Despite temps in the mid-eighties today, the lesson for today was not weather related, but ‘crappy casts’. Cast all of your line out (every time)! Know where your fly is going to land (every time)! Don’t hope or guess where it will land, know where it will land. Don’t guess how much line you should cast out, cast it all. If you need less, reel it up. Nothing special about today for why these things come to mind. It’s just that it might have been fresh in my mind after knowing that I likely torqued my client off when I said, “No more crappy casts.” Obviously, our goal is to catch fish, but we want to leave our clients smarter and better than they were when they came to us.
Fishing out west, or on bigger water around here, you can get away with casting to a general area and missing your spot by two or three feet. When you are on a small stream with a pocket to hit that is two feet by two feet, you need to be accurate. Casting 20 feet of fly line and hoping to only go 15 feet is a bad idea. You start your drift with 5 feet of slack if you are successful. If unsuccessful, you will be in an area you don’t want to be in and likely in trouble. The best thing you can do for your forward cast is improve your back cast. Talk to us about that.
Line management comes to mind as well. We manage our line to the point that we can take the slack out of the line as quickly and as gently as possible when a fish takes our fly. The less slack we have, the quicker it is and the more gentle we can be. If we have lots of slack in the line, we feel that we need to ‘pound’ on the line and rip fast and furious….and it takes a long time to set the hook. Not a good plan when you have four-pound line and soft trout lips.
A guide trip with Bear Creek Anglers can help you cast better (no crappy casts) and manage your line better. You likely won’t hook more fish, but you will land more fish with these techniques.
Flies to Fish in the coming weeks:
Nymphs: Copper John, Prince, Pheasant Tail, Hare’s Ear (#18 to #12), Caddis (#16 to #14), Midge (Narly, Zebra, Brassie) (#20 to #16)
Dries: Blue Wing Olive – probably done, but maybe a few left (#20 to #16), Griffith’s Gnat (#20 to #18), Dark Hendrickson (#12), Caddis (#16 to #14) I’ve seen black and green bodied adult caddis so far this year. Feel free to fish a soft hackle/emerger during the hatch too….I usually fish it in tandem with my dry fly.
Streamers: Fish ‘em if you hafta.
Fishing report by Kent Kleckner of Bear Creek Anglers in Decorah, Iowa.