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  1. #21

    Default Re: Achieving Delicacy of Presentation

    Bigfly makes several excellent points to add to our presentation repertoire. The first cast being a great cast is almost a truism in fly fishing. A fly dragging over a fish's feeding lye...would you eat a hamburger moving across your plate? Often a trout in a defined feeding position can be cast to multiple times as long as none of your efforts alarm it. Each subsequent cast adds to such a likelihood emphasizing the observation, thought and calculation relevance of that first cast.

    Secondly, habitual behaver. Developing any habit of auto-inclusion in your presentation is a formula for ineffectiveness as a potential drift inhibiting line movement is handicapping you from the get go. Also, there are certain casting techniques like Bigfly's client that has convinced himself that a stack-mend or pile-cast is going to improve his dead drift. It is not. Such methods insure inaccuracy and eliminate control over what slack you do want to induce. One must be analytical and observe the effects of differing line manipulation styles and what they achieve or don't.

    There are infinite variations in prestation techniques induced by the water character, fish location and behavior. We gather our experience, make evaluative calculations and create our own luck.

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  3. #22

    Default Re: Achieving Delicacy of Presentation

    I am by no means an expert on fly fishing, but I found this thread really interesting because it seems so much of each of our presentation tactics are dependent on home waters or waters we prefer to fish. I read these and see years of experience on a specific set of home waters that allows for each of you to be successful in multiple other settings.

    What it kind of makes me wonder about is transferability of skill sets from certain areas to others. I'll use myself as an example. I live in Wisconsin and fish almost exclusively in the Driftless area. The streams I prefer are rarely more than 10-15' wide, often closer to 5'. When I'm fishing dries to rising fish, I'm often throwing no more than 15' of line, 10-ish' leaders, and dealing with conflicting currents. The trick, as many others have said, is getting into the right position before casting. What I wonder is if these skill sets, given the relatively limited size of our streams, are at all transferrable to more technical or pressured (and often larger) waters in other states?

    So, I guess my question for the experts is, what advice do you have for those of us who don't live near bigger, pressured trout water to prepare ourselves to be successful if we find ourselves on those waters?

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  5. #23
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    Default Re: Achieving Delicacy of Presentation

    Quote Originally Posted by nuchamps5 View Post
    I am by no means an expert on fly fishing, but I found this thread really interesting because it seems so much of each of our presentation tactics are dependent on home waters or waters we prefer to fish. I read these and see years of experience on a specific set of home waters that allows for each of you to be successful in multiple other settings.

    What it kind of makes me wonder about is transferability of skill sets from certain areas to others. I'll use myself as an example. I live in Wisconsin and fish almost exclusively in the Driftless area. The streams I prefer are rarely more than 10-15' wide, often closer to 5'. When I'm fishing dries to rising fish, I'm often throwing no more than 15' of line, 10-ish' leaders, and dealing with conflicting currents. The trick, as many others have said, is getting into the right position before casting. What I wonder is if these skill sets, given the relatively limited size of our streams, are at all transferrable to more technical or pressured (and often larger) waters in other states?

    So, I guess my question for the experts is, what advice do you have for those of us who don't live near bigger, pressured trout water to prepare ourselves to be successful if we find ourselves on those waters?
    I don't make claims of expert level skills but I do look to myself when I need an answer

    I'm going to provide a generalized answer, one that I have found to be true when applied to fishing by species. Whether your stream is a 15 foot wide spring feed or freestone or a larger flow all moving waters share common characteristics. Cut banks - runs - undercuts - troths - bottom structure and on & on. The fish will feed and seek shelter in like conditions regardless of the size of the stream.

    I wrote this a while back and maybe it will help: Small Streams as The Laboratory

    I have fished for trout in almost every state that has a wild trout population and also many provinces of Canada as well. The things I learned about fish and habitat were always transferred to wherever I was at. Altitude change and the geology changes with it but to the studied eye the streams all share the same characteristics. Whether I was trying to break down a huge river like the Rogue or Madison into smaller channels that I could understand or if I were on the lower Gardiner during late summer fishing pockets it was pretty much the same game.

    Here in Alaska now going into my 16th season I've had to learn new things because almost all of these fish are transient to some extent. There are few "resident" trout such as those in many other places I've fished. Still the rule holds, from the tiny lake outflow where I fish for small wild rainbows to the large rivers that I fish for steelhead trout the fish turn up in the same places.

    Hope that may be helpful. On that blog page you can go through many pages of posts / articles that address streamer fishing with some focused on small stream presentations. That's where I learned and I just took it to the rivers where the bigger fish live.
    Last edited by Ard; 01-07-2020 at 08:17 PM.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.


    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  7. #24
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    Default Re: Achieving Delicacy of Presentation

    Just got your message Trevis regarding the link, I should check them before leaving a post,

    Thank You

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.


    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  9. #25

    Default Re: Achieving Delicacy of Presentation

    hi,


    checking the situation exactly, only one (first) shot - tactic, decent straight in-line presentation,no splashing a.s.o.,

    never casting about the target,no dregging!!!,ca-15° - 30°or more(seldom) upstream and 15° - 60° or more (grayling) downstream.

    carefully mending and wading!!!


    each season i start at the same 2-3 places with best educated trouts to be reminded at all the points above...

    after this i start the wonderful "dry - time".


    nice we.


    thomas

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  11. #26
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    Default Re: Achieving Delicacy of Presentation

    In my experience, the fishers I've known who've excelled at becoming seriously effective, are the ones who have spent time learning "sneaky creek technique". Those who master small waters have paid dues necessary to ply larger waters.
    Compare the progress needed to any sport that requires well grounded fundamentals.
    I started on a step-over creek and prowled like an assassin. I spent hundreds of hours crawling about on my knees peeking at dinky fish. Why? Because they grow up......
    I believe smaller waters require some skills that transfer to larger waters, and some that don't. But you had better have the ones that do, when you ply those waters you can't step across. As we progress in fishing different waters we learn new tricks, and these add up.
    I don't use a bow and arrow cast on my river, nor would I bust a Spey cast on a trickle.....casting a dry 8ft or 80 is much the same, just harder.
    If I had not had the little waters in my background, I doubt my path would have led me to guiding larger flows.
    There is a time every spring, that I return to a creek near me to again crawl about, to find larger fish from a lake, they revisit the small waters too.......

    An after thought.
    A very fishy friend reported yesterday that he could see fish spook from 50ft away as he walked the bank. With our very low/clear winter flows, he was unable to approach and present easily. So, before using that perfect presentation we've been discussing, keep the sneak at a high level. I mostly use water anchored casts (roll and water load) to keep my rod-tip movement to a minimum. We are acculturated to the overhand cast with a dry. I think that is misguided in many situations.
    I rarely need do it. And virtually never overhand casting when casting an indy.
    Since there was some rod chatter early in this thread...I often hand my clients an 11ft 3wt euro nymph rod with a 5wt WF floating line, and mandate the roll cast as our cast for the task. They are casting a dry out to 40-60 ft, which puts us out of that 50 ft spook range, and then perhaps bump some more line, to fish down to the fish..or water load for an upstream shot. I can use a snap T with this setup, and fish over 70ft away. Had many hardened casters say I changed their life and fish stats too.
    A few fishers are aware of these sneakier casts, but the vast majority are not.
    Some of these casters cannot be encouraged/coached, or made to do it another way. I call these the romantic casters. Believers, who will not be persuaded to try any other cast.....In my time I have learned that when guiding these casters, we will leave more flies in the bushes, we get more tangles and we will catch fewer fish.
    I've learned to include the sneak as part of my presentation is the point. There is a standing joke among my fishing friends,,"there are no fish in the river". It was what I said many years ago. That ghost town feeling you can get...when you know you have the right fly and a good drift....) Adopting ninja skills of approach (staying low, not wading, dropping a knee, no false casting etc..), including the cast, enables that sweet cast and drift you are going to make.....don't tell them you are coming. Now, I figure there is a fish behind every rock.....

    Jim
    Last edited by Bigfly; 01-17-2020 at 09:00 PM.

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  13. #27
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    Default Re: Achieving Delicacy of Presentation

    What a great thread, and I had to rate it, easier to find later. Such great insight and good posts by everyone.

    There are so many situations, conditions, rivers and different approaches that it pays for me to pay attention, and also realize that conditions change sometimes on an hourly basis. I think personal experiences over the years have led me to some good insights and also drawn the completely wrong conclusions. Success has been my enemy in this regard leading me to believe a number of things that were not necessarily true.

    I think for a long time I did the same things that brought me success in the past right or wrong mind you, but I had fish to prove it, of course I can say without a doubt there have been times on the river where yes, stealth is not needed, any fly in the box could be cast into the flow and a trout would nail it. Fun? yes, satisfying, sure, but this writing doesn't deal with that.

    It's easy to say in fly fishing, "You don't have to do all that". and let me run this past you because I`m sure its happened to all of us at one time or another.

    You get to a river or section of river maybe new, its clear and maybe a bit brighter outside than I`d like and you see trout feeding, some heads coming up and its like heron spotting its prey. Nice fish, today is going to be a good day. A quick survey of the local flora and fauna says a number of insect variations are coming off.

    Four hours later and I have one little trout to show for it, and a number of refusals, blown presentations, and the situation that really drives me into madness.

    I have the right fly. I surveyed, I see them feeding.
    I have not spooked the trout.
    The trout is coming up on time like a Swiss watch.
    My line is good, my leader and tippet is as small as I dare go for this torpedo.
    My cast was perfect.
    My drift is perfect, Mend was go.
    Placement was perfect.
    Timing is perfect-
    Get ready- hang on

    Nothing-- wait- Fish was not spooked still feeding, try again. Nothing and nothing and what the hell? Note location and time of day in journal. Move on

    I have found a few answers for this but not many, I have to run at this point but In my next post, I`d like to share, angles of casts, lines, leaders and drifts that have gotten me some of these maddening fish, but not all.

    Its easy for me to single out the wrong variable, draw the wrong conclusion.

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  15. #28
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    Default Re: Achieving Delicacy of Presentation

    I like what was said about the first cast, many times that is my only shot because not always but most times the fish are spooky and fish mood varies throughout the day. I describe fish mood as positive, neutral and negative.

    Normally on the rivers I fish and you might have seen some pics, it pays to stay 40- 50 feet away, many times if I`m not catching longer casts solve that. If the water is a little stained and fish mood is positive and aggressively feeding I can get closer for sure, also riffles and water depth too but in general for me not too close.


    The cast, it took me a while to figure this out, since I started out broke with a 8wt glass Fenwick, I had to learn how to make a delicate presentation with rope line and without tapered leaders, and that took time and work, I believe it is worth the time to make delicate presentations with larger weight equipment. in later years I could afford a 6wt glass Fenwick and a 6wt graphite Fenwick. I caught twice as many trout and steelhead on the 6wt.


    I make the cast, I want a tight loop usually and I want the dry fly to float down on gossamer wings well above the target area, and sometimes, I forget about the angle. Or cant see in the current what I want to see, and surprisingly my fly does not do what I want it to.

    The angle is so important because for lack of a better term, micro drag, I`m not really sure if that's what I`m describing but if I have a fairly long drift I want to keep the head and the entire leader in the same current speed lane.

    I recognize the feeding lane and estimate fish position but having half the leader land on the crease is a bad deal for really wise trout, sometimes its not possible of course, and I know of a number of fish locations right now where its virtually impossible to get a good drift, usually they are large trout lies, funny how that works.


    Assessing the current lanes and picking the best of a bad situation have increased my success rate, I have many times had fish refuse, changed the angle, and noticed little speed changes, that pulled my fly out of the zone or dragged it just enough where the fish came up and sunk back to the depths, only this time to take the fly in a casual manner.

    Sometimes I wait until the shadows change, a feeding fish in clear water and brighter light, I move on and wait for the shadow of some trees fall on the area, I have experimented with this, having fish visibly refuse in sunlight and I saw the shadows over a bit of time fall on the fishes lie and it was just enough light reduction to get the fish.

    I fish lighter gear, I fish areas where a 3wt still flushes the entire section, so lighter weight gear does not necessarily mean its the answer, the same stealthy tactics need to be employed, but when I'm fishing good and with intention the success rate is noticeable to say the least.


    Just sharing a few hard learned lessons, In no way do I have this figured out and I don't want to come across like a know it all, I learn stuff everyday and every time out.

    I think to new comers it looks like I`m just haphazardly causally drifting dry flies, catching fish and getting lucky, sure luck is good and that's been a different thread but Ive been experimenting and narrowing the focus fishing wild trout for many years.

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  17. #29

    Default Re: Achieving Delicacy of Presentation

    There are two important points unknown makes above. One is learning to make delicate alightment of your fly with a heavy line weight absolutely translates into understanding what to do with lighter line sizes. A well executed full in-air turnover of your leader with a 6-weight, wafting your dry to the surface is more delicate than unfurling a 2-weight UPON the surface.

    More a tactic than a technique, locating a fine fish feeding that can not be caught in bright light that can be returned to when the light comes from a different direction or in evening low light levels is a great experience. Some of my most memorable trout have come to net in this situation.

    In the "S-Turns" on Silver Creek there is an outside bend with a major back-eddy at its apex...loaded with trout. During a late bright morning with a flush PMD hatch underway I found a big rainbow feeding at the upstream corner of the eddy facing downstream as that is the nature of current in a back eddy. At the physical bank corner the flow is sharply going downstream as gravity dictates. Sure, I could put the fly in front of her but no matter my manipulations the tippet was quickly shaped into a Z by one current going exactly the opposite direction of the other. Getting a 2 - 3" drift was about the best I could do...and not good enough for her. On every 10th or so take of a natural, the big girl would swerve into the main current to inhale a dun or two but trying to time that was sketchy and, rather than put her off her feed, I left her. Returning that evening as the setting sun turned the hills surrounding the Silver Creek basin a rich, golden hue, the PMD spinners filled the cooling air soon drifting spent on the surface. And there she was just sipping the hapless imagos with abandon. The light was failing and in the morning I'd ascertained the best position for me to cast from, standing on a little hump of elodea so as not to put down a plume of spring creek silt toward her and drifting my CDC spinner imitation just my edge of the seam she ate it calmly...until she felt the metal. I managed to get her head into the net in the straightaway around the bend. I held her briefly in the water until she thrust away and I too left for camp to enjoy a good whisky as nighthawks dove in the darkening sky.

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  19. #30
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    Default Re: Achieving Delicacy of Presentation

    I posted many threads ago, about casting a small dry fly on my 6wt switch rod.
    Think of it as two-handed delicacy......80ft away, and the fly lands soft as a bug.
    It took several years of practice to do what I could do with a 3wt on a big stick.
    One thing I have noticed over time, is many fishers aim too much at the water.....aim above it two feet for best results. I cast to a place in space, not to the fish.

    Jim

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