If at first you don’t succeed, DON’T try again!
Refusals are all part of fly fishing. We’ve all been there. A huge trout swats at our stonefly pattern, a huge bump on our streamer but no love….it happens all the time. What do we do? We swat that same spot…..over and over and over.
There’s a couple of things I want you to think about.
Streamer Fly Fishing
The first is in streamer fishing. The fish hit your offering. Misses are part of the game, no predator has a 100% success rate. So the trout smacked a baitfish and the baitfish is stunned. Where is the baitfish going to go?
Down river, that’s where. Where is the trout going to go looking for the stunned baitfish? Not back up to the same spot where he hit it to begin with, that’s for sure!
Resist the urge, go down stream a few feet, slow down any retrieve you were doing or dead drift. You'll improve your hook ups, I guarantee it.
Dry Fly Fishing
You got refused on a dry fly. So, something wasn’t just right. Was it your drift, your angle, or the fly itself?
The fish is trying to tell you something wasn’t right. Why would you do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result? All you’re going to accomplish is putting the fish down.
I do a couple of different things in this situation. I’ll fish closer to me and down river. I don’t want to cast over a good fish I know is there. I do want to know if it’s fly or presentation. So I will key fish that are away from the fish I’m targeting.
In this way, I’m doing a little experiment. If it’s the fly, I’ll down size or put on a crippled version. If it’s the drift, I'll rethink my presentation to the large one. Either way, when I do catch a fish away from the target fish, I let it take me down river and away from the target fish.
Now that you’re dialed in, you can go after the big daddy.
Head back up river and think before you cast. Don’t get caught up in the moment.
- Watch to see if the fish rises. If he does, he’s not going to rise 2 seconds after he just did.
- Does it rise, does it sip, what’s he doing, and at what intervals?
- What side of the structure is the fish favoring?
If you want to target and catch large, picky trout, you’ve got to have good observation skills.
Get out there and Fish Hard, Fish Often, and Fish ON!!!
Tight Lines and Screaming Drags