Surely the most common question in Fly Fishing.
It’s the wrong question!
Well what if they say a Black Hopper.
Then off you go, Floating line and your best Ginked Up Black Hopper.
But what if they were fishing it deep on a Di 5.
So what is the right question?
Well it should probably go something like this.
How did you catch that?
Then with a bit of luck the answer should be something like this.
It was on a Black Hopper on a Di 5 with a 20 second count down and a slow figure of 8 retrieve.
Even if the answer was just: Di 5 and Black Hopper a follow up question could be How Deep?
That might be enough questions but by keeping an eye on them you should be able to see what sort of retrieve they were using and roughly how far they are casting.
It may be short lining with Scottish Pulls or possibly a Fast or Slow Figure of Eight.
Maybe long casting with Full Medium Paced Strokes or the FTA.
Now I have said this before, the first thing that is required to catch a trout is that it has to see the fly.
So if you Black Hopper is sitting there high and dry and the Trout is 10 feet down it is just not going to happen.
Fly Fishers get fixated on the Fly and if it had to be precisely and exactly the same one then you have little chance.
There are thousands of different flies out there. Then the same ones with a Red Head and then with a Gold Bead and so on.
Of course your fly needs to be in the same Ballpark.
A Tungsten Bead Buzzer will have little chance when they want a Foam Daddy.
You do need to have confidence in your flies.
So if buying your Marabou only from Fancy Feathers Dot Com for a special Damsel and the keeping it on a south facing window sill for the last week in April and the first 3 weeks in May gives you the perfect shade of olive then go for it.
However if you are fishing it on the wrong line with the wrong retrieve then good luck as you may well need it. I would take my chances with a basic Damsel fished at the right depth and speed.
Too often (myself included) we present the Trout with what we want to give them and not what they want.
Mind you if we got it right every time we would probably have to take up Golf!