Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dry Fly Tips for Selective Trout: Part 4

A few final thoughts:

(or things I see that drive me crazy
 ...or things I do that make me want to slap myself)

-Get as close as you reasonably can. Getting close minimizes false casting and the closer you are, the more accurate your cast will be. Don’t make a premature long cast due to impatience. Having said that, don’t crowd rising fish. Fish will take an artificial dry much more readily if you keep your initial distance and don’t “creep” up.

-Never false cast while wading.

-Never false cast over feeding fish in an effort to measure distance. 

-Stack the line you need at your feet before you cast. Do not pull it off the reel as you false cast! 

-Don’t false cast a wet leader and line over feeding fish. This will send a cascade of small water droplets onto the fish. Cast to the side to clear water from the line and leader.

-Don’t pop your fly off the water when initiating the backcast to load your rod. Wait until the fly line and the butt section are almost off the water before initiating your backcast.

-If your presentation isn’t right, let the fly drift to below the feeding fish before lifting the fly line off the water to cast again.

-Keep your fly line clean. Picking your fly line off the water becomes easier and quieter with a clean line. 

-Put fly floatant on your fly, but also keep the upper portion of your leader clean. You can use the same cloth you use to clean your fly line. This way your fly will float longer because your leader won’t sink and pull your fly under. Put a sink agent on the last 3-6 inches of the tippet. 

-Wear muted non-contrasting clothing and colors. Dry fly fishing is as much hunting as fishing. 

-Straighten your leader by pulling them through your fingers and not a rubber leader straightener. These straighteners generate friction and the heat can weaken fragile tippets. You cannot feel the heat with a rubber straightener. 

-Clip off any cracked or damaged portions of the end of your fly line. These damaged areas can cause your line to sink and thus pull under your leader and fly.

-Cast to the lowest or outside fish of a pod. This allows you to catch a fish without spooking the entire pod.

-Practice your presentation so that your fly settles gently on the water and doesn’t slap.

And finally try this when all else fails...
If you’re fishing to an ultra selective fish (i.e. bitchy)... or maybe during a “blanket” hatch when the fish have a lot of food choices, you can be driven virtually crazy. If you are getting frustrated and maybe thinking about quitting and going bowling, try the following:

-Ignore the hatch! Throw something like a parachute Adams, small ant, foam micro-beetle or small attractor pattern. Take a chance and show the fish something totally different before you quit. It should be about the same size as the naturals, but something new and different can draw the trout’s attention to your fly. A really good choice can be an insect that was hatching a couple weeks earlier or one that might hatch later in the day like a caddis.

-You can sometimes draw a trout’s attention to your fly by giving it a very subtle twitch just as the fly starts to enter the trout’s window of vision.

-When you need to use a very small fly that you can’t see to match the hatch, you can use a larger more visible fly and attach the small hatch matching pattern as a dropper about 8” – 12” from the larger fly.

...and finally, please remember, to have fun! This isn’t brain surgery, it's just fishing.

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