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The snail
  |  First Published: September 2013



One of the simplest and most effective flies you will ever tie is the snail. Its effectiveness early season, especially on tailing trout in flooded lagoons and tarns in Tasmania’s high country is second to none.

It is a real adrenalin rush to walk out of the early morning gloom and mist to the edge of a lagoon or tarn and see fins and tails slowly mooching between the tussocks seeking out all the goodies that the rising water has released.

Snails are one of those food items that offer the trout a substantial feed when there are a few about, and there usually are early season in the Tasmanian high country. These snails range in size from match head to something as big as you little fingernail.

You will find the tailers waving at you as they are head down, arse up, with tails out of the water as they grub along like finned pigs. They will be picking the snails off the submerged grass and stones.

Often when the edges have been roughed up or the snails are migrating, the snails will be drifting along just under the surface film, which makes them even easier targets for the cruising trout.

The most effective method when fishing a snail pattern is to basically do nothing. You have to find your victim, then lay the trap.

Trout that are showing you their tails are quite hard to nail as they are preoccupied with looking at the bottom, so best option here is to creep in as close as you can, then just keep plinking the fly as close as possible and hopefully the fish will find it. Trying not to spook the trout is always good for the success rate as well.

The other method that is effective for the edge cruisers is to get well back from the edge and cast your fly well ahead of the fish, just laying the leader on the water. Often most of your fly line will be on the bank.

Watch your leader when you think the fish is close and when you see it move, strike.

Often the edges will be quite shallow and sometimes your fly will have sunk into the grass or rocky bottom and may not be immediately visible to the trout. The best option here is to add some floatant to your leader up to about 6” from the fly, which will keep your fly out of the weeds and grass and off the rocks and hopefully right on the trout’s nose.

Facts

TYING INSTRUCTIONS and MATERIALS

HOOK:Daiichi 1550 #14
THREAD:Black 8/0
BODY: Peacock herl chenille
HACKLE:Grizzle

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