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Old 10-24-2012, 10:11 AM
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Default Some basic retrieval questions (I hope I don't get smacked)

Hello,

Being a newbie, I am confusing myself on how to retrieve a fly. Keep in mind that I am a shoemaker in all types of fishing. My "experience" (if you can call it that) is almost exclusively putting an earthworm on a hook and casting it into a lake and hoping a fish finds it and eats it.

Now, I am completely confusing myself. I went out on Sunday afternoon. (Wow, I needed to dress warmer if I am going to wander around in the water whenever it is cold outside!) There is a small stream semi-close by I can get to that has some bluegill, small mouth bass, and some trout in it. It originates from the overflow of a dam. I started about 100 yards downstream from the overflow (since there were a few spincasters up there) and it is about two-and-a-half feet deep on one side and I don't really know how deep on the other side of the stream, but it seems like there are spots where it is at least five feet deep.

I was wading downstream in the shallow part and casting a little upstream on the deeper end.

First, is this what I should do? Should I wade downstream? Or doesn't it really matter? I thought it would be okay since it is fairly wide and deep enough that the fish couldn't really see me in this instance. I figured they were facing upstream waiting for food to come to them, so that is why I cast upstream.

In these deeper parts, the water moves very slowly. So slowly, in fact, that it is just about still water. How do I retrieve in this situation? I found myself doing it wrong, I think. I would cast then jerk the rod downstream, never really pulling much line in, and I found my rod would be pointing way down stream. I know that has to be wrong. I probably need to strip the line in. I think I was doing this because I still stink at casting and the only thing I can really do is roll cast at the moment, plus there is not enough room to do much more than roll cast in this stream. I think I don't understand how to roll cast with a bunch of line stripped out and floating next to me..

In other parts, the water flows fairly quickly to very quickly. I would cast upstream and sort of let everything float until my line straightened out downstream. Is this the right thing to do?

Then, I was having trouble roll casting, again, to get the fly from the fast water downstream and cast it back upstream.

Arrggghhhh!!!! I know I am new to this but I think I am making it too hard. Any and all advice is welcome.


Thanks,
ray
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:50 AM
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Default Re: Some basic retrieval questions (I hope I don't get smacked)

Busbus...will only answer your first questions...others will answer the others.
Don't wade downstream...cast on located fish because you can see them or at least see them feeding...learn to "read" the stream and find where feeding lanes are
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: Some basic retrieval questions (I hope I don't get smacked)

To tell you what kind of retrieval you need to use there is one important factor: What fly are you using? Some will need strips others pops and still others just natural drifts. This will help to answer your questions.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:13 PM
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Default Re: Some basic retrieval questions (I hope I don't get smacked)

Well, I was using a small nymph. I figured, maybe wrongly, that these would be the best bet to use at this point in the season. I sometimes let it drift and, other times, I gave it a little jerk. I didn't strip it because I wouldn't think these things would move in that sort of way.

And that is something I have been, um, fishing for: wade upstream. And I assume you cast upstream, too, right? Well, I guess you can cast in any direction, I am clueless.

As far as seeing the fish, the water isn't the clearest, especially where it is deeper. There is a green-blueish hue where it gets deeper. I cast there because that is where there is more "things" like fallen trees and rocks and water lilies and such in the water. That is where I figured fish would be but your point is well taken about seeing fish and casting so the fly makes it to them.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:33 PM
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Default Re: Some basic retrieval questions (I hope I don't get smacked)

Your nymph approach sounds good! Try a different color or on with more or less weight. Try a bigger or different nymph. Try a streamer and strip it in. Move around look for structure , current breaks or moving bait.
Look for hatches . You may need to match it.
The water is discolored try something bright or light colored.Try a San Juan worm.
Try a popper maybe you can get a late season reaction!
If you knew how to catch them when you were worm dunking use this info to your advantage . Those same spots will have fish your just using a different approach. Instead of 10 bluegills tearing at your worm those same 10 will be trying to be the first one to grab your fly!
Try a leech pattern in slow water you may wake up
A smallie .
Bottom line don't get stuck in a rut
Experiment!
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:41 PM
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Default Re: Some basic retrieval questions (I hope I don't get smacked)

This is a great question.

the best retrieve you have on a river is the flow of it.keep your rod high and let the fly fish with the flow.Much can depend on what lies beneath though and then you have to move it.

A good thing to have in your armoury is a variety of casts,mends,curves and speys.Spey casts will allow you to change direction and a roll cast is not a change of direction cast and can have its limits.

personally I would wade from down stream and work upwards that way you are working from behind the fishes view and your fly will work onto them the correct way.learn at least one thing each time you go out and you gain in knowledge and it takes a lifetime and you still wont know it all.Dont get frustrated lits learning ,its fun.

Brilliant question
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:08 PM
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Default Re: Some basic retrieval questions (I hope I don't get smacked)

Click the image to open in full size.

This is going to sound stupid, but you have to think like a fish.
Show them what they expect to see.
And I disagree with those who say not to wade down stream.... like all things fly fishing it depends on the situation and once you get it into your head that things have to be done only one certain way.... it will bite you on the bum every time.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: Some basic retrieval questions (I hope I don't get smacked)

What retrieve do I use?

The answer is not difficult if you can answer the following question. What is the natural behavior of the fly you are using?

That is the 4th leg of "matching" the hatch. We select the fly for size, shape, and color. Then we match the behavior of the natural. So if you are imitating a mayfly that floats dead drift, you float the fly dead drift.

If you want to imitate the behavior of a wounded bait fish then you choose a retrieve that mimics a wounded bait fish.

As to whether you fish upstream or downstream it depends on where you think the fish is holding and the best cast to present the fly to that fish so that the fish notices it.

For example, if you think a fish is waiting on one side of a boulder and waiting to ambush a baitfish that is swimming across the face of the boulder, you need to fish the streamer so that it can sink to the level of the fish and then cross the face of the boulder at the level of the waiting fish.

This is what you do. You fish from upstream. Position yourself upstream and to the fish's side of the boulder. Cast down and across to the other side of the boulder but well above it. Make upstream stack mends so the fly sinks drag free. When you think the fly is deep enough and a bit upstream of the boulder, make a downstream and across mend and the water will catch the mend and swing the fly across the face of the boulder. The fish will see the side view of the streamer and ambush the fly.

So it is up to you to decide how the fish are feeding in the location you are fishing. Then you choose the fly and decide how to present it in a natural fashion. that is the easy part. What is difficult is to actually make the cast that is needed and the required mends or line manipulations.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: Some basic retrieval questions (I hope I don't get smacked)

This might help you a bit. The first link is about reading water. The second is about "fishing" your fly. They both cover the basics but are pretty helpful. You should also do a few youtube searches for videos. There are tons of them out there and I think they are very helpful.

Reading Water | Fly Fishing | Techniques

The best Montana nymph fishing techniques | Montana Angler Fly Fishing Blog

Gary
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Some basic retrieval questions (I hope I don't get smacked)

Wow. So when the old guy was saying to keep my rod tip really low, even just in the water, he was not right (in this situation)? Or maybe I misunderstood him.

I think I am getting it in my thick head, maybe, possibly. I don't set the hook like I would with a spin rod? I set it with my line hand by yanking the line? That way, I can keep my rod higher?

My wife just got me the new Joan Wulff book (even thought she doesn't understand why I like fishing). I would think these casts would be in the book.

And thanks for more-or-less saying to usually fish upstream. Not always, as somebody else said, but this helps a lot.

I know it sounds like I am getting frustrated and not having a good time but I really am. Actually, this is the most fun I have ever had fishing even though I don' know what I am doing yet. I am trying to learn as much as I can but I am also impatient.


Quote:
Originally Posted by morayflyfisher View Post
This is a great question.

the best retrieve you have on a river is the flow of it.keep your rod high and let the fly fish with the flow.Much can depend on what lies beneath though and then you have to move it.

A good thing to have in your armoury is a variety of casts,mends,curves and speys.Spey casts will allow you to change direction and a roll cast is not a change of direction cast and can have its limits.

personally I would wade from down stream and work upwards that way you are working from behind the fishes view and your fly will work onto them the correct way.learn at least one thing each time you go out and you gain in knowledge and it takes a lifetime and you still wont know it all.Dont get frustrated lits learning ,its fun.

Brilliant question
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