Wrapping, snapping, rubbing, busting. Fighting fish around structure is difficult. You have to do all the other things correct, PLUS apply the tactics that will keep your fish from breaking off. The logs and branches, boulders and rocks add a whole new dimension to landing fish, and a big trout that’s been around the block knows these obstacles and will use them to frustrate your endeavors to net them. My new home waters have forced some serious reflection on how to minimize the heartache of a lost fish (especially those nice ones) when that line finds something besides water to slice against. I’ve landed on four techniques that help me when fighting trout around structure. Fight fish fast. Fight fish close. Move your body. Move your rod. We’ll cover each…
I like to begin my articles with a story, but the tales of woe I’ve gathered over the years of untangling knots in my leader are too many and too varied to attempt narrowing them down into a single memorable incident. I’ve come to accept that the endless tangles and twists in my leaders are the price of admission for this sport we love. There’s a sort of affection for these frustrating tangles we all must experience if we are to enjoy fly fishing that almost makes them special. Almost…
When confidence is considered in fly fishing, it is typically in reference to confidence flies. The list of articles on what confidence flies are and how to develop them is lengthy. I’m probably due for one myself at WadeOutThere. I have my fair share of confidence flies, but that list is for another article. Everyone has their own flies they believe will catch fish. They are our go-to flies and typically find us after some time on the water. More important than the flies themselves are what they do for us.
Tactics and Techniques
When I first started fishing to the middle of the water column, it was typically to trout eating just below the surface. The hopper dropper (or dry dropper) was my primary tactic. But the more I fished, the more I saw opportunities to fish the middle of the water column that were not best suited for the dry dropper technique.
“I’d say just time on the water. You have to put in the time, if you want to get better.” “I think it was when I started spending a lot more time on the water that I really began to improve.” “Time on the water is the most important thing. You have to put in the time” Time on the water. We’ve all heard it at this point. So many anglers attribute this single factor as the most important step towards improvement on their fly fishing journey. I’ve come to believe that making significant strides in our fly fishing abilities is not that far out of reach if we do what we can to make the most of our time on the water.
Getting your flies down is a requirement if you want to catch trout while nymphing. It’s just the way it is. I cringe when I think of all the hours I’ve spent with flies in the water and very little chance of catching trout because I didn't understand this concept. This article is an attempt to spare you some of those wasted hours, and perhaps introduce some new techniques.
If you change one thing at a time on the river you are able to assess and analyze how that one variable affects the results and be more certain about what is working. I say more certain because there’s no guarantees in fishing, but I think we can at least get closer to a reasonable idea if we approach it methodically.
Is there a fish in this water? Will I catch one? It’s these questions that bring hope and wonder to the process of fishing. Sight fishing changes things. We see a fish, cast to it, and because we have eliminated the one giant variable that we are constantly dealing with when fishing, we expect to catch the fish we see. Or at least our frustrations peak when we don't. It's called sight fishing for a reason, but the observation has just begun once we find the fish we’ll cast to, and there’s wonder in hope in that as well.