Downstream Dry Fly Presentation
Some trout seem to have seen it all, especially those in our more heavily fished rivers. These fish are often nearly impossible to catch on dry flies because they learn to identify leaders and they avoid them like I avoid real jobs.
It isn't, however, impossible to catch such educated trout. One way to approach these fish with a dry fly is to position yourself upstream of the rising fish and present a realistic dry fly pattern like a comparadun in the appropriate size and color with a cast that quarters across and downstream. Land your fly just upstream of the fish with enough slack to obtain a drag-free drift long enough to reach the rising fish. You may even need to reach your rod toward the fly as it drifts away from you to get just a little more drift.
The idea here is that you are making it so that your fly arrives over the the feeding fish before the tippet and leader which can tip it off that something isn't right. One thing to remember is that with such a presentation it is important to wait just a little longer than usual to set the hook so that the fish can close its mouth or turn with your fly; otherwise you'll be likely to pull it straight from their mouth. Try this technique the next time a fish with a PhD turns down your best stuff.