Oh baby, when you see or hear a fish rise, an active feeder - the first thing you think is "Let’s go get ‘em!"
We immediately swing our fly to right where we see ‘em rise or to the ripple rings……nothing. We throw again…..nothing. We’ve all been there. Our first instinct when we see or hear a rise is to go attack it.
The truth is, one rise doesn’t make an active riser. In reality, all we really accomplished in the above scenario is likely to put the fish down.
Strategy to Catch Rising Fish
It’s hard, but the best strategy is to watch for a bit. If you see the same fish or pod of fish rising three or four times, now there is some activity to take advantage of. Pay attention to what they are feeding on.
1. Get yourself into a good position to make your presentation.
In larger streams, the fish will often rise in a general area, moving from spot to spot in a general vicinity. Why? There’s plenty of water, plenty of structure, and plenty of opportunity. In smaller streams, the fish tend to gravitate to a certain spot….for the exact opposite reason…..water is limited, structure is limited, and the larger fish more territorial.
2. Determine the pattern of the riser.
You do not want to cast to where the rise actually is. You want to make sure you are casting upstream of the rising activity. Your fly needs to drift naturally into the feeding zone. Plopping the fly right down on the zone is only going put the fish down.
Keep your wits about you, and make a nice, delicate presentation.
Tight Lines and Screaming Drags!