Urbanised Fishing: Flies for the River Taff

Taff Flies - The River Taff Collection

I’ve recently been chatting to an author who is currently compiling data for a new book, a book which will be focusing on urban angling within the UK’s town and city centers. As I happen to live on the banks of the River Taff (much of which flows through heavily urbanised areas) this is something I know a little about. For example, I know that a) shopping trolleys provide trout and grayling with very good cover and b) the discovery of (what look to be) brand new BMXs, mountain bikes, toy cars, etc, are far from rare events on these urbanised and, generally, mistreated waterways.

Still, despite this neglect, our trout and grayling numbers (as well as invertebrates) are booming, and so I was kindly asked if I wouldn’t mind supplying a list of my favourite Taff flies. This request got me thinking a little, as I only ever tend to use a handful of flies, most of which are dries or emergers.

Depending on the type of water I’ll be fishing, I’ll generally opt for small/micro patterns; for example, the lower, much wider River Taff is perfect for these tiny patterns, and both the local trout and grayling inhabitants will freely rise to patterns smaller than a size #24. Further up into the catchment (up into the less urbanised and practically unpopulated mountain streams), however, I’m able to relax a little and am able to fish with big bushy dry flies for small but very wild brown trout. These wilder, more secluded areas are my chosen arenas. There I can quite happily fish for, generally, less selective brown trout, but where stealth will be the key. There will still be occasions where micro patterns are required, such as periods of low or clear water, but I’ve found (once stealth is on your side) trout in these surroundings will take any dry fly presented neatly and quietly.

Hopefully it will help, but I’ve tied up a batch of my ‘Taff Flies’ in order for the author to use and experience their results first hand. My selection of flies is a general ‘all-rounder’ package of five patterns, and a grouping of artificials in which I would have no issue recommending to any visitor to the River Taff. Due to our fishy inhabitants’ free-rising nature, only one nymph is included.

Klinkhamer (aka, Hans Van Klinken’s L.T. Caddis)

The River Taff Collection - Klinkhamer (aka, Hans Van Klinkens L.T. Caddis)

Hook: Partridge 15BNX, #16
Thread: Roman Moser 10/0, olive (Danvilles Spiderweb for hackle)
Post: Tiemco AeroDry, gray
Wing: Whiting Rooster, dun
Body: Fly-Rite Extra Fine Poly Dubbing, Light Tan
Thorax: Three strands of peacock herl

Reversed Parachute Emerger – Blue Winged Olive

The River Taff Collection - Reversed Parachute Emerger - Blue Winged Olive

Hook: Mustad Sproat (3366), #18 (more like a #20)
Thread: Roman Moser 10/0, olive
Tail: Rooster hackle fibres, medium dun
Abdomen: SLF Masterclass, #2 Baetis Green Olive
Rib: 4lb tippet
Thorax: SLF Masterclass, #1 Baetis Brown Olive
Wing: Whiting Pro Midge Rooster, medium dun

CDC & Elk

The River Taff Collection - CDC & Elk

Hook: Partridge SLD, #16
Thread: Roman Moser 10/0, olive
Body: CDC
Wing: Deer, coastal

Pheasant Tail Nymph (Variant)

The River Taff Collection - Pheasant Tail Nymph (Variant)

Hook: Partridge SLD, #16
Bead: Tungsten, 2mm
Thread: Roman Moser 10/0, olive
Tail: Rooster hackle fibres, grizzle
Abdomen: Three pheasant tail fibres
Rib: Copper wire, fine
Thorax: Squirrel, gray

Micro Biot Paradun (Tan)

The River Taff Collection - Micro Biot Paradun (Tan)

Hook: TMC 101, #24
Thread: Sheer 14/0, gray
Post: Tiemco AeroDry, fluro pink
Wing: Whiting Pro Midge Rooster, brown
Tails: Micro fibbets, silver dun
Thorax: Superfine dubbing, brown olive

Parachute Adams

The River Taff Collection - Parachute Adams

Hook: Partridge SLD, #16
Thread: Sheer 14/0, gray
Post: Tiemco AeroDry, fluro pink
Wing: Rooster, grizzle and brown
Tail: Rooster hackle fibres, grizzle and brown
Body: Superfine dubbing, Adams Gray

8 Responses to “Urbanised Fishing: Flies for the River Taff”


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