They say fly-fishing is something you constantly learn, never something you completely master. Although seemingly complex at first, if you practice and learn a decent cast, you’ll slowly learn how to control everything else. Then comes finding fish and knowing which flies to present (talk to locals). Although a challenge, fly-fishing has been an enjoyable hobby over the years and I look forward to early mornings, sunny afternoons and beautiful sunsets on the water.
1) Reading the Water
Trout like food and comfort. They stay closer to the bottom or beside rocks in the river or stream, so they can jump out and snag flies and then retreat back to the comfort of their holding spot. Try using weighted line that sinks lower into these areas for a waiting fish. Also, fish the sides of rocks or shaded areas.
2) Casting When Trout Rise
We’ve all seen the rings left as a trout rises to the surface, takes a fly and like a flash—he’s gone. Don’t cast to the ring. Cast beyond it, upsteam and let your fly float back down the same path. Trout will swim downstream to investigate insects.
3) Polarized Sunglasses
Depending on the area you’re fishing, there are different methods of knowing where the fish are. As discussed previously, you may see trout rise—an ideal giveaway. But if not, you can occasionally see flashes of color near the bottom as they search for food. Cast upstream from here and await luck.
4) Disturb Little. Be Quiet. Go Unnoticed.
As you approach the watering hole, it’s advised to where colors matching your surroundings, from the fish’s perspective: a blue shirt to match the afternoon sky and perhaps neutral-colored pants/waders to blend into the backdrop. If you have waders, but you can reach your target from shore, don’t disturb the water—cast from the bank.
5) Timing Your Strike
React to what you feel, not what you see. Just because a fish rises and takes your bait does not mean you should set the hook. If you haven’t FELT the slight tug, a premature strike could cause the fly to come free before he completely takes your presentation.