Leveraging Angles in Fly Presentation
We’ve heard it a thousand times, its not the fly, it’s the presentation. For me, its not either or…..its both. I think you can have a great presentation with the wrong fly and under optimize your results. The same goes for the right fly presented poorly.
Line on the Water.
Trout can be picky. The pickier they are the more important presentation becomes. Flies can be hatching all over the water, yet we still can’t catch a cold! We’ve all been there. One thing to pay attention to is the amount of line you have on the water.
There are a number of different currents flowing down your typical stream. The more line you have out, the more currents you are going to cross and the more likely you’ll get the dreaded drag on your fly. To minimize this effect, keep your casts tighter, wade closer to the intended target, and practice a reach cast.
The most extreme angle in casting is straight upstream or straight down stream. These methods can be very effective, but they also present some challenges too. You are certainly minimizing the number of currents. The challenge in an upstream cast is line management and taking your line in as the fly moves towards you. Additionally, you are putting your line directly over the fish as the fly trails the line. Casting down stream, you’ll need to master the parachute cast. Not the easiest cast in the world. Here again, line management can be a challenge as well. Try setting the hook with too much line out…..we’ve all done it.
Instead of casting directly across the water, or directly upstream or down, quarter the river.If you can cast down stream say at the three o’clock position on the water, and encompass a reach cast, you can get yourself a very good presentation without the line management and drag nightmares.
Employing this method will require more wading, as you have to move up and down the river to hit your targets. You can go upstream with your cast, but I prefer the downstream cast if I can do it. I just don’t like dragging my line over fish and the downstream cast minimizes this in my mind.
Let ‘Em Swing
Let the fly swing. I know its ugly and fly can drag more than a motor boat on the water, but I also can tell you how many fish I’ve caught this way. The only thing that makes sense to me is the fish chased the fly and the drag triggered a reactive strike. It’s odd to me to focus some much effort on a drag free drift to let the fly then swing. But how many times have you let your line tail behind you while looking upstream for the next spot to wade to and bam, fish on.