How to fish the "Francis" in the Autumn?

NoviceFly

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With conditions in the main unsuitably low just now, I am in the hope, that when I get out next I shall try fishing a Francis in certain pools to tempt any residents etc.

Question, how would you fish a Francis in the autumn in this way and on what tactics.

Similarly what would be your other style of fly or tactic to tempt residents...
 

carbisdale caster

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And how do you fish it? depth etc?
Usually off an inty polyleader with a couple of foot of leader attached (where I fish isn't terribly deep and to be honest I don't really analyze it too much or i'd never get any fishing done at all, which is why I also stick to either just one or two patterns in different sizes/weights as lifes too short to waste it on the bank scratching my head :) )
 

rotenone

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Cast it upstream or square, get it down to the fish on a sink tip or a sinking line, let a belly form and race at them its not a fly I would use conventionally down and across, it needs to be fished in their face its a fly desined to trigger aggression but it can also be as damaging to a pool as a natural shrimp.

It should always be the last fly you try in a pool if nothing else has worked.




And how do you fish it? depth etc?
 

Fruin

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Cast it upstream or square, get it down to the fish on a sink tip or a sinking line, let a belly form and race at them its not a fly I would use conventionally down and across, it needs to be fished in their face its a fly desined to trigger aggression but it can also be as damaging to a pool as a natural shrimp.

It should always be the last fly you try in a pool if nothing else has worked.
I would agree with that!

I fished the Ness for three days last week, and, while I tried a couple of small Francis flies fished fairly conventionally and once on a sink and draw over some fish in a stream that I knew nobody else was likely to bother with, I saved the heavier Francis with the longer "feelers" until the last run down the main pool of the three days. Two fish on and off and one landed; that was after only getting one pull on a normal fly for the three days.

I generally cast quite square and just pulse the heavier francis across the pool, hoping to be closer to depth the fish are lying.
 
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Rennie

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Novice fly, a Francis isn't what you'd call a prospecting flee, for cast, swing, steps etc.. It's more a flee to target know lays where you know or at least strongly suspect fish are holding.
I'd fish one in the current low water off a floating line with probably a tapered leader.In the 1st instance I'd fish through the pool conventionally with a small flee in pretty drab colours with as little flash and glint as possible if you're specifically targeting residents.
Once you establish the likely spots or you see fish and you're still offer/fishless I'd go straight onto the hot spots and I'd work out a cast and angle of presentation that lets you get the flee right down at eye level to the fish on a slack line- allowing the flee to sink unhindered, remember the Francis is a weighted flee, allow it to get down in the right spots and it usually does!.
When its where you want it, allow the line to tighten and start a slow F08 and try to get the flee to lift in the water column right in front of any fish.That usually provokes a response!.
Now this next bit, please accept in the spirit it's intended. You can fish the Francis dead drift, again it involves knowing where the fish are holding, then working out an angle of cast so you get your flee in upstream of fish square to yourself and allow it to sink square to you on a slack line so it gets down.It might help more if you take a step or two downstream as the flee gets parallel to you.Allow the flee to come through pretty deep, then as your line starts to tighten in the current, it'll pull the flee quicker downstream and start to lift it in the water as everything gets below you.
This is a tactic you should be trying at the last knockings!, its not a technique for first thing in the day or if there's people following you down the pool!.It can upset fish and it can lead to foul hooking done improperly!. If you've any doubts about this style then please don't employ it.
If there's fresh fish and your close to the tide, you should get away with flee's with a bit of flash and glint about them, usually in the normal size's, however the longer they've been in the river and the further from the tide any fish are, then reduce the size, go to more sombre colours and cut down on flash and glint. I'd also up the the stealthy approach from yourself too, long tapered leaders and do your best not to give the game away that your there!. It will help if you can also cut down on the weight of the fly line you can use, switch rods and the smaller lighter double handers will pay dividend if you've got them, less splash and impact on casting and less footprint on the water surface.
Francis in 1/2" and 1" in both Red and Black won't go amiss, Red Ally's or flee's with Claret or overall dark and subdued should work too.
The further upstream on any river you are, the longer any fish will have been in and the greater the likely hood that they'll have seen it all before!.If you can up your game to reflect this, you'll give yourself the best chance.
If you're unsure about the Francis, then a small conehead sombre coloured shrimpy thing fish slow deep and dirty through the pool on a sink tip or full sinker is a good when all else has failed technique.
Best of luck, Pedro.
 

scotsmac1

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Full floating line. 15 to 20ft leader, and heavy cone head Francis.
Dead Drift.
Cast slightly upstream, upstream mend to make sure it gets down, especially in deep lies, then at times take we step downstream, make sure it hits bottom. Try to have it bouncing along bottom, especially where you think samba lying. You can lift rod tip bit up and down, but keep it down. As it moves further down the lie, a little figure 8, or down stream mend, just get it swing round remains of lie.
 

Rrrr

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Full floating line. 15 to 20ft leader, and heavy cone head Francis.
Dead Drift.
Cast slightly upstream, upstream mend to make sure it gets down, especially in deep lies, then at times take we step downstream, make sure it hits bottom. Try to have it bouncing along bottom, especially where you think samba lying. You can lift rod tip bit up and down, but keep it down. As it moves further down the lie, a little figure 8, or down stream mend, just get it swing round remains of lie.
Ive watched fish in a clear pool totaly ignore a francis untill a figure 8 was started. They they would either swim towards it or back off quite quickly.

Sent from my SM-G981B using Tapatalk
 

S.preston

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Fished a micro Francis in low water like you would a conventional fly and the fish got really aggressive .Several fish splashed at it and had to fish follow and veer off at the last minute almost bumping it
 

WombatPool

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I’ve been playing around with the Francis for a couple of years now, casting it up river, down river, and everything in between. Cast it up river and let it drift towards you, maybe just twitching it slightly from time to time, next cast up river, try stripping it back just slightly faster than the current.
It’s also a brilliant fly for fishing the usual down and cross, retrieving at all speeds!!!
I currently fish the size I have in this pic on the point and a micro Francis on the dropper, a go to combination for me and been doing the business since early August. I’ve only fished them from late summer onwards but next season I will fish them in spring too, I have a feeling it’ll work very well.
 

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The Flying Scotsman

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This is a fly and technique I’ve still to master. I don’t like them. Tried them a good few times with no success.
But I’ve seen how effective they can be Mc Andy springs to mind. He’s mastered it. And my opinion would change instantly if I landed a fish on one.
I always get that feeling that I’m no doing it right.
If we ever get rain I might get out and persevere with it.
 

SnapT14

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This is a fly and technique I’ve still to master. I don’t like them. Tried them a good few times with no success.
But I’ve seen how effective they can be Mc Andy springs to mind. He’s mastered it. And my opinion would change instantly if I landed a fish on one.
I always get that feeling that I’m no doing it right.
If we ever get rain I might get out and persevere with it.
The flying Scotsman NEVER fails.....

PMA Gord.....

Positive Mental Attitude 🥳🥳🤣🤣👍
 

mc andy

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This is a fly and technique I’ve still to master. I don’t like them. Tried them a good few times with no success.
But I’ve seen how effective they can be Mc Andy springs to mind. He’s mastered it. And my opinion would change instantly if I landed a fish on one.
I always get that feeling that I’m no doing it right.
If we ever get rain I might get out and persevere with it.
I'm flattered by your comments sir, but the word mastered? in salmon fishing I don't think anyone could possibly claim to have done.

Fishing a Francis seems to bring lots of ideas and theory's? Firstly If you fish one fly most of the time then your more likey to catch most your fish on it. When fishing I'm more than Happy to sacrifice certain parts of the drift to allow my fly to reach where I hope? Think the fish may be lying. If trying to cover mid stream then possibly a square cast, upstream mend and even feed some slack line to allow to drop, then when happy with fly position or depth start some form of mixed retrieve. Sometimes a downstream mend to allow the belly to get below the fly is handy to.

I think just watching the tip of your line and knowing where your fly is at any point in the drift is key, then I simply try and annoy the fish into a take! I've never had much success dead drifting, and your hook-up is very patchy. And they don't seem to stick. 9 of my 11 came to the above method the other week. Feelers are the answer ;) :) (y)

I should add? I don't believe in the theory that fishing one rapes a pool or buggers it for people behind. I've fished pools 3 times down and had fish on each occasion, as have anglers behind me. Just my opinion mind 😊🤔
 
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The Flying Scotsman

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I'm flattered by your comments sir, but the word mastered? in salmon fishing I don't think anyone could possibly claim to have done.

Fishing a Francis seems to bring lots of ideas and theory's? Firstly If you fish one fly most of the time then your more likey to catch most your fish on it. When fishing I'm more than Happy to sacrifice certain parts of the drift to allow my fly to reach where I hope? Think the fish may be lying. If trying to cover mid stream then possibly a square cast, upstream mend and even feed some slack line to allow to drop, then when happy with fly position or depth start some form of mixed retrieve. Sometimes a downstream mend to allow the belly to get below the fly is handy to.

I think just watching the tip of your line and knowing where your fly is at any point in the drift is key, then I simply try and annoy the fish into a take! I've never had much success dead drifting, and your hook-up is very patchy. And they don't seem to stick. 9 of my 11 came to the above method the other week. Feelers are the answer ;) :) (y)

I should add? I don't believe in the theory that fishing one rapes a pool or buggers it for people behind. I've fished pools 3 times down and had fish on each occasion, as have anglers behind me. Just my opinion mind 😊🤔
Thanks Andy I’m on Pert next week and unless we get rain I think this will be the only way to go. Meant to get rain this weekend but will give it a go next week anyway
 

Scierra

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Full floating line. 15 to 20ft leader, and heavy cone head Francis.
Dead Drift.
Cast slightly upstream, upstream mend to make sure it gets down, especially in deep lies, then at times take we step downstream, make sure it hits bottom. Try to have it bouncing along bottom, especially where you think samba lying. You can lift rod tip bit up and down, but keep it down. As it moves further down the lie, a little figure 8, or down stream mend, just get it swing round remains of lie.
Would that be a heavy conehead copper tube or plastic conehead tube ? 15 /20ft leader would this be fishing a slow deep holding pool ? if so wouldn't the fly be trailing the riverbed ? chances of getting snagged up ,or even foul hooking ?

There would be many times fish could suck the fly in and blow it back out without you knowing with a 20ft leader and a floating line ?

This is what snatchers do cast slightly upstream but with a sinking line and a 4ft leader to get the fly on the riverbed amongst the resident fish in the holding pools and below weirs
 

scotsmac1

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Would that be a heavy conehead copper tube or plastic conehead tube ? 15 /20ft leader would this be fishing a slow deep holding pool ? if so wouldn't the fly be trailing the riverbed ? chances of getting snagged up ,or even foul hooking ?

There would be many times fish could suck the fly in and blow it back out without you knowing with a 20ft leader and a floating line ?

This is what snatchers do cast slightly upstream but with a sinking line and a 4ft leader to get the fly on the riverbed amongst the resident fish in the holding pools and below weirs
It's norm a slow deep holding pool. At all times in the drift you are in contact with the flee. You feel it bobbing along , and you alter with small don stream mends, and figure of 8.
Theirs, no snagging going on when I fish it.
I took a big fish out small tight holding spot, that had been battered all day.
Just seems work in hard conditions, and you know sambo holding.
My rod norm is 11ft 2 Switch. Not really a snatching tool.
I do get your point though. Just not me
 

Scierra

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It's norm a slow deep holding pool. At all times in the drift you are in contact with the flee. You feel it bobbing along , and you alter with small don stream mends, and figure of 8.
Theirs, no snagging going on when I fish it.
I took a big fish out small tight holding spot, that had been battered all day.
Just seems work in hard conditions, and you know sambo holding.
My rod norm is 11ft 2 Switch. Not really a snatching tool.
I do get your point though. Just not me
I'm not acusing you of snatching, just the slightly upstream cast is the start of the snatchers manoeuvres.

The francis would have to be pretty lightweight to turn over a 20ft leader ? or is it a tapered one ?
 
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