Some flies just do it and the Terry Griffiths Emerger is one of them. 20 years ago I was using them all the time and can remember a particularly fine brace of Brown Trout that I hooked up on the now Carp filled Stafford Moor.
It was summer and the fishing was tough, but every now and again amongst the weed on the upper lake there was a rise. I ignored it for a little while as they seemed to be those oncers that pop up and then just disappear. They rarely take. But eventually curiosity got the better of me so I wound up and went over to have a look. Around every 5 minutes there was a rise in one spot, right in the middle of a thick patch of weed and a little over to the right the same thing was happening.
Feeding fish are catchable fish. I tie on the (also known as) Terry’s Para Emerger and feel slightly smug because I just know these fish won’t be able to resist it. A long tapered leader was treated to a good degreasing and the wing post given the merest sniff of floatant, before I pitch a cast straight into that hole in the weed. Then I just sat back enjoying the sun while I waited expectantly for the fly to work its magic. Sure enough a little while later a nose appeared quite nonchalantly to eat my TG!
I can’t say that the battle was epic because one decent run from the angry brute on the other end would have ended any chance of landing it, so it was hook, hold, get it out of the weed and into the net. I rested the spot for 20 minutes, the other fish began to rise again and then the TG & I spoilt his day. A pair of Browns, which both nudged 4lbs, caught during half an hour of super simple, exciting visual fishing. I was stoked. And then along came the Hopper, Bits and all the other famous stillwater dries that we use and slowly but surely the TG disappeared from my box.
That was until a couple of years ago a good mate of mine asked me to get hold of a bunch of them, as he was using them to devastating effect on his local rivers. I did just that and suddenly remembered how many fish I had caught on the TG Emerger all those years ago. My faith was restored and the fly box restocked accordingly.
I now take them to the river and reach for them on a regular basis, especially during the early part of the season when the fish are looking for something that is worth expending their energy for. A concoction of a multitude of flies the T&G has all the right ingredients that shout out EAT ME! Fish a big size 12 in fast water, try a 14 where the calm meets the fast and even in flat dry fly only territory the size 16 is worth a go. Just like when Ian Botham took to the cricket pitch, this fly will rarely let you down, no matter what the circumstances.
Hands up I have not used it in anger on the stillwaters for a while, but it will obviously work, after all it is an outstanding representation of a hatching Midge Pupa. This means that Olive, Tan, Red and Claret versions are worth stocking but it is the old faithful Black with Orange Thorax and eye catching pearly segmented body that I (and lots of Trout) tend to fall for. It is definitely designed to be a midge but in running water wild Brownies will smash this fly because it is so suggestive, mistaking it for hatching Sedge, a Heather fly or even a Beetle. It has that number one thing I crave from a fly, silhouette followed closely by great triggers such as the colourful thorax which can be picked out to provide movement. Add the Parachute hackle and curved hook to this concoction for deadly, right in the surface film presentation and we have a big punching pattern amongst flies. There are times it will even knock a Klinkhammer flat on its backside during a river bout.
Stick a few in your box amongst the modern day patterns and give them a go. I found a tying recipe here (although I don’t personally bother with the tail) and there is some more Terry’s Para Emerger info here. And finally my thanks to Paul who was puzzled by my mention of the TG in my last post and inspired me to add a bit of info to the blog. I hope this helps and that you give them a go!