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Fish Bones 01-27-2006 12:06 PM

Three Trout Fishing Golden Rules - by Dan Fallon
By Dan Fallon

Three absolutely mandatory rules or methodology exists which determine who among the millions of fly fishing sportsmen are going to consistently find catch and release trout. It is said perhaps seven million fly fishers explore the many rivers and streams all over North America. I would guess that less then twenty percent regularly find and fool trout regardless of conditions. Company’s that sell everything from rods to flies claim one will become a more successful fly fisher by buying their product, this mind set is not going to help you do anything but spend your hard earned money and give you more weight to carry!

Stealth, presentation and complete understanding of your need to become almost invisible and blend into shadows, crouch behind bushes and rocks and cast no shadows on waters or make any unwanted noise while surveying possible opportunities is your most important rule.

When one loudly crashes through brush dead sticks cracking while your shadow and loud vibrations warn all game fish to become invisible until you leave. If one very slowly approaches new stream, rivers, ponds and watches from long distance for fish rising or where the currents and large boulders slow currents. Your chances have already increased greatly, right next to the waters edge under those bushes or under that fallen tree limb or just in front of that boulder where the water slows may be your first cast? You may have only two or three casts before resident trout know you’re an invader. If you start wading and splashing and disturbing the peaceful natural order, your finished because you have alerted all trout and they will not be fooled. If you get in the habit of not wading unless necessary, making no overt noises of any kind and never casting shadows on the water while staying well back from potential areas. Your on the way to changing your luck. If you fly fish with friends, make it a rule to stop talking and separate some distance before throwing bugs. Learn to move slowly and wait and see what activity is happening before your slow approach and from some distance from waters edge you make a quiet dead drift and bang, a nice trout....

Presentation of your choice pattern is critical and ought to be well thought out after first either visually sighting what resident trout are reacting to or in a place well away from your possible throwing area you have lifted a small boulder or branch and sifted in your hand or through a seine whatever matter, insects exist? Without a doubt you have uncovered a lovely splash of slimy dark green buggy matter that will give you clues as to what patterns may be effective? If your not truly certain what pattern to use, maybe you have either researched this new water on the world wide web or you have taken the bull my the short and curlies and bought several local patterns from that neat guy at the local fly shop? Now because you have not splashed around and sent all trout into hiding, you have noticed two nice trout gently rising after tiny whitish colored bugs that look like Pale Morning Dun’s. Your first choice is a #20 PMD with a #18 Mosquito used as a second searching fly. You are now half hiding behind a large tree and side cast quietly so as to barely get into that feeding lane and then you allow the two flies to dead drift the length of the run... A 16 inch rainbow slurps your PMD and the fun begins.

Invisibility is your best fly fishing friend and if mastered will allow you to almost always succeed in finding and fooling all game fish especially wily trout.This is the most important and most difficult fly fishing lesson to learn! I spend 100 or more days a year on many rivers, streams and without fail come across fly fishers of all ages who set up a kind of mini battle zone stream side upon their noisy arrival. These pathetic well meaning sportsmen and woman usually are carrying all manner of unwieldy gear and bags and coolers and packs. They flop their gear down and then scramble out into the current and begin slashing and effectively warning and scattering all resident trout in every direction. Upon this first mindless assault while destroying stream beds and displacing insect larvae and generally destroying the natural order, they then yell out across the way for their buddy, “ Hey Jimbo, any luck?”. These sad uneducated fly fishers rarely catch fish and surely keep the fly fishing schools full and comfortable because once they begin to understand how difficult fly fishing is they move on to couch potatoeism and park that too expensive junk in the closet. On way to understand the natural order and peace that exists on all rivers and streams where man is not present is to spend many mornings just sitting and watching a river or stream. As you will discern it is a peaceful almost poetic place where movement and sounds are barely discernable. Everything about you Mr. And Mrs. Fly fisher is noisy, smelly, large looming, vibration making alien being in this quiet peaceful atmosphere! You are the alien that does not belong and is a threat, the sooner you realize and compensate your fly fishing skills will begin to serve you well instead of announcing your most unwelcome arrival...

Article Courtesy of Dan Fallon at Dan Fallon's World of Fly Fishing

JBinUTAH 01-29-2006 09:06 AM

Re: Three Trout Fishing Golden Rules - by Dan Fallon
"It is said perhaps seven million fly fishers explore the many rivers and streams all over North America."

And doesn't it seem like most of those are on the water that you selected to fish on any given day. :icon_wink

Very good article.

BigCliff 01-30-2006 12:39 PM

All good points. I need to remember to be more sneaky.

Fly2Fish 08-10-2007 09:36 AM

Re: Three Trout Fishing Golden Rules - by Dan Fallon
This is the sort of advice that even experienced stream fly-fishers need to re-read from time to time. Timeless advice that's easy to forget in the heat of an active day on the water.

jdgrubbjr 08-10-2007 04:56 PM

Re: Three Trout Fishing Golden Rules - by Dan Fallon
Good read! :thumbsup: In the past few years I've became so conscientious about noise that I don't even slam the door on my Jeep when I get close to a stream! :)

mdk223 06-07-2012 04:37 PM

Re: Three Trout Fishing Golden Rules - by Dan Fallon
Good read. Alot of it is easy to forget when we get caught up in the moment...

mcnerney 06-07-2012 06:53 PM

Re: Three Trout Fishing Golden Rules - by Dan Fallon
Excellent article and sage advice! We have had several threads on the forums over the past few years and it amazes me how people don't think stealth is part of fly fishing.

theboz 06-07-2012 10:30 PM

Re: Three Trout Fishing Golden Rules - by Dan Fallon
Well stated ! Fly fishing is hunting fish. Shadows , careless wading and walking have no place in a successful outing. Good article.

kdeutman 01-07-2013 10:04 PM

Re: Three Trout Fishing Golden Rules - by Dan Fallon
This is a good article. As a new trout hunter I need to remember this. Although I am quiet I am not sneaky. Just because they're eating doesn't mean they aren't aware of me.:rolleyes:

donsundquist 01-30-2013 05:02 PM

Re: Three Trout Fishing Golden Rules - by Dan Fallon
Hi Dan, my name is Don Sundquist and I live on Vancouver Island Canada and I want to say how true you are.

Quite a few years I hiked in to lake and as I reached it I was going to stumble out to it when I remembered my grandfather telling me to always sneak up and take a look around.

I did that and I caught a beautiful 18 in. rainbow on my first cast. As this lake receives no fishing pressure ( still the same today ) they were very skittish and I had to stalk these beauties around the lake.

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