Archive for the ‘fly fishing’ Tag

The next step……   Leave a comment

Hidy Ho Good Neighbors!

Last time I talked about the systematic approach in attacking the river. We discussed reading the water, fish and bugs, and how to formulate a plan. This plan is flexible, but is always cut out of the options cloth, and not the guesses cloth. Just like one roll cast should set up the next roll cast, one drift leads to and sets up the next one. Sytematically….

Let’s break this down further and discuss just the drift. Everyone knows the 4 basic tenets of a drift: Depth, Speed, Profile, and Color. Most folks think that these are only nymph drift specific. I don’t think so, I think those 4 basic tenets apply to pretty much every type of fishing in general. Whether you’re chasing Tarpon in salt or bluegill in a pond, they are complimentary. You still have to present your offering at or above fish level (most often), at the right speed, size/profile, and color.

I can remember as a kid catching tons of bluegill on a flyrod in Arizona. My dad would drop me off at the city lake where I would spend his entire work day menacing those panfish. That 9’ rod came in real handy as I would simply reach out and dangle the fly right in front of those fish. They couldn’t resist it, especially if it was a small black wooly bugger. That was my first experience with depth, profile and color. As I learned to overhand cast that summer, I began to learn about speed as I would strip in the bugger in hopes of hooking up.

Ah, but as I learned about stripping in flies, I was also learning valuable lessons about the relationship between depth and speed, and how they can effect one another. Once I began to let the fly drop to fish depth, and strip at an appropriate cadence and speed, I began to hook small largemouth with regularity. Too fast, and I lost depth, too slow and I sunk below the feeding zone.  And as I began to make and fish my homemade bass poppers on the surface, I began to really get a taste of the importance of depth, speed, profile, and color.

So what is depth? Depth is where the fish are. Do I have to nymph fish to catch fish subsurface? Nope, you can work them over with a streamer at proper depth and speed, or if they are eating in the film, you can throw the skinny rig at them. Did just that last week. Several fish were eating dun baetis on the surface, instead of going to dries, I removed all weight, slid the indicator up to the leader/butt knot, greased the tippet sections with floatant, and turned my folks loose. We hooked and landed several fish this way because we focused on depth of the feeding fish, speed of our offering, and the proper profile and color of fly. It is akin to my first brushes with bluegill, put the fly in front of the fish.

Speed is the rate of travel of our flies. We always want them to be cruising at the proper behavioral drift or flow. Naturally. If I’m nymphing under an indicator, I want the INDICATOR travelling half of the speed of the surface water. This ensures my FLIES are traveling at the proper speeds subsurface. If I am tossing dries, I want clean, accurate drifts of proper speeds as I travel over the feeding fish. With streamers, I need to experiment with retrieves until I dial in proper speeds and feeding fish depths. Folks that streamer fish a lot, develop an inane ability to predict depth and speed without too much experimentation. It’s a thing to behold. They can “feel” depth and speed.

As for profile and color, well honestly, a lot of that is observable. Don’t wish to oversimplify here, because it is critical to success, but a rudimentary knowledge of entomology can help you dial in very quickly. However, I believe you can throw the right bugs at wrong depths and speeds and not catch fish. Conversely, you can throw the wrong flies at proper depths and speeds and still pick up a few. So, in my mind, profile and color are important, but not as much as depth and speed.  Once you master the 4 basic tenets of fly fishing, there’s no turning back.  Your game will escalate.

Used the skinny rig on this nice Eagle River Brown.

Used the skinny rig on this nice Eagle River Brown.

Well, folks, that’s it for now. Feel free to chime in with questions or comments, AND thanks for buying my latest book. It’s doing well.

Fear No Water.

 

 

 

Depth, speed, profile, color.

Depth, speed, profile, color.

Deep, dredging nymph rig earned this fine fish.

Deep, dredging nymph rig earned this fine fish.

Parachute Adams at the proper speed brought this fish up.

Parachute Adams at the proper speed brought this fish up.

“Building a case”   3 comments

Hidy Ho Good Neighbors!

Things are really crankin’ on this end.  In the final stages of the next book forces me to be busy fixing and replying to my publisher/editor.  That’s a fair amount of work, but they’re pleasant folks that are going to make me better.  I’ve also been guiding a bunch, putting on several hundred miles a week, tying bugs at all hours, and trying to keep up with family life.  It’s easy to let time slip by and miss out on some very important details.

I’ve mentioned this before, but this is the first year for me on the Eagle River with Minturn Anglers.  I had never even stepped a wading boot in that river prior to re-compassing my guide career this year.  Combine a new river with a busy schedule, and it’s easy to miss details.  Ah, but I haven’t.  Most that know me knows that the original Fly Fishers Playbook was written using notes from 5 solid years of journal entries after guide trips.  Honestly, I got away from that a bit the last few years (except for the juicy stuff), because I was pretty used to the South Plattes’ moods. Well, I’m back to journaling out of need not habit.

Back in February, I talked of historical, seasonal and conditional habits of rivers, specifically bug life (it’s in the archives).  As I muddle through this first year on the Eagle, I’ve found the need to identify several bug, river, and weather conditions so I can be ahead of the game next year.  It will take at least 2 years of trip journaling for me to start to feel comfy that I’m figuring out that river stem. I’ve talked of rejuvenation from the job move, and this just confirms it.  I love this stuff.

My suggestion is to grab yourself a pen and paper and do some journaling after your fishing trips.  The benefits are real, as you begin to build a case on the river.  Patterns start to develop that aren’t readily apparent and you’ll put more fish in the bag.  Here’s an entry from yesterday:

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I always tell folks to design and build their own personalized “Playbook”.  Simply journaling trips is a great start.  Soon you’ll be building a pile of information about the rivers you fish, their bugs, their fish, their weather, and their little idiosyncrasies that you need to know if you want to get everything out of every cast on those rivers.

Til next time, Fear No Water!

Duane

 

Head for the Hills!   2 comments

I feel sorry for them, I really do.  Just finished guiding the South Platte near Denver over the Memorial Day weekend.  It was cold and rainy, but that didn’t stop the multitudes of anglers and “recreationalists” from enjoying time on the water.  I don’t have any ill feelings to folks getting out and using Mama Nature, I just feel a bit sorry for the fish.

Right now, the South Platte near Deckers, Colorado is one of the few games in town.  Because of our epic snow pack, and a very wet spring on top of that, the rivers are pissed and dangerous.  More water than I’ve seen in a long time.  The South Platte is a tailwater tucked close to Denver.  Certainly, she is going to feel the brunt of traffic, because amazingly, she is still below normal flows.  Oh, the water will come, but for now, she’s “it”.

I watched the fishing success dwindle in the last 3 days leading up to Memorial Day.  Oh, we were still catching fish, but it became more and more technical.  Drifts had to be more precise, mends more complete, and sets were on anything that looked suspect.  You just had to work much harder than usual.  I got to thinking, “How many times has this fish been hooked this week?” “Today?”

Where the fish would usually hold in a particular seam in a particular run in days prior, they just weren’t there.  You may think, well they just went deeper in the column and you can’t see them.  Nope, not in this case.  The flow is only a little over 100cfs, meaning, you could see a quarter underwater in most of the runs we fished.

No, these fish headed for the hills.  By noon on Monday, we were catching fish on skinny rigs (check the archives for more info), along the edges.  One big brown comes to mind.  He ate my Brachy Pupa, on the far bank, in about a half foot of water, on the first drift.  We didn’t know he was there, but assumed the fish had moved because they weren’t in the usual haunts. I know this fish, where he usually holds, and how he likes to eat.  He broke the rules, and he lunged out of my net before photos.  Salty bastard.

Have a few other thoughts as well.  One thought  centered around how grateful I am that fly fishers are so diligent when it comes to releasing fish unharmed.  The fish in this area are for the most part, clean, fat, healthy, and pound for pound will fight with any in the state.  My other thought is how grateful I am to be able to work on a resource such as this so close to home.  Shouldn’t feel sorry for them I guess, they’re doing fine.  When the fishing gets technical, the technical go fishing………….

Fear No Water!

Duane

Don’t forget FATHERS DAY is coming up.  Pick up a copy of the Fly Fishers Playbook for your favorite father, or son, or brother, or son-in-law or…….!

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Love it when a plan comes together.   Leave a comment

Hidy Ho Good Neighbors!’

My dad used to say, “Even a broken clock is right twice a day”.  That was usually in reference to me being right and he being wrong.  Don’t remember that happening very often.  The reason this comes to mind is because of some events that have taken place in the last week.

By all accounts, the Eagle River by Minturn, has very solid caddis hatches.  I love caddis.  They force the trout to get aggressive  because of their “moth-like” tendencies.  When caddis pupate and rise through the water columns, they typically use an air bubble to assist in the ascent.  They usually rise fairly fast and depending on the water in which they hatch, they usually hit the surface and flutter off almost immediately.  This forces trout to chase them, and try to eat them before they escape, and splashy eats usually result.

You can fish caddis poorly.  In other words, the more movement or “skate” you put on the adult imitations, and the amount of “swing” you put on the pupa, the more the fish will attack them.  Sure, you can dead drift the larva and pupa and pick up fish, but the real fun comes when you purposely swing the pupa through the columns across the current.  I outline several ways to do this In The Fly Fishers Playbook, but one of my favorite techniques is to stop following my indicator with the rod tip about three quarters the way thru the drift.  At this point, drag will take over and swing your bugs just like they are pupating.  Do the same with the adults on the surface too.

Back to the “broken clock” thought.  Sat down the other day, did a bit of research, and came up with a neat caddis pupa designed to match the bugs on the Eagle.  Haven’t been to the Eagle yet this week (on it in a couple days), but I couldn’t wait to test the pattern, so I hit Clear Creek during nasty run-off just to check performance.  It worked.  Love it when a plan comes together.

Even a blind squirrel finds a nut or two…….

Fear No Water,

Duane

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data, data, data-boy   1 comment

Hidy Ho Fine Neighbors,

Hope all has been going swimmingly for all of you folks.  I’ve been staying busy, writing, speaking, picture taking, film-making, tying, and running my pheasant dogs.  Things are good.

As I mentioned, I’ve been doing a fair amount of speaking, and at this time I’ve about a dozen gigs scheduled this year.  I expect a few more to trickle in.  My main presentation deals with mastering technical water.  The talk revolves around catching big, selective tailwater trout.  Trout that are highly pressured and more than a little “experienced”.

A small part of the presentation deals with how to attack technical water you’ve rarely or never fished.  Without going into technique at this time, and assuming that the technique used is fundamentally sound, I talk about 3 aspects that go into selecting the proper flies to throw.  The 3 aspects are historical data, seasonal data, and conditional data.  Let’s break’em down.

Historical data is data that can be gathered accurately from several sources.  This data is about which bugs are typically active or hatching historically, or the same time every year.  Notice I said “active or hatching”  That’s critical, and we’ll hit on that in more detail a bit later.  How do you acquire historical data?  There are several good sources.  One good place to visit is your state’s wildlife organization.  With a bit of digging you can find some good info there.  Also, join an organization, like TU, or send them a question if you’re out of state.  Calling a river specific fly shop is always a good idea to find out which bugs are prevalent at certain times.  There are also river specific blogs, river reports, and fly fishing forums you can join in on.  Historical data is fairly simple to find.

Seasonal data is basically taking historical data to the next level.  I look at seasonal data as “What’s going on with the bugs at this time?”  You may have a good handle on which bugs, hatch when historically, but seasonal data further refines the information.  For example, on the South Platte this winter we have been seeing about a size 22 midge.  Historically, we will begin to see a larger midge come into the picture soon.  It’s a crap shoot when it will start to pop in earnest, but I know seasonally, it will come off.  The “season” or seasonal factors will determine the hatch.  Factors such as unusual cold snaps, non-historical flows and water temps, and even previous factors can put things off or ramp them up seasonally.  Maybe that low water we had last summer killed off certain nymphs.  That’s seasonal data.

To take advantage of seasonal data, again ask your local shop what’s going on, and look to several sources that I mentioned earlier.  Back to the South Platte.  I can observe the small midge coming off during the day, and I know historically the larger midge will soon start to hatch, so I will set-up my rig to capture seasonal data by incorporating a larger midge along with the small midge to prepare for the “active” large midge nymphs.  Look at seasonal data as the transitions between the main hatches.  Prepare for the caddis as you fish Blue Wings.  Prepare for PMD’s as you fish  with Blue Wings.  You get the idea.  It’s another way to stay ahead of the hatch, seasonally.

The last bit of data is gathered on the river the day you put your boots in the drink.  Conditional data is just that, what’s it like today and what bugs are hatching?

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This fish pictured fell prey to a Chocolate Thunder, a Blue Wing emerger.  This was a “conditional catch” in that, the day was overcast, and the Blue Wings really came off more than a sunny cloudless day.  The hatch was prolific, and lasted longer than normal, allowing the fish to get really dialed in to feeding on emergers.  Conditionally, it was a no-brainer.

So, look at weather conditions to give you valuable clues to bug activity.  Is it cold, hot, windy?  Is a front coming in, moving away?  How about water conditions?  Murky or off-color?  Low or high?  How about angling pressure?  These are all  observable factors that come into play.  In The Fly Fishers Playbook, I have gone to great lengths to try to explain how to fly fish conditionally.  It’s that important!

When you combine historical data, seasonal data, and current conditions toward fly selections you are more than ahead of the game.  It’s fairly simple and goes a long way toward fly fishing success.  So, the next time you get ready to fly fish a river, go armed with proper data, and combine that with the days’ conditions so you don’t have to stand knee deep in the river scratching your head over your flybox.

Thank you for following, and FEAR NO WATER!     Duane

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Skinny Rig   3 comments

Hidy Ho Neighbors!

I had an absolute blast at the Fly Fishing Show.  Presentations were packed, met a bunch of super people, and sold some books.  My presentation was centered around mastering technical water and one of the rigs I discussed is the “Skinny Rig”.  I refer to it as that because it has no weight, and is designed to be fished in skinny/shallow water, or at a skinny depth just below the surface.  It’s great for picking off fish in shallow holds or for catching fish feeding on emergers, duns, spents, or pupa just below the surface, in the film, or on top.  I mentioned at the show for folks to come to the blog and search thru the archives for the original skinny rig explanation.  That proved to be a pain, so I am going to re-post about it.

The skinny rig is nothing more than giving you the opportunity to put your flies exactly where the fish are feeding.  Once you determine what they are feeding on, and where in the column they are feeding, half the battle is won.  Let’s say that you see fish feeding slightly below the surface, with their backs breaking the water, but their heads are not.  Maybe there’s a Blue Wing hatch occurring simultaneously.  Bingo, they are probably eating the emergent phase of the BW.  This is where the skinny rigs shine, and can be used for any emerging or pupating insects.

Using my normal nymph rig (pictured), simply move the indicator up the leader so it’s about 5 feet from the first dropper.  Take off any and all split shot weight, apply floatant to the San Juan Worm (SJW), and you’re ready to go.  If you’re not using an SJW just make sure the fly you have in that position is NOT weighted.

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I use monofilament leader in all of my nymph rigs because mono floats better than flourocarbon, and I want something that helps buoyancy of the rig.  The tippets are flouro, but that doesn’t seem to hurt the drift because most drifts are only 5 or so feet and the mono is carrying the heavy load. Sliding the indicator away from the flies just helps to ensure you’re not spooking fish with indicator “slap”, and that the fish only see the presented flies.

Once you find feeding fish as I explained, the set-up is critical.  Most of the time, you’ll set up slightly downstream of the fish.  Occasionally you’ll set up above the fish, but that’s for special occasions when it’s the only way you can get to them.  Pick out one feeding fish when possible, and cast accordingly.  You’re probably screaming, “According to what!” According to the speed of the water and the depth of the fish.  It’s your job to try to place your offering at or above the fishes level.  You do that by practicing casting angles, reading water, and reading fish depths and feeding behavior.  It’s not as tough as it sounds, but does take practice.

Most drifts are much less that 5′, so once you learn the sink rate of your particular rig, you’re almost there.  I have beginners use this method a lot, so it can be perfected quickly,IF, you have a working idea as to how quickly your rig sinks.  Experiment.

The “set” on the skinny rig is more of a full “lift”  Too rigorous a set, and you’ll snap everything off, especially after nymphing with the same rig for a period of time.  I could carry a second rig set-up with a dry-drop rig to use for the same reason, but I’d rather capitalize on the versatility of the nymph rig.  Plus, it’s really fun to set on a “swirl” around your fly, or to watch the indicator scream across the river without warning.

Here’s a quick video showing casting angles.  Go to:  (click on)

http://youtu.be/GAIABbf7QIo

Hope this explains the rig.  The best way to learn it is to use it, so Fear No Water!

Duane

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Get better.   Leave a comment

Hidy Ho Good neighbors,

Just like spring is for love, winter is for improvement.  Of course I’m talking about fly fishing, winter is a great time for improving your skills.  This winter I’m working on my photography and videoing skills.  I have a ways to go, but it’s neat to research, seek out those that have the skills I want to develop, and utilize the cool lighting winter presents.  Alan Peak and I went fishing over a month ago, because I needed additional pictures for the upcoming book.  It’s easy to see the difference between his photos and mine, but I’m learning.

I really need to learn how to edit my videos.  All of my videos are one-shot, no edit jobbies.  The ability to edit would greatly enhance the quality.  Heck, I just realized the other day while video taping a clip for an upcoming presentation that my camera has a setting that actually mutes out wind and flowing water sounds.  Geez.

Speaking of presentations, I am presenting at this years Fly Fishing Show in Denver the 3rd,4th, and 5th of January.  I’ll be presenting about mastering technical waters, specifically the South Platte River.  Shows are Friday @ 3 room C, Saturday @ 3 room A, and Sunday @ 3 room B. I’ll also be in the Authors Booth signing books Friday @ 5, Saturday @ 4 and Sunday @ 1:30.  Hope to see you there!

I’ve been encouraging several fly anglers to work on their streamer fishing skills.  I basically began my fly fishing swinging streamers and wet flies.  Caught a lot of fish as a kid using those 2 methods.  I like nothing more than to work a stream from the middle out, downstream, ripping streamers.  Great way to “pre-fish” waters I’ve never been on, and a great way to hook some big fish.  Just a simple quarter downstream approach will garner you plenty of action, but you will learn cross-stream, upstream, and downstream techniques too.

You learn to “feel” where the streamer is in the columns and seams and this helps you give or take line.  You learn to mend line to sink the streamer, speed it up, impart darting movements, and prepare for the swing stage.  I believe really learning to streamer fish will enhance ALL of your fly fishing skills because it’s all about feel and line/rod management.

Shorten up those leaders to about 5 feet, with about a 2x leader diameter tied to the streamer.  I use a duncan loop for the knot, because it allows for a bit more streamer movement.  In most rivers, I’ll stick with my floating line, but I have used intermediate and full sink lines to swing fish meat.  Slow down your casting motion or you could end up wearing a nice streamer.  Or you could learn to spey cast and really get into the essence of streamer fishing.   You’ll learn very quickly as you pick up a few fish that streamer fly fishing can be explosive.  The takes are incredible, like an electric jolt.

Have a Happy New Year, pick something you want to improve, and as always, Fear No Water!

Duane

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A picture says……   Leave a comment

Grip and grin, hero shot, whatever you call it, pictures preserve memories.  Maybe not so much of the fish you caught as much as the day itself.  I get a kick out of looking back through pictures remembering who I was with, where I was, and just the general tone of the day.  Like most of you, I’ve literally thousands of fly fishing pictures.  There’s only so much refrigerator space, so most of them end up in some box or on some thumbdrive, never to be seen again. For my latest book work, I have taken hundreds of pictures of which only a select few will make it into the next book.  I am no great shakes as a photographer, so I rely on those that are accomplished to lend a hand.  However, out on the water, I’m it.  Net-man, fly extractor and photographer.  Kind of a pressurized position if you ask me.  I am certainly not going to take you on a “how-to” in this post, this is more of a celebration of what I get to do with folks from all over the world, and pictures preserve it.  Pretty dang cool if you ask me.  Here are a few pictures from last year………

This is what I call the insurance shot.  Take a picture like this when folks land their first fish on a fly rod.  After this shot we attempt to have the client hold the fish if time and fish stress permit.  Nonetheless, picture preserved.     OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here’s the old” guide in the shot to help hold big fish”  (also an insurance shot). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA There are also “signature shots”.  This is one of my best clients and good friend John.  I have dozens of fish pics with him.  They all look like this.  Not sure I even know what he looks like….. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The next 2 shots are my favorite kind.  “Fish shots”.  Just taken to honor a beautiful fish.  Left to right, “the cradle” and “the spoon”. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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All shots aren’t hero shots, some fall short.  Some are my fault, some the clients fault, most are just caused by the fish not following the script.

Here are a few….oops

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Like I said, i’m not the best photographer, but please remember to wet your hands before handling fish, pinch barbs, get them back to the water quickly, and keep em off rocks, grass, dirt, and snow.   Watch them swim away folks.

Thanks for following along.  Enjoyed it.

Fear No Water!

Duane

AAaaahctober…..   Leave a comment

Hidy Ho Good Neighbors!

I’m lovin’ me some October.  Dawg days of guiding are over, leaves are changing, nip in the air, tricos and fall caddis are popping, and pheasant hunting starts for me and the pooches later this week.  Yessir, life is good.

I’m not going to spend much time in the pheasant fields til November, still plenty of fly fishing to do, but I am getting the dogs out for a tune-up soon.  Been six months since they cruised the bluffs.  In the meantime on the river, the fishing’s been good.  Although a large portion of our watershed suffered from the floods, we were basically spared from damage.  Being so close to the dam and the fact we didn’t get half of the rain others got, we made it out with some higher than normal flows and off-color water.

Of course, I guided through it, we all did.  Whenever I run into conditions such as these (high off color water), I employ a strategy that has worked for me over the years.  Quite simply, I will run bigger, darker bugs, and approach the river “blindly” with a grid approach.  I’ve talked about the grid before, but this time I posted a video at http://youtu.be/r1vLfha4vTM   , so you can get an idea of what I mean.

As for the bugs, I throw basically what the river offers, which in this case was bigger dislodged bugs like Stone Fly nymphs, worms,  Crane Fly nymphs and leeches.  All dead drifted under an indicator.  My theory is the darker the water, the darker and bigger the bugs.  I will also throw truly fluorescent colors, not just bright colors, but fluorescent. A size 16 black pheasant tail was the bug of choice during those conditions with the red San Juan Worm a close second.

Get the right speed and depth, run bigger darker bugs, and pick the runs apart systematically.  Makes for productive off color fishing. As a side note, be careful when wading in conditions such as these.  If you can’t see your feet, and aren’t familiar with the run, not a good idea to get too deep.

Thanks for tuning in, and Fear No Water!

Duane

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Present and Set   8 comments

Hidy Ho Good Neighbors,

Been a while since my last post, but glad to get a minute to slap some words down.  T’was a great summer (I know it’s not officially over), caught a bunch of fish, met some super people, worked nearly everyday, remodeled 2 bathrooms in my house, AND got the house up for sale.  Pretty productive.

The Fly Fishers Playbook revision is going well.  The addition of around 10,000 words is fairly easy, it’s the pictures and illustrations that are proving difficult.  Hopefully, I can find some time to fish on my own to get more pictures.  Should be done in a couple months, I hope.

I learn something every time out on a guided trip.  The prevailing theme this summer has been set, set, set.  I am dedicating a large portion of the chapter in the book about hooking fish to the simple yet all important set.  Trying to impress upon folks to set the hook quickly, firmly, yet not too hard as to snap off, isn’t really as easy as it seems.

Most folks new to the game expect to feel the fish eat.  Those folks are easy to work with and fix because you can just keep practicing the set over and over again.  They will eventually figure it out, but usually remain just a bit slow.  That’s also simple to work on by decreasing indicator to weight distance, and finding faster moving water for them to put in some time.  The less distance increases their reaction time allowance and faster water will help fish hook themselves.

Intermediate folks are tougher to deal with because they tend to not set because they invision the bugs simply bumping on the bottom.   Oft times I will call for a set and the response will be something along the lines of “That was just the bottom”.  Drives me crazy.  How do they know that?  Can’t possibly be able to tell.  Those of you that fish under an indicator a lot know that fish will often eat without the indicator even pausing.  They eat and spit stuff all day, and our flies are no different.  Set on everything.

Advanced nymph fly fishers have learned to set on every bump, twitch and pause.  Advanced nymph fishers rarely make it through an entire drift without a set.  Advanced nymphers also have learned to set on movement , flashes or subtle changes within four feet of the indicator.  Simply put, they set, and don’t question the indicator.

I think that’s how beginners work toward advanced status, fish one rig consistently so you know it very well, and don’t question the indicator.  Jeremy Hyatt will ask his clients, “Why are you arguing with the indicator?”.   That is the main point, react to the indicator when you can’t see the target fish.  If you are sight nymphing and can clearly see the target fish, then try to watch the fish and your flies while keeping the indicator in your peripheral vision.  This way you can set on fish movement as it eats, and your indicator becomes a safety valve in case you don’t recognize the eat.

Present and set.  That is all it takes.  Doesn’t matter to me what it looks like getting to that point, but presentation and the set are crucial to all types of fly fishing.   Yea, there are certainly more effective methods of presentation than others, but really, it doesn’t matter how pretty your 20 foot roll cast is.  The key is that it gets into the slot you want to drift.  As for mending, it’s the same thing.  What you can’t lift off the water, you can’t mend, so high stick as often as possible.  It isn’t pretty, but it presents the bugs, AND sets you up for an efficient set.  Present and  set.

That’s plenty for now.  Thanks for tuning in again, and I’ll try to get  more regular entries as summer wanes.

Fear No Water,

Duane

Some summer pictures……….

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