Text: Des Armstrong
Photography: Stu Hastie
No matter what type of fishing you are doing be it river fishing or stillwater fishing you can increase your hook up rate if you induce or add animation to your flies.
Here are a couple of small ideas to try:
1_ Speed of the retrieve: When you are pulling lures it always better to start off slow then speed up the retrieve. The change of speed is enough to get the fish to take your fly.
2_ Bright fly on the TOP dropper: Always put a bright fly on the top dropper. The brightest fly attracts the fish and it has to swim past the more natural flies to look at this bright looking fly. If it refuses your top dropper it may turn around and will pass the more natural flies again. You’ll get two chances of the fish to take your fly.
3_ Vary the retrieve: Figure of eight, strip slow, increase the speed, stop, start, short pulls all on the same cast and you will get more takes. Fish get use to same retrieve and will generally turn away. Try to get the fish to take notice of your fly by doing something different to induce it to take.
Dead drift then animation: Your first drift(s) should be “dead drift”. Then you should always try adding animation to the flies.
1_ Sight fishing to cruising fish: Put a cast a far enough in front of the fish and allow the nymph to settle on the bottom of the river. When the fish is ~1 meter away from your fly, pull on the fly line to make your fly lift off the bottom. Watch as the trout moves over to intercept your fly.
2_ Short lining: As the flies drift downstream towards you and they are opposite you, start bouncing the rod tip up and down _2” movements) about 3 times. Be prepared for take as you bounce your rod tip. Cast your flies straight across stream from your position; dead drift them to allow them to sink to the bottom. The flies should start to rise at the 45 degree angle. At the 45 degree angle prepare for a fish to take your fly. Cast the flies upstream, when they hit the water, do small 2” strips as the flies sink and drift towards you. Takes will come anywhere through the drift, this depends on how active the fish are.
3_ Dry fly fishing: Put your fly in front of the fish; when the fly gets close to the fish, impart the smallest of movements to your fly. Tweak it just enough to create a small ring around the fly. Skating your fly can be a fun way to catch fish on dries. Cast your fly downstream on a 45 degree angle; hold your rod up so it is point at 10 o’clock, this will create a bow in the fly line. Your fly should skate nicely on top of the surface and create a nice wake.