How frustrating. You make a great cast, get a good drift, a beautiful fish comes up……and it gives you the middle fin and turns away. After you’ve finished cursing like a sailor, here’s a couple of tips to try out…
- As the year progresses, fish get more educated, particularly on tippet. Go lighter on your tippet than you normally do. I’m actually a huge advocate of fluorocarbon. It’s stealthier, tough as nails, and lasts longer.
- Change you angle of presentation. The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over expecting a different results. In a situation where fish are actively feeding on dries, I’ll get out of the water, quietly move upstream, and go with a fly first presentation. Similar logic to lightening up your leader, but in this case, the fly is what the fish sees first, so the leader is less of an issue.
- Try a different fly….duh right? Think a little differently here. The fish may not be feeding on adults. Sometimes rising fish aren't eating adult insects, they are eating emergers…..try a humpback emerger, RS2, or other similar emerger pattern under the surface. One thing always do is downsize my fly. For some reason, this always seems more effective than upsizing.
- Take a break. Yup, give it a few minutes. Hydrate up. Relax and then get back in there. I haven’t caught too many fish trying to beat them into submission. Sometimes all it takes is to give it a bit of a rest, think about what you want to throw, and patiently go about your presentation.
That’s if for now my fishy friends, until next time…..
Tight Lines and Screaming Drags