This post is part of the book review on South African Fishing Flies (by Peter Brigg and Ed Herbst) and my successes with personal favourite flies featured in the book. I revelled in the efficacy of Tom Sutcliffe’s Zak nymph in fooling many fish species; now I will be discussing his DDD and Tony Biggs’ RAB, two dry flies that should be in every trout (and yellowfish) angler’s fly box.
My experience with these two flies date back to the year 2003 when I replaced my spinning gear with fly tackle. A novice to fly tying at the time, it took much practice to tie a DDD and RAB that looked like the one’s I’d seen in books. Nevertheless, I tied them because on two separate outings other anglers caught many trout on them when I got comparatively fewer fish on other dries.
Like the evergreen parachute Adams, I’ve learned to tie DDDs and RABs for most freshwater fishing trips because they catch fish. Brown trout were the first fish I caught on them, but they’ve earned my trust to make many fishes rise and especially in big rivers. Now I know that both flies are brown trout and yellowfish magnets.
The RAB is my favourite search pattern on the Witte River (and most other brown trout rivers in the Western Cape), while I prefer to use the DDD to rise big browns in deep pools. The DDD is also a fly that I’d fish on larger rivers in other countries (like New Zealand for instance). Peter Coetzee has caught big smallmouth yellowfish on the DDD in the Orange River and the ‘bi-colour’ RAB is my favourite dry fly for Clanwilliam yellowfish.
They are classic dry flies in my opinion, being progenies of the ‘old school’ genre; they look good, float well and many fish species eat them – great flies to try first on new waters or as a last resort to catch difficult trout. I would highly likely continue to tie these dries for future trips in our country and abroad to catch trout, quite possibly to the day I can’t walk anymore.
(Next up is Hugh Huntley’s Red-Eyed Damsel )