Bassano Possum Emerger (Barbless)
Tassie guide Christopher Bassano on the Possum Emerger fly...
Any Australian fly fisherman should already know about the effectiveness of this fly. My guiding diary over the past twenty years clearly shows that this fly has caught many, many more fish than any other fly I have. It is clearly my number one fish catcher and many of my clients have caught their first ever trout on this fly.
It was shown to me by the former owner of Rainbow Lodge, Neil Grose and I believe that it was invented by well-known Australian fly tier, Muz Wilson. Its genius lies in its simplicity and effectiveness. I have seen a hundred different versions of this fly and they are no doubt all effective but it is one of those flies that should be kept simple. Possum fur floats extremely well when treated with floatant and this fly is 100% possum. It can be pulled hard on top of waves, fished static to cruising fish, be used singly or in a team and it will be equally effective. I have seen more than twenty fish caught and released on the exact same fly and still have it float perfectly. It is remarkable.
It is important to remember that at times, the fly will be very hard to see. It is best fished on the point in a team and will therefore be a long way past the end of your fly line. Being small and dark, it does not stand out well. This is a positive attribute. It is subtle and as such, it is eaten with confidence. You DO NOT HAVE TO SEE THIS FLY when fishing it. Simply look around the area in which you think the fly will be and when you see a confident rise, STRIKE…. it will be your fly! If the fly does sink at any stage, just fish it back to you slowly and be prepared for a classic nymph take.
Any lake that has mayflies on it will be perfect for this fly. I have not used it on rivers but perhaps I should. Once a lake has seen mayflies hatching on it during the season, this fly can be fished blind even when nothing is rising or hatching. Foam lines and slicks are other places where this fly catches a lot of fish. Remember that when all else fails, try moving it across the surface. Barbless.