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Fly Fishing Things

FLY FISHING STREAMS AND RIVERS    Back to Categories

flyfishingthings.com/Stream fishingStream fishing really is the essences of fly-fishing.  It's what fly-fishing is all about.  No matter how many times I go, I always get a tingle of anticipation as I approach the water. It's not so much as if I'm in doubt as to whether I'm going to catch fish; I know I will. It's seeing the dry fly float on the water in a perfect drift, and then being taken in a splashy swirl, knowing at that instance I have fooled my quarry into eating something he would not normally eat.

 It's looking into the water and not being able to see any fish at first, but knowing that they're  right there in front of me; their camouflage so perfect that to the untrained eye; they're invisible.  But, to your trained eye(as it adjusts to the surface distortions of the flowing water), you look through to the bottom, and then you see him, right smack-dab in front of you; just deep enough to think he's safe. Holding his position until something drifts by. He moves less than a body length to intercept a nymph, then back to his original position.  You say to yourself, "This is going to be a fun day."  Sorry, I digress.
For nymph fishing click here, for streamer fishing click here, for reading water click here

I strongly suggest that for the first time you stream fish, pick a small stream; one no more the 20 feet wide.  The reason I make this suggestion is because with a small stream: (1) The flow is slower, which allows for easier line control. (2) You'll get a lot of practice casting (because you won't have to make any long cast). (3) Small streams are shallow and easy to wade. (4) Hold lots of fish. (5) Because the fish are small, they're easier to catch. And (6). Small stream are perfectly suited to dry fly fishing (the most fun way to fly-fish).

If you have no idea where to begin, call your local fly shop. Not only will they give you suggestions as where to fish; but also, what flies to use.

 Whatever size stream you end up on, follow the following suggestions and you should have success.     

 When you arrive at the stream stop and observe!  Look for raising fish, bugs on the water, or hatches that may be happening.
 
I
f the fish are rising and taking flies off the surface, tie on the an imitation that comes as close as possible to what's hatching. If you don't have a perfect match, then choose a fly that comes as close in size and color. I know this sounds obvious, but you would be surprised how many fisherman think that any fly will work when fish are rising. They won't. When fish are rising, they're become selective feeders.  Match the hatch!

If there is no surface activity, go ahead and do some dry-fly fishing just to loosen up and get the feel for the stream.  Then after a while, switch to fishing nymphs, or streamer fishing. 

Before you begin and after you decided what type of fishing your going to do; then--pick a spot and position yourself to fish. Picking the right spot to fish is not as simply as it may seem. Understanding where the prime spots are will greatly enhance your chances toward catching fish. Correctly positioning yourself will allow you to catch fish.

Prime spots to fish are:   Back to Top     

 Positioning yourself to fly fish.  Always remember to enter the stream slowly. When you walk into the stream you create a pressure wave as you enter the water and the fish can sense it. The slower the flow the more careful you have to be.

 Always give yourself room to cast .  And think.  What is my target?  The target can be a specific fish or an area of the water.  After you select a target, cast so that the line lands far enough above the target to avoid spooking the fish.

After the cast is made, allow the fly to drift (if dry fly fishing or nymph fishing),or swing (if streamer fishing) into the target.
 Remember,  when fishing dry flies you never want the fly to be moved by anything other than the current. A trout will refuse a fly the instant it begins to drag on the water.

Finally, follow the fly with the rod tip and pick up the fly well after it has passed the target. Then repeat.

How to hook, fight and land your catch.      Back to Top     

Line control. A basic fundamental you should always use in fly-fishing is to learn to strip the line in between both your forefinger and middle finger of the hand holding the rod. One hand strips(or recovers line) by pulling line through the fingers (forefinger and middle finger) of the hand holding the rod while the hand holding the rod controls the line by trapping it against the rod. For complete control, the hand striping the line does so from below the hand holding the rod.  That way if a fish strikes while your stripping in line, you can immediately trap the line against the rod, other wise the line can be jerked out of the hand by the force of the striking fish and if there is any slack in the line you would be in danger of losing the fish.

  After the cast, get the rod tip down and mend the line.  Mending the line simple means that after the cast you flip the slack(if any) in the line back upstream and strip it in until all the slack is out of the line. Keep recovering line as the fly drifts back toward you by striping and trapping the line against the rod. The reason you continually trap the line against the rod is if a fish takes your fly you can immediately set the hook simply by lifting the rod.


flyfishingthings.com/setting the hook up The hook up. Because trout rise to a dry fly and then turn, or go down when they take the fly; you need to sharply lift the rod tip to hook the fish.  The hooking action is where the elbow does not move and the hand simply jerks upward. While at the same time pull down on the line with your opposite hand to remove any slack, and trap it against the rod grip using your forefinger and middle finger. Get the fish on the reel as soon as possible by reeling in any slack line; especially if it's large fish.   

Fighting the fish.  First, when you set the hook expect the fish to run. If it's a small fish, you can control him with your line hand and rod. If it's a big fish put drag to the fish by gently putting pressing on the trapped line against the rod as it is pulled out until you get the fish on the real. If the drag on the reel is set properly; just let the fish run against the drag.  If the drag is set to hard you risk breaking the fish off.  When the fish reaches the end of his run, it will turn.  When the fish turns there will be a pause; continue to create pressure by trapping the line and tilting the rod to the side from vertical to about 22 degrees.

 Let the fish fight against the tension in the rod.  flyfishingthings.com/fighting fish rod 22 degreesBe patient!  Only reel if the fish is swimming towards you. 

If the fish runs again; maintain side pressure as before. Do not try to reel in a running fish!  As the fish starts to tire, continue to maintain side pressure and slowly start to reel in line as the fish gives in. Use the rod to slowly pull back(up) then reel down; repeat until the fish is in landing range. Control the fish by controlling his head.  If the fish moves to the left, move the rod to the right.  If the fish moves to the right, move the rod to the left, Keep doing this until the fish quits struggling and/or rolls on his side.

Landing your catch.

 
Wflyfishingthings.com/hand landing a fishhen you get the fish close; again, be patient!  The fish may panic and run again when
he sees you.
  Many fish are lost at this
point in the catch, because the fisherman
gets in a big hurry to net the fish.
 
Continue to
maintain pressure by controlling the head of the fish (keep his head up) until the fish quiets down then slip the net allthe way under the fish; and lift. After you become familure with what a trout will do and gain experience in the landing process,you can advance to "hand-landing" your catch.I don't recommend hand-landing to beginners because of a host of reasons, chiefly because you can easily loose a fish if you don't know what your doing.

Taking a picture of your catch

flyfishingthings.com/south platte river brownLeave the fish in the net, in the water,
until you're ready to take the picture. Make sure that the person taking the picture, focus the camera and centers the subject(s)(you want both you and the fish in the picture) so that anyone looking at the picture afterward will know who caught the fish.
You don't want your head cut
off from the picture!

Hold the fish up and out toward the camera to make the fish appear larger; and smile. Then put the fish back into the water and revive him by grasping the fish by the tail and moving him back and forth, forcing water through the fish’s gills. Once the fish is revived, it will kick and slowly swim away.
That's all there is to it.

Apply these fundamentals and you'll catch more trout than you'll lose.