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Dry fly tactics


Bucksnbows
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The tippet ring thread got me thinking about a post regarding dry fly fishing. As many of you know, dry fly fishing for wild trout is one of my life’s biggest passions.  For many anglers who don’t often get a chance to do it, it can be frustrating when the fish switch on to surface feeding. One of the biggest mistakes I see most anglers make is that they cast directly at the fish standing basically in line with that fish. What happens is that the faster current between you and the fish grabs your fly line or leader or both and starts to swing the fly on the surface which does not look natural to a trout. You absolutely must stand above them and cast an angle down to them. Of course, any proper English angler would strongly disagree as tradition in England and Ireland and Scotland requires a direct upstream cast over their heads. But if the fish doesn’t see your fly first versus your line or if it is moving (drag), you’re not going to have a lot of success. Certain caddis hatches can be an exception, but not when mayflies are on the water. 
 

A perfect, drag-free drift is a requirement when dry fly fishing, and there are many tricks to getting that long, drag-free drift over rising trout.  By getting upstream of the fish and casting down at a fairly steep angle, you don’t have to mend as much if at all to keep drag off the fly. 

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42 minutes ago, Bucksnbows said:

You absolutely must stand above them and cast an angle down to them.

I do the same, found it way easier to eliminate drag and your leader doesn’t land on the fish like an upstream cast. Good thread. I nymph fish in this fashion a lot as well

Edited by MGHunter66

AWM

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I prefer standing downstream and casting upstream and across myself.  I have pulled the fly out of the trout’s mouth too many times to count when drifting downstream.  Although skittering a caddis dry across the current downstream will trigger some exciting takes!  Casting upstream when you set the hook it is more likely to pull it into its mouth - that is my reasoning, at least.

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On 3/31/2022 at 4:44 PM, Nomad said:

I would say when possible I prefer to be slightly downstream of a rising trout and present my fly far enough upstream not to scare the fish.  I like to walk upstream and look for trout.

I think down and across works best in big water like the upper Delaware, it’s easier to throw a mend in your line without spooking the fish your throwing at. Seems like the smaller the water the more I find myself casting upstream. 

without me, my rifle is nothing

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I do love to angle dry, but here in nj I’ve had many experiences like the video above, tons of bugs on the surface and nary a rise. 
 

Secondly, I feel a need to apologize to Brian @Bucksnbows for a post I put on the tippet ring thread, about the heart attack, I forgot all about your condition when I posted that Brother, forgive me!

without me, my rifle is nothing

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3 hours ago, TDietz said:

I think down and across works best in big water like the upper Delaware, it’s easier to throw a mend in your line without spooking the fish your throwing at. Seems like the smaller the water the more I find myself casting upstream. 

I have never fished a big river for trout so great tip and it may be why upstream casting works better for me.

Edited by madeinuk
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