Clear, Slow Water Fly Fishing Tactics
Slow and Low. That’s how you cook proper BBQ, but Slow and Low when it comes to water conditions can be a challenge.
Hey, the rivers are on the drop and in great shape. But in many areas, we are already seeing some challenging river conditions. Slow, Low, and Clear water means spooky fish. This can be some of the most challenging conditions of the year. Not only are the water conditions a challenge, but the fish have like gotten their PhD in PMDs by now.
Here’s a couple of tricks that have been successful for me.
Leader up in length, that is. Break out the old 12’
Time to start using the 6X and 7X and gulp, possibly lighter.
Watch the Water
You’re not going to have multiple shots at the fish. Understand that. You need to scope out where they are at and which ones are feeding.
Plan Your Approach.
Don’t go stomping in the water. Sometimes the slightest movement can spook them. Head up river from where they are feeding by several yards. You’re going to be casting downstream.
Keep a low Profile.
You’re almost stalking here, kneel in the water.
I’m not sure the real name of this cast, or if there is such a thing yet. Here’s the basics of it. If the fish is 20’ away, I get out a good 30’ of line. I false cast overhead and stop my cast way short so the fly drops about 10’ in front of me and a good 10’ away from the fish. Since you’re fishing downstream, the current will slowly drift your fly towards the fish. Since you already have your line out and it’s laid down in front of you, you’re going to get a fantastic drag free drift.
Make sure of the take before you set the hook. You go ripping the fly out early and the fish are spooked.
Take a Walk.
After you set the hook and you have the fish on, make your way back towards the bank and downstream. This will let you play the fish away from the others giving you a shot at catching them later.
Take a Break.
After you’ve released the fish, take a break, and let things settle down a bit. The fish will still be there. You’ll increase your chance if you wait 5 or 10 minutes.
Tight Lines and Screaming Drags….