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  1. Default How to fish a dry fly (beginner's question)

    Hi all,

    I'm new to fly fishing. After I've cast a dry fly, am I supposed to just let it float downstream without reeling in, except for maybe twitching the fly? Is there ever a case where I'd want to reel it in?

    How about nymphs and streamers? Do I reel those in? If so, what type of retrieve?

    Thanks in advance,
    jbu

  2. #2

    Default Re: How to fish a dry fly (beginner's question)

    Quote Originally Posted by jbu311 View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm new to fly fishing. After I've cast a dry fly, am I supposed to just let it float downstream without reeling in, except for maybe twitching the fly? Is there ever a case where I'd want to reel it in?

    How about nymphs and streamers? Do I reel those in? If so, what type of retrieve?

    Thanks in advance,
    jbu

    Hi jbu,
    Normally when fishing 'Dries' you want to let them drift downstream with a 'dragfree float' with no movement, but as you mentioned there are times when you do want to 'twitch' the fly(usually a bigger bug that is trying to regain flight or get to the bank).

    As far as reeling in... 'NO' you want to retrieve your fly line by 'stripping' it in, you do that by pulling it back to you thru the guides.
    There are many different retrieves used in flyfishing, and that is part of the 'Learning Curve' associated with F/F.

    Your reel is used primarily for storing line or fighting fish.
    Use the 'Search' feature and look under 'retrieves', you should find plenty of info on the various types there.

  3. Default Re: How to fish a dry fly (beginner's question)

    Quote Originally Posted by jbu311 View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm new to fly fishing. After I've cast a dry fly, am I supposed to just let it float downstream without reeling in, except for maybe twitching the fly? Is there ever a case where I'd want to reel it in?

    How about nymphs and streamers? Do I reel those in? If so, what type of retrieve?

    Thanks in advance,
    jbu
    Let it float downstream, also do a mend (flip line away from where water will make your fly drag unnaturally without moving your fly. mend it in mirror image of where drag will take your line. You can also cast a in the air mend so if water is going to drag your line in one direction, your line will have a loop in the mirror image.

  4. Default Re: How to fish a dry fly (beginner's question)

    like tlcrep mentioned, mending is a big part of Dries as it is when using an indicator and a nymph. You DO NOT want the line pulling the fly. This can be tricky when fishing water that has several different speeds. Sometimes you have to lift the rod up during the drift specially when fly is floating somewhat call flow but you have a riff between you and the fly.
    About the only case that you want the line to PULL the fly is when fishing a bait fish imitation (streamer) cause you want the fly floating head first due to the fact that fish will attack "Head First". And I guess Polish Nymphing you want the line to pull the fly.

  5. Default Re: How to fish a dry fly (beginner's question)

    jbu.... Try casting upstream to slow moving water right at the edge of fast moving water or behind a large rock. Strip in the line to take up any slack and be prepared to lift your rod tip if you see a strike. This is the easiest way to understand a dead drift. As you gain experience, you can try a 1/4 cast up and across the river, tossing an upstream mend in the cast. I always keep a few feet of line in my reel hand and release this line as I cast. For whatever reason, this allows my line to unfurl and absorb the casting force allowing the line to fully straighten out and then just drift down to the water. It does not matter how far you can cast if the line is snapping back, not unwinding or slapping the water.

  6. Default Re: How to fish a dry fly (beginner's question)

    Sounds like you have already received good advice, so i can only agree with what has already been said.

    John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
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    Default Re: How to fish a dry fly (beginner's question)

    Hi jbu,

    Here are some other things you should consider. When casting upstream this should not be directly above you. If you cast directly above you the line will precede the fly and spoke any fish. You need to position the fly line so just the fly passes over the fish. To start with, casting up stream at about a 45 degree angle is a good place to start. After you get some experience you will know how far up stream you want to cast. Dry fly fishing and indicator fishing is all about mending and getting a drag free drift with the fly. The longer distance you can get a drag free drift with your fly the better your chances of hooking up. If you can only get a drag free drift for 10', then you need to position your self so that drag free drift is above the fish. If you are blind casting you need the fly to drift drag free over feeding lanes or seams in the water. With short cast you can raise your rod tip to take up the line as it floats down stream. Do this instead of stripping in line. When the tip is high enough you can throw the slack line back up stream with a flick of your wrist. This is a very useful technique.

    You need to learn the reach cast and use it on your up stream cast. You need to reach cast with either hand according to which direction the water is flowing. You don't have to cast with both hands, you just need to do the reach with both hands. Another very useful cast is the "S" cast. I use the "S" cast a lot for down stream cast. You get a short drag free float but it is great if you spot a fish directly below you. I find the reach and "S" cast the two cast I use the most.

    Frank

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Southeast Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,760

    Default Re: How to fish a dry fly (beginner's question)

    YouTube - Fly Fishing Lessons - Part 25
    The video above is part of a long series, and will give you an idea of
    what to do. The guy even catches a fish .

    Frank Whiton's advice about not allowing the line to float over the fish
    is good. The angler in the video is using short presentations, and he's
    adjusting the length of his cast so that only the fly and leader are over the
    targeted fishing area. You can look at the other fishing lessons in that
    series. They're not perfect, but the advice is okay, and FREE .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Southeast Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,760

    Default Re: How to fish a dry fly (beginner's question)

    YouTube - Fly Fishing Lessons - Part 29

    Here's another from the same series. You'll see the anglers stripping line in,
    but that is being done only to remove the slack line from between
    the rod and fly. This is done so that you don't have 10 feet of slack when a
    fish strikes: you won't be able to set the hook with all that slack line out. You don't
    want to strip too fast, as that will make the dry fly skate across the water.
    Skating a fly across the water is used as a technique occassionally, but
    dries are allowed to drift at the same speed as the current, for the most
    part.

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