The Wobble Fly

Tarpon of the lowlands.

Over the last five years a new species of fish has emerged in the Dutch rivers. It is the Aspius aspius, commonly known as asp. Originating from Eastern Europe (Danube river system) it has migrated through recently dug canals into the Rhine system. The asp is a predatory whitefish that can reach a length of over one metre. It is a very fast and strong fish and the first run of a big asp can be almost as exciting and violent as a hooked tarpon. Even in appearance it looks a bit like a tarpon, if you are willing to see it, so I nicknamed it 'tarpon of the lowlands'.

Initially the asp were only caught occasionally by zander fishermen. This is probably why they got the reputation of being hard to catch in general, and especially on fly. But hard to catch does not mean impossible: I am convinced that, if you put in enough time and effort, coupled with confidence and a certain water sense, almost any fish can be caught on fly. And, sure enough, after a while we began catching them on fly, though never in any numbers and not very consistently. Until, you guessed it, I tried the new-and-improved wobble fly. A few experiments with colours and sizes brought about some consistently successful variants. Over the last two years I have managed to catch about 150 asp varying in size from about 40 to 104 (!) cm.

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