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High Sticking.....Dry Flies

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You read that right….high sticking DRY flies. High sticking is a very common technique for nymph fishing, but often not even considered on a dry fly.

A few years back I was on a long weekend trip to Kelly Creek in late August with my business partner Rick. Kelly Creek is a hidden gem in North Idaho. It has a healthy population of native cutthroat, rainbow and even bull trout.

The water was warm for that time of the year and we weren’t moving many fish. We targeted swift moving water in shadowy areas. We found a great stretch of pocket water. Getting a good drag free drift seemed next to impossible.

I found myself high sticking without even realizing it. I had on a Crystal Yellow Rubber Legged Stimi and a tan elk hair caddis. I completely stopped false casting and found myself in stalk mode dropping the flies in pockets. Bam! Hook up after hook up.  You definitely want to use bugs that are bushy and ride high.

The technique was incredibly effective. I had on a 9’ leader and let out about a foot or two of fly line. When I hooked a fish, I walked him immediately downstream. When we moved on to another spot after wearing out the fish where we were, I actually changed up and used my 10’ high stick rod that I up until that point on nymph fished with!

The extra foot gave me a good measure of control. When I think back and thick about it though, we high stick a lot more than what we think. How many times have we been on the water where there was slow moving water in front of us and we were casting to a seam. What do we do? We lift the line out of the water so we don’t get drag.

Don’t be afraid to give this technique a try. Make sure you use a good quality floatant too.  I use High n Dry.  By far the best I've ever used. Until next time my fishy friends…..

Tight Lines and Screaming Drags

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