The Leadhead Fishing techniques



The weight of the fly can make it very hard to make a good, well placed cast, especially in the beginning. Therefore a rod with a stiff or tip action is necessary. Reduce the casting speed and watch your head. To fish these heavy bugs the following techniques can be employed:

Dead Drifting: With this technique, I cast upstream or up and across and let the fly drift downstream as naturally as possible. My eyesight is not good so I generally use a small bite indicator, made of plastic foam, attached to the leader.

Looping the line: This second technique amazed some of my friends, because I use it exclusively on fast waters. I cast downstream, just mend the line and bring the fly back to me by looping in line with my left hand (no casting hand). On waters with slower current this can be easily achieved with a figure-of-eight retrieve. I have found that it is very important to vary the speed of retrieving in order to succeed.

Lift-sink-lift: This technique involves an upstream cast, where after I let the nymph sink. When I think it has sunk enough (i.e. to the bottom) I lift the fly briefly with the rod tip and let it sink again. This sequence is repeated several times as the cast is fish out.

Stillwater motion: When fishing in Stillwater I use the rod top extensively to give the fly motion: a little movement of the rod top is combined with slow draws on the line with my no casting hand.

Over the years many anglers have fished with one of my Leaded Grayling Bugs and all have been very enthusiastic or even amazed at the results they achieved with it. That’s probably the reason that so many copies of this fly exist. In still waters or reservoirs all patterns, even fluorescent variations did extremely well when tied slightly larger than the river version.