Achieving Delicacy of Presentation

sweetandsalt

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In three recent threads, Moderate Flexing Fly Rods, Sage Trout LL and also the division of Power and Presentation categories in the YA 5-Weight Shootout, the very important subject of delicacy of presentation has come up. We regularly discus rod actions, matching fly line models and to a somewhat lesser though no less important degree, leader selections contribution to presentation. As a long-time, dominantly dry fly sight fisher for trout, this aspect of fly fishing is something I've keenly observed in my companions a-stream and myself, experimenting with and continuously developing still.

There are frequently expressed assumptions that seem fallacious to me. If a rod flexes deeply with a soft tip and has a slow innate casting rhythm, it feels delicate and therefor is. If its leader of soft butt Nylon or furled thread lands with coils upon the water, the fly will arrive to the fish more gently with less drag. Well, with commensurate skill and experience, perhaps, however, as in overcoming a handicap. While I may fish rods as deep flexing and slow tempo'ed as Douglas Upstream 8'8"/#4 and as rabidly fast and powerful as Sage Method 9'/#6...both of which might have a #16 PMD affixed to their tippet, I fish them the same way just in different environments.

My constant objective is articulate control of my fly arriving before the rising fish, fly first, no coil of tippet before it and no unnatural drag upon it...as if an untethered natural insect. I have ascertained that that control starts with my hands with rod and line in them. I separate, in my mind, two interrelated aspects of fishing, the "live line" cast and the "slack line" post-cast manipulations. On smaller creeks I will select a more moderate rod like Scott 8'4"/#4 GS or new Sage 8 1/2'/#4 T LL as their configuration and flexural profile makes castling shorter distances enjoyably effective, they bend to access their appropriate finite power with less line in the air. On more medium sized streams I'll reach for a crisper 9'/#4 or, increasingly, fabulous Sage 8 1/2'/#5 X, rods that enjoy a sweet range of 35 - 65'. When a full size river is the venue where 40 to 80' casts are required then a potent 9'/#5 like Taylor Truth or Sage Igniter or even a #6 like SKY comes off the rack. But once I've sat on the bank and observed what's happening, adjusted my tippet and fly choice accordingly and perhaps seen a particular trout, my technique is essentially the same.

I do not cast to the trout but away and parallel to it measuring my distance and freeing the line and leader of water spray. If complex currents are involved...when are they not, my first cast is a few feet short to ascertain their effects. Now lets feed him. I'm going to perform a smooth tight loop cast and as the line and leader commence to unfurl aerially, I sweep my rod into an upstream reach feeding slack form my line hand fingers followed by side to side motions of the tip in an effort to match large and small amplitudes of line while still in the air to match the predetermined currant vagaries. This happens quickly as the line is finalizing its complete turn over and as gravity takes over my tip follows the line down onto the surface, alighting as a unit. Looking good but oops, there is a curl of 5X downstream of the Thorax Dun! I make a short but sharp upstream pull with the tip using the surface meniscus tension to correctly orient the fly without moving much more. The fly has alighted about 4' above the fish (it might be 1' or 6+' depending), I roll two more slack mends into the drift for extra drag free time and the fish rises and...eats a mayfly inches from my artificial which rides the bulge of the take over the fish and keeps going. OK, fine, I let it get a ways below and gently sweep it out of the seam and stripping line in do it all over again.

What can upset or detract from this presentation procedure? Guides that are too small, fine for casting but impinging the free feeding of slack line, a tip that is too soft or counter-flexes rather than recovering smoothly and quickly which throws anti-aerodynamic artifacts into the loop and diminishes the acute ability to mend accurately both in air and on water and insufficient line speed to defy gravity long enough to perform the requisite aerial manipulations. The big killer is a line that unfurls smoothly upon the water...sending shock waves to the fish before the fly even alights and precluding aerial control. Also a leader that lands hard, or with memory coiling or collapses due to poor transfer of energy that simply defies the control you've worked hard to exercise over your rod and line. It is after all, the leader and its long tippet that shows the fish your fly.

Just for illustrative impact I'll add that fishing a petite, light line rod with a DT2F line that lacks the mass for adroit aerial control may feel like a feather but have a harsher impact upon delicacy of presentation than a 6-weight line fully unfurled and aerially articulated laying the fly first upon the water. It's all in our hands.
 

cooutlaw

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I think it was great for S&S to take the time to verbalize the technique he uses and often refers to. I have understood his preferences and why he has them (because of this technique used) for quite some time, and have myself referred to them when speaking about specific rods as to why or why not they might meet or not his specialty technique demands. I further grasp why for dry fly work of this discipline, that he has them. I think this will certainly also help enlighten newer anglers to understand with greater clarity why technique is a huge determiner of personal rod preferences.

I would offer that individual preferences are as unique as the anglers employing them and therefore I often speak to separations of smallest nuances when referencing an individual rods capabilities in my mind or hands, it's often my "felt" sensing of an individual rods strengths and weaknesses for a certain technique that is simply being highlighted as I see them. Why? Because anglers differ in not only skill levels, techniques employed, habitats, but also in what they individually enjoy as a tool when they fish. A prime example of this may be a dedicated cane angler, or a vintage rod enthusiast, when regardless if the tool is optimum for the technique or habitat, they are simply not enjoying themselves to the fullest if they are not fishing a rod of significance to them so they fish the rods they enjoy regardless, technique be damned.

It is because of these individual preferences that I attempt to highlight various characteristics in an appraisal so that anglers of varied interest can get a feel for the spectrum of a rods capabilities via multiple techniques and determine as to whether or not the rod in topic might or might not be in consideration for their employed usage and preferences.

In other words, a predominantly nymph/midge tail water angler in Colorado might rank a rods dry fly specialty technique ability with little importance to them (perhaps a very seldom caught BWO or PMD hatch), it would conversely be paramount to S&S for his employed usages. A smaller yet water angler may have to cycle through half their fly box to cover a 2 mile stretch of 8-10' wide stream, so their rod needs to foremost to be versatile and habitat correct in sizing. To S&S's point, a mismatched 2wt in the wrong hands with less than favorable technique can be more of a detriment than a 6wt rod on small water.

Further, S&S is very solid in his specialty skill sets developed for the water and habitats he frequents and prefers and for the type of angling he most engages in, and for these habitats I am confident he that he is deadly accurate and perfectly aligned to execute the proven techniques of his preferential specialty. I hazard to say I would look like a monkey chasing a goat that stole it's banana trying to equal his aplomb in these techniques. But I would try and I do understand them and might get lucky and execute a decent cast or two.

Now for my small water stalking passion, some of the same rod attributes are preferred, recovery most importantly, to eliminate undue vibration and waves being transferred to the line, but reserve power, line speed, and some of the other misc. attributes are of no benefit to me. Further, a fast rod, unless windy, can be more of a liability. Casting a midge emerger on a 12'+ leader and 48"s of 7X on a 7 1/2' 3wt rod a maximum distance of 25-30' does not become gracefully compelling to hyper predator sensitive fish with ultra tight loops and high line speed fully unfurled over near whitewater flows, another hundred yards downstream this may be changed to calmer runs and a small stimulator and midge dropper. Hence, another varied specialty technique that a rod might be reviewed for as one of it's attributes, that may apply to some and be completely foreign to other anglers.

Point being, techniques are as unique as the anglers and habitats in which they employ them, rod attributes should be chosen to give anglers the needed advantage to execute the desired technique as perfectly as possible. Today's rods offer anglers the greatest technological and design advantages for specific habitats that the fly fishing world has ever known, regardless of the varied preferences, there is a rod out there that will help each angler better enjoy executing, catching fish, and their time on the water.

Thanks for this sharing S&S, I know your idea was to evoke discussion around differing opinions of presentation and why there are some misconceptions out there, and your specialty methods exemplify why. I didn't want to highjack the thread here, I just wanted to clarify, especially for newer anglers, why individual rod attributes can be beneficial to multiple techniques, and further, that anglers should enjoy fishing and not be discouraged to expand their knowledge of techniques, but also not to ever feel pressured toward seeking particular rod characteristics which might not even be of value to them in their habitats, and further yet, to evoke the thought process that presentation importance is not entirely dedicated to dry fly angling only. Quality Subsurface presentation skills will also pay dividends in an angler's repituare'.

Photos below for example of water I spoke to....1st is the Yampa here in Colorado...right at the bridge and the second is a spot to remain nameless....challenging to fish...other users of this water are often not anglers...and no...that is not me in the Kayak.


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PACKRIVERKAYAK_.jpg


Conversely to faster water challenges, here are some high country creeks in Colorado that run shallow, clear, and slow....again challenging in a completely different way. One photo near Cascade and the second in the high country near Telluride, third by Durango and fourth (next post) a home water creek not far from me.

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Duranglers-Dos-Mosca-Creek-Fishing-Colorado-Fly-Fishing.jpg
 
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redietz

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My constant objective is articulate control of my fly arriving before the rising fish, fly first, no coil of tippet before it and no unnatural drag upon it...as if an untethered natural insect.
To me, those are incompatible goals. A fly that lands with an absolutely straight leader/tippet is going to start dragging immediately. There needs to be some slack in at least the tippet -- maybe not huge coils, but some slack. It took me years to figure that out, and to achieve just the right amount of slack.
 

sweetandsalt

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Good morning, redietz. In the thread below this one about Nylon Furled and Braided leaders I describe how mass matching memory free leader systems render them as effectively an extension of the fly line's taper with continued diminishing mass right out to the 5' tippet. I can cast line and 15'+ leader fully turned over and straight and the outfits ability to do so is relevant as it is indicative of the anglers ability to control its attitude upon the water.

In the paragraph below your above quote I detail my technique for dialing controlled amplitudes, curves never coils, of line and leader upon the water with a reach cast followed by horizontal tip gesticulations. I will execute dead strait presentations but they ae reserved for dropping a crustacean pattern in front of a feeding bonefish or permit on the flats. Trout feeding in moving water always require current ameliorating line-leader manipulations to create the as natural arrival of your fly to their lie.

The presentation methodology I described above was under evolution on the Henrys Fork back in the 1970's and simultaneously on the Delaware system as well...likely other technical environments too during the Match the Hatch revolution but that is where I was first exposed to its intricacies. A season does not pass during which some particular trout tucked into some structure of bank, rock, deadfall or weed bed does not challenge me to devise a new twist to add to my repertoire.

A good number of years ago I found a substantial brown trout rising against an overhung grassy bank in a bend in the upper water of the Nature Conservancy's section of Silver Creek. Just outside of his feeding station was a weed bed up to the surface starting some three feet above him. A marvelous funnel directing the fecund emergence of PMD's directly to him as he happily sipped away at both duns and emergers. I tried everything; a reach from above, changing casting positions to a hook from below for what seemed an hour with micro or macro drag on my fly before it ever got to him. He was too tough for me and eventually I waded out and sat upon the opposite bank where my wife, on her first ever visit to Silver Creek was patiently observing me. "He's got me beat", I confessed to which she responded, "Do you mind If I try him?" She waded out dropped her leader right over the weed bed with just enough slack in her tippet, the fly floated about 6" and he ate it!

I started this thread by describing my dry fly presentation methodology for the waters I favor. Like cooutlaw above, many of you will have developed differing strategies and tackle refinements for your preferred habitats. Please participate making this thread a compendium of presentation wisdom.

Silver Creek
W12 003 Silver Creek [PS vs].jpg
 

Redrock

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I don’t spend enough time on the stream anymore to have a dry fly casting philosophy, so to speak. If I did, it would be I adapt to the conditions primarily by reading the water. Using S&S’s scenario, I prefer a quartering approach, up or down stream, with a modified stack cast. I try to place the fly just above what I believe is the beginning of the trout’s sight window. I’m looking for about 2-3 feet of a drag free float. Casting position and timing is, therefore, critical. Too many people fail to watch fish feed on flat water. Is the fish stationary, is the fish slipping back, is the fish cruising? The cast is the culmination of the hunt.

I used to play a mind game on the big flat river on which I learned dry fly techniques — how many fish could I stick without moving. These were big hatches on a big flat river with lots of fish. I encourage this as a learning tool because it forces you to think outside of your casting technique comfort zone. It taught me to be completely results oriented for that type of water. Now, put me on a fast, pocket water river, and I’m a little lost for a few minutes.
 

sweetandsalt

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Something I forgot to include but redrock rocked my memory. Casting position may be dictated by the size of the water or position of the fish. However, on larger rivers you may have the option of wading into position you suspect will offer the best presentation opportunity. Often for me that is a quartering angle down to or sometimes, less often, up to the riser.

Late one evening a group of guides and hard core types where gathered at the bar in Trouthunters on the Fork. Plied with on-the-house whisky we debated position and technique. On the Railroad Ranch water an angled downstream presentation is a norm. But the point was made, and Dillon and I concurred and keep quoting it to one another, effective presentation should be a 360° skill set.

Henry's Fork of the Snake
Wj16 002 Henry's Fork s.jpg

The culmination of many a stream, creek and various rivers is the Mother of All Trout Rivers, the Missouri
W12 224 Missouri River [PS vs].jpg
 
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cooutlaw

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I suspect that one of the main draws of fly fishing is that the opportunity to learn and improve skill sets is virtually never ending. Throughout my life I have been blessed to ply fresh water of most all sizes and configurations, and every change in habitat has offered me an opportunity to further work on expanding my abilities in a different way within the craft. These variances in geographic pursuits have not only made for enjoyable and broadly differing techniques to be employed, but have also provided me with enormous respect for the individual demands of differing water to be successful. I have come to understand that every piece of water has it's own nuances and personality, some are much friendlier than others, some are more demanding in that an angler must play along to it's tune, some demand an angler challenge themselves in new or unusual ways, whether that be wading the un-wadeable, or casting/presentation in fashions thought un-achievable. Further, it has ingrained into me the understanding that methodologies come with rules that are pliably built to be stretched, bent, and massaged to conform to the demands at hand. Water and fish have no conscious or sympathy for an angler's well thought out systems of approach and attack plans. To S&S's point above....presentation is a 360 degree skill set...further, it is a moving target that often requires innovation and expanding, bending, breaking, and throwing caution to the wind in one's standard processes to achieve success. I'm reminded of being told by an elder seasoned angler as a young beginner guide: "Water and fish play by their rules, not ours". 35+ years later, I believe this was a very accurate statement. I'm further reminded of one of my late father's philosophies: "If you want to make God chuckle, just tell him of YOUR plans". I suspect water and fish may have a similar ability to chuckle at anglers.
 
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dr d

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hi cooutlaw,


you "nailed" it and beyond

even longtime experienced experts have a subjective variance of 70-90% in their results - we know

this from longtime analysis of medical experts>>>your father was 100% correct.;)


Merry Christmas and a lot of good threads in future.

thomas
 

trev

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I guess I've never figured out the delicate approach, my experience has been that disturbance gives the impression of life and triggers interest. I keep playing with soft landings and drag free drifts but I do that for the exercise and development of control. When the ADD starts to kick in I switch to hard landings and induced drag.
 

bonefish41

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'Out...Beautiful venues reminds me of the Pine River in Michigan...But my shoulders started to ache in anticipation of me in me dotage stumbling on the rocky bottom, jamming my shoulders and as for S&S and gentle presentation only if I could present myself stumbling to the fish gently...beautiful though...I'm boat and skiff bound...however, after viewing your venues I did call and set up the last two days of March for Pere Marquette again maybe Little Manistee or White for Spring Steel and Brown.
 

sweetandsalt

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bonefish, I'm younger than you (but only by a little) and have a re-built casting elbow, a fake not great knee and soon will need work on both hips, my ankle is not great after a youthful injury which has plagued me much of my life too. I get by but wading raging freestones is in my past and where once I'd walk miles in the bights, I now fish from the skiff. But my casting shoulder is good and while I can't walk as in my younger wilderness backpacking years, I can throw a good loop.
 

bonefish41

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Prior to Michigan early Steel...I'll be skiff bound last week February Key West for three days ...and the hope I booked right and I am in the middle of the February warm up week for Permit on the flat and in bound Tarpon
 

cooutlaw

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Guys, I'm likely myself on the tail end of my abilities to scale and wade some of the areas that I still attempt to fish. Younger me would wade deep and heavy currented water to my armpits in crossings and scurry down canyon boulders and across freestone moss slick bottoms without a second thought. I'm now very much succumbing to the "old bull" theory and my every movement is at a pretty calculated and gingerly pace...and usually at some point a wading staff and near slow motion comes into play. I'm cognizant of the challenges and will push myself still, but only so hard and far, then logic kicks in and my focus becomes eluding injury or worse.

I've herniated and or ruptured multiple disks in both my upper(T2,T3) and lower back (L4,L5), have broken and sprained both ankles enough times that they both have special contours in their external appearance, and due to earlier life professions have some pretty significant joint deterioration (bone on bone w/ gout is not much fun) and arthritis has become my new best friend. Add to this the fact that I also have limited feeling in both feet that were significantly frostbitten as a young guy when I became trapped at altitude during a brutal two day blizzard/storm (and only by the grace of God am I penning in this thread), and you have a recipe for a guy that needs to really be cautious and watch himself when tackling anything heavier than a deep pile carpet.

I guess my point is, that at some point, I'll have to surrender. Until then I'm trying to make the most out of what I can still do, or at least THINK I can still do.
 

sweetandsalt

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It is an age old issue, with age comes wear and tear but also, with diligence, experience and some wisdom. There was no way for me, as a young greenhorn, to have a clue about the limitless techniques to achieve adroit presentation. Even today with numerous books and videos illustrating various strategies, it is not like casting with definable, symmetrical dynamics. Blending the "live line" cast with and separating it from the "slack line" feeding only develops with considerable experimentation and carful, critical observation. So, as my physical abilities decline at about the same rate my beard grows greyer, it is more important than ever that my casts are sound and line feeding fluid and accurate. I surely am not a stronger caster but I am a better caster today than I was as a young man.

In the late 1970's, I was already a customer of Scott-Pow-R-Ply's Harry Wilson and Larry Kenny. At one of the old Suffern, NY Sportsman's Show I met harry in person for the first time starting a relationship only ending upon his incapacitation. At that time his Scott Graphite, to become known as "G" was brand new and special. We now think of these rods as being of moderate action but in the late 70's context, they were fairly fast and sharp of tip. Harry explained to me as he showed me the new rods that they represented a huge leap forward in forming current defying curves upon the water because they were so light and precise. "Watch this", he said. "I can write my name Harry with the line before it lands on the floor". And if you used your imagination and didn't expect the H to be crossed, you could see that, or at least get the relevance of his point.

That was 50 years ago and I'm still working on it.
 

Ard

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To me, those are incompatible goals. A fly that lands with an absolutely straight leader/tippet is going to start dragging immediately. There needs to be some slack in at least the tippet -- maybe not huge coils, but some slack. It took me years to figure that out, and to achieve just the right amount of slack.
I always stretched my leaders so they landed like a pool que unless I made some manipulation to create a curve on purpose. I think that the key to the right presentation lies not only in the cast & the all important stop of the rod but in your position with relation to the target. So many cumulative hours spent slowly wading so as not to cause a wake in spring creeks were spent just to get me in the right spot before I ever made a cast.

Because of my lifestyle I was able to spend so much time fishing that I made many deductions way before there were any means to share them with the masses. After enough trial and error one should be able to look at a rising fish and then read the surface water conditions in a 360 degree radius around that fish. That radius includes that water between you and the target, Correctly ascertaining what may be the result of a cast made from ones current position often can make the difference between a take or a fish put off when fishing finicky trout who know pressure. Often times your observations made prior to that cast are far more important than rod choice, line and etc.

Maybe ten years ago I was writing exhaustive posts focusing on observation being the ultimate tool for a fly anglers success. Admittedly those ramblings are not as exciting as a rod shootout or line debate but the techniques of applying copious amounts of patience and careful observation provided me with not just fish caught but a wealth of knowledge to share with people. Not everyone is into watching while they could be flogging away at a stream trying to get a high fish count but for those who tried my methods I hope they were rewarded as I was.

I generally stay off these threads because my words may come across as being negative or critical but sometimes I get bored and post. As I read the many threads about rods, shootouts and hair splitting over fly lines I silently reflect on the (perhaps) thousand trout or several thousand I managed to fool using rod and line that would be laughed off the stage in one of today's rod competitions. Here in Alaska I am far removed from those days of delicate presentations of a #18 or 20 Blue Quill but my memory is fine. It all had to do with approach and watching carefully. The single most effective technique I used was to never make false casts over the area where the fish was located. I learned to do my casting at angles far removed from the target. Learned to develop depth perception by laying the fly down far from that rising fish to see if I had it right. Then make the final adjustment on the last back cast and direct the fly to where it had to be and on time with the fishes feeding rhythm. That was huge on spring creeks with clear waters and tiny mountain creeks as well.
 

redietz

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... Often times your observations made prior to that cast are far more important than rod choice, line and etc.

...

The single most effective technique I used was to never make false casts over the area where the fish was located. I learned to do my casting at angles far removed from the target.
I'm in complete agreement about both statement.
 

proheli

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Maybe ten years ago I was writing exhaustive posts focusing on observation being the ultimate tool for a fly anglers success. Admittedly those ramblings are not as exciting as a rod shootout or line debate but the techniques of applying copious amounts of patience and careful observation provided me with not just fish caught but a wealth of knowledge to share with people..
Ard, you don’t have to be a wise man to know you are bonking the prairie dog right on the head. Although you were pretty wise to figure it out in the first place and write it down for others to follow.

It seems simple but may actually be the most difficult skill to master. Simple observation, regardless of your environment, I think is probably the most important factor in most learning and Achieving excellence in almost any field. Being able to frankly answer the question, “what is going on directly in front of me?” And “Now what am I going to do about it?” Require one to 1. Hold still, 2. Keenly see and 3. Think for your damn self and formulate a solution. Observation could well be the single most important ability there is, but so so difficult to do in the face of excitement and action. I’m making personal progress on this. Now if I can just live Another 50 years I’m sure I will become an excellent observer.
 

sweetandsalt

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"I started this thread by describing my dry fly presentation methodology for the waters I favor. Like cooutlaw above, many of you will have developed differing strategies and tackle refinements for your preferred habitats. Please participate making this thread a compendium of presentation wisdom."

And I hope as many of our thoughtful members will participate describing their own specific methods and technique innovations. "Observation" has been mentioned in the majority of posts so far and it should as it is fundamentally crucial. Sitting in a position of good vantage before wading out into a river yields many benefits. Yes, of course I'm watching for a feeding fish and what they may be feeding upon. Also, who else is around; other anglers above or below me, any wildlife present; a cruising beaver can alarm trout once I have alarmed it, pelicans or a family of merganser can be a problem even the shadow of a soaring osprey can be a factor. What direction is the breeze blowing? And where are the shadows slanting? Standing within the shadow of a good tree can help disguise your presence if it suits an optimal casting position and, if it does, what if any obstacles might there be for one's back-cast? I can't say how many times I've found a trout right by the bank that had I walked on down and waded out into the water I'd never have know where there. Taking a water temperature reading can be revealing. Some insects like specific emergence temperatures; Hendricksons like 52° for example. One of my partners has sewn a loop on the shoulder of his vest as a holster for an aquarium net. He'll bend over to closely watch the surface and net floating nymphs, larvae, shucks and insects to aid in ascertaining what imitative fly he might bend onto his tippet. I like to look at bridge spider webs too.

There is much to learn from patiently observing your habitat and I regard this process as an aspect of angling.
 

Bigfly

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I get to stand at the elbow of over two hundred paying fishers a year. And many more nonpaying.....
Could just be the spooky factor of our local fish, but I see THE most important factor of catching your fish of dreams, is getting the first cast right. Sure, sometimes you can get away with a follow up cast and score, but don't bet on it here.
So, the thing I share with fishers, I derived from spey casting. The question is, Where do I need to put my line on the water, for a perfect drift before casting? Most people, men or women, cant do it on the first try.
Don't cast poorly and then try to fix it. Splashy casts are an anathema....dragging flies the same. If my client splashes on the first try, I will take them off the water, and we will take a break till mr. fish goes back to feeding.
The smarter the fish you fish over, the more important it is to speculate, before casting, what presentation is best.
Most of the time I incorporate my mend into the cast. It is much harder to mend after the cast, and get a perfect drift.
Remember, the more currents you cast across, and the more line on the water, the harder it is.
Many people have an "auto mend" which is the one you do whether you should or not. I constantly have guys do this.
I say, "perfect cast, do it again but don't mend" they will often do it exactly the same. Can't stop themselves......worse yet, they don't even realize it.
Not every drift needs a mend......many mend into an eddy or boil behind a rock. This kind of stuff kills your chance at a first drift fish.
I have a client who has not been able to land a fish here yet. He is a fish hero, and knows how to fish.....
He catches fish everywhere else he goes and holds a grudge on the the T. I will fish with him, but won't take his money anymore, because he knows how to fish.
Last time he was up, he fished as well as he could, and missed 4 takes. I secretly followed him the last lap.
He likes to stack mend, in the hopes of getting a better drift. Then he misses the takes because he has too much slack on the water to set quickly. We cannot hope the fish here will set for themselves. They taste and drop.
We need to be gunfighter fast, with almost no slack to set effectively. The high bar setting, is an accurate cast, mend included, a perfect drift the first time, and the proper set already mindfully rehearsed......
A bunch of thought goes into perfection....it's not about luck. It's not just the cast, nor the mend, nor the set.....it's all three working together that gets it done presentation wise.

Jim
 
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