Re: Dry presentation
I improved my dry presentations a bit last year just by sitting down on the bank (as hard as it was while fish are feeding) and watching the bugs on the water.
I pulled my rod apart, had a sammich, and with one hand (on half a rod) and about 4 or 5 feet of line out just started playing with my rod and line in the water trying to get the feel of what rod movements duplicate the struggles or movements of insects on the water.
Of course when a little smally thought I was doing a good job, and snagged my fly, I dropped my sandwich in surprise and ruined my lunch.
I like the teeniest tug, rest rest, tug. Unless you are fishing a waterbug type fly try to avoid making a V shape on the surface. Not many bugs do this.
A stuck horsefly or bee does it on occasion, but more than not, they end up spinning in circles with one wing stuck under the water surface. That can be dang hard to duplicate 15 yards out, but a nice O ripple coming off the fly made by a quick gentle tug seems to satisfy most fish, spun hackles immitating buzzing wings.
Sometimes I will let the V start to form but end quickly with a tiny tug to get that same O to radiate from the fly.
Also for hook sets I have had the most luck with a short wrist "flick" just after the surface take. Then immediately lift my arm to keep tension on the line. I see guys losing takes all the time by just hauling the whole rod up immediately.
IMHO this gives the fish an extra split second to spit the fly when he realizes it might not be a meaty treat. The wrist flick is more immediate