UK blogs to restart again as well…I reckon people are too busy concentrating on the fishing to post..I wonder what has happened to Mike over at “Tamanawis”? I will give him a phone in the morning and see what he is up to. Last time I spoke to him he had just risen and lost an estimated 5lb trout – he was in shock !!
    (edit:: he has made a lovely post today)

    I reckon my waders are “gubbed” (thats a good Scots word meaning ruined) after my fall – I doubt they will ever be right. I might still patch them up and keep them as spares if my wife fancies a bash I suppose 🙂

    Interesting about the origins of the “Dry and Dropper” rig – I have read various articles saying it originated in new zealand – but still – I reckon there are not too many fresh ideas in fly fishing !


  3. scott · May 15, 2007

    Nice fish there alistair. Was just wondering is that a sage launch alex is using? If it is id be gratefull to hear how he rates it

  4. Alistair · May 15, 2007

    I think he loves it – it is the 9 foot 4 piece 5 weight.
    I am sure he will be along to comment properly on it though 🙂


  5. Shupac · May 15, 2007

    I usually fish a longer dropper too…maybe time to pull up a bit.

    Orvis waders are fine if you get the right pair. The last ones I had needed to be replaced twice before I got ones that lasted, though I got four years out of those. Trying Chota this time around.

  6. Alistair · May 15, 2007

    Hey Shupac,

    I think it just depends on the conditions on the day when it comes to lengh of dropper – saying that though Alex goes for a short one pretty much all the time.

    I readded your link to my blogroll, for some reason I missed out several sites when I changed over to the new format – Oh would you mind changing the URL of the link in your blogroll to http://www.urbanflyfisher.com


  7. Alex · May 15, 2007

    Tom is absolutely right – the ‘new zealand’ dropper idea has been around for years. Likewise, I have no idea how it got the title! It could be called the New Potato dropper for all I care!

    yes it is a Sage Launch. I would say it’s the best value-for-money rod I own. The action is on the fast side (as you’d expect) but it still retains that ‘feel’ that would suggest it would be suitable for just about anyone. The fittings are good quality with a nice comfortable handle. The only negative comment I’ve heard about it is the surface finish – it’s a very shiny kinda burnt gold colour which some people think is a definite fish-scarer. All I would say is that my catch rate certainly didn’t suffer when I started using it. It gets my full endorsement!



  8. scott · May 15, 2007

    Alex i too have the sage launch. 9′ 5# 2 piece.
    I find it a good rod to spend a day with. Not very tiring and i think it has alot feel too. The only problem i find with it is it doesnt always load correctly. This maybe is down to my casting technique, which is self taught or maybe it is down to the line im using. Using a scientific anglers aircel floating DT #5. First time ive ever used a scientific anglers line, Maybe its that. Be interested to hear what line your using

  9. Alex · May 15, 2007


    snap! I too use a scientific anglers line – I only started using them last season and was impressed enough to buy one for my smaller rod too. I think they have good anti-memory characteristics and fare up well against more expensive brands.

    My rod frequently doesn’t load correctly, but Alistair will confirm that it’s nothing to do with the quality of the rod!

  10. scott · May 15, 2007

    As i thought then, my casting technique. Dont have any bother with my little 3#. Its a grey g series (prob the best rod i have used) or my sage Fli 8# which throws a longggggg line. Maybe just need to use it more and get used to it

    Thanks alex!

  11. ron P. · May 15, 2007

    Fry Up on the Fly: Tales of an Urban Fly Fisher
    Alistair Stewart

  12. Pingback: Lamb Chops Anyone?
  13. Ian Scott · May 15, 2007

    I don’t know if they are available in the U.K. – but I really like my William Joseph waders. You might want to try a pair.

    But I note from one of your later posts, you’ve got these ones patched 🙂

  14. Alistair · May 15, 2007

    Hey Ian,

    Yep, got em patched – and a mighty fine job if I say so myself…I will post about it in a few days. There is nothing sweeter than a working patch !

    I still need a new pair of waders though and liked the look of the william joseph ones however noone sells them over here in the UK – or if they do they are far away from me. I would loathe having to send them back to the states for any warranty repair !


  15. Pingback: Wader Repair Time Again…. | The Urban Fly Fisher

Comments are closed.