Dry fly fishing

Fredmoore

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Relatively new to fly fishing,and after a few answers.I really like dry fly fishing and have done quite well on both small commercials and larger venues,ie brenig,however I have personally found that casting to a rising fish even when I make a good cast with my as yet limited ability,I never get a pretty much immediate take,I find I have to wait some time especially on the smaller waters.Is this because I am not putting the fly down gently enough or is this quite normal?
sometimes I leave it in 5/10 minutes before I get a take if at all.
 

sightbob

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Sep 14, 2009
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Look up about trout vision and different feeding signs.
Some times the rising fish are not taking adult insects
Great way to fish but can be frustrating.
John
.
.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Embra
Relatively new to fly fishing,and after a few answers.I really like dry fly fishing and have done quite well on both small commercials and larger venues,ie brenig,however I have personally found that casting to a rising fish even when I make a good cast with my as yet limited ability,I never get a pretty much immediate take,I find I have to wait some time especially on the smaller waters.Is this because I am not putting the fly down gently enough or is this quite normal?
sometimes I leave it in 5/10 minutes before I get a take if at all.
Are you in a boat or on the bank?

When you say 'casting to a rising fish', is this a fish that has risen once or is it a fish that has risen 3 or 4 times in a fairly straight line that you can be sure you have put your fly where you would expect it to rise next? If it is a fish that only rose once, are you confident you read the direction it moved away in? Are you confident it stayed high in the water, because maybe it went back down after the rise and will not be there to see your fly. How much distance are you giving it between where it rose and where you have put your fly?

Have you observed what the rising fish are taking and have put on something that you can reasonably expect them to take as an alternative to the naturals they are feeding on?

If you are relatively new to fly fishing, it's reasonable to expect that your presentation is still well down the skills curve that you will climb as you get more experienced. I would suggest the best way to get good at catching rising fish on dry fly on stillwaters is from a drifting boat. Keep the distance being cast as short as possible. This will give you better presentation than if you try to cast a long way. It will also disturb the water in front of the boat much less. Keep casting to a minimum, and the fish will rise under your rod tip at times. This will also let you observe the fish as they take your fly and you can tell the real takes from the rejections. It's a win-win-win situation.

Col
 

Wee Jimmy

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Fife
Relatively new to fly fishing,and after a few answers.I really like dry fly fishing and have done quite well on both small commercials and larger venues,ie brenig,however I have personally found that casting to a rising fish even when I make a good cast with my as yet limited ability,I never get a pretty much immediate take,I find I have to wait some time especially on the smaller waters.Is this because I am not putting the fly down gently enough or is this quite normal?
sometimes I leave it in 5/10 minutes before I get a take if at all.
Could be a few different reasons Fred, I could write a book on the subject.Without going into too much detail,Id say the most likely cause is down to putting your fly behind the fish instead of in front of it ,because you are misreading the riseform.Head and tailers are easy to read but boils or swirls require a bit more experience to read correctly and don’t worry,nobody gets it right all of the time.

Secondly if your casting isn’t the greatest it’s likely that your target fish are spooking from the leader landing too heavily or perhaps on top of the fish, try giving them a bit more lead....typically three feet or so but this varies depending on how the fish are behaving.
 

arawa

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Highlands
Without disagreeing with any of the sound advice above, bank fishing hill lochs I have found that since I began fishing with much lighter tackle (#4 or #3 rods with a single dry) I have had many many more immediate takes as the dry fly lands. So perhaps as you gain experience and your casting presentation improves you will find the same.
Good luck.
 

BobP

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Wiltshire
I quite often teach and guide on a small and very clear lake in Hampshire, or rather I did before the blo*dy lurgy struck. Because the lake is very clear the fish are visible and their reaction to a fly is pretty obvious.

When fishing dries there the fish will take the fly within 10 seconds of it alighting on the water. If they haven't taken it by then they won't take it at all so it's a case of cast, watch, lift off and put the fly down somewhere else. That is also the principle I adopt when fishing dries blind on reservoirs.

When casting to rising fish it is a case of watching to see which way the fish is travelling and then aim to put the fly 6' in front of it. This is much easier on a breezy day as fish generally travel upwind. If you cast directly at the riseform the fish has already gone.

The only time I cast to drop the fly close to the riseform is when I'm using a weighted nymph hoping that the fish will sense the plop of the fly dropping in and will turn to see what it was and the first thing he'll see is my nymph right in front of him. Works quite well sometimes.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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When fishing dries there the fish will take the fly within 10 seconds of it alighting on the water. If they haven't taken it by then they won't take it at all so it's a case of cast, watch, lift off and put the fly down somewhere else.
Very different to our approach. We will get fish take a fly minutes after putting it in their path. We'll sometimes see the fish come up under it and stand on its tail looking at the fly for a good while, and then slowly coming up and sipping it in.

That is also the principle I adopt when fishing dries blind on reservoirs.
Again, I recommend the opposite of this on reservoirs. I cast as few times as possible. If you do the rapid fan-casting method, cast, cast, cast, cast... you are disturbing the water with landing and lifting-off all the time, and waving the rod and line in the air and showing them to the fish. So, you scare the fish away to the point that the only fish in your zone are the ones at the furthest point of the cast - the ones you land your flies on... and so it is no wonder that the only fish that take you do so in the first few seconds. The answer is to cast as few times as possible. Take up the slack as the boat drifts forward... take your time to fish out your flies... and you will get fish take your flies at any point of the retrieve, right up to underneath your rod tip. ;)

When casting to rising fish it is a case of watching to see which way the fish is travelling and then aim to put the fly 6' in front of it.
It might be 6 feet, it might be more. It might be less. Depends what the fish is feeding on and how much of it there is. In a Caenis hatch, they might be sipping every few inches. and you need to put your fly on the fish's nose. Or they might get into a cadence... if you watch a fish that is rising regularly, you can get an idea of the distance between rises (and its direction) and so match the distance with your covering cast.

Col
 

Fredmoore

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Wales
Without disagreeing with any of the sound advice above, bank fishing hill lochs I have found that since I began fishing with much lighter tackle (#4 or #3 rods with a single dry) I have had many many more immediate takes as the dry fly lands. So perhaps as you gain experience and your casting presentation improves you will find the same.
Good luck.
You are quite right,on the small commercials I fish sometimes,I can certainly notice that some more experienced fly guys are putting there flies down lighter,probababy more to technique.I tend to use the same 6# set up that I use everywhere,I will get a lighter set up when this virus ends,thanks again for advice
 

mrnotherone

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Monmouthshire
You are quite right,on the small commercials I fish sometimes,I can certainly notice that some more experienced fly guys are putting there flies down lighter,probababy more to technique.I tend to use the same 6# set up that I use everywhere,I will get a lighter set up when this virus ends,thanks again for advice
Rather than invest in new gear, perhaps try a longer leader and different taper? With practise you should be able to put a fly down softly with a 6 wt.
 

Paul_B

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If you make your own leader you can drop a fly with less disturbance than a feather, however if you watch a natural fly it doesn't just sit there it makes attempts to get airborne again, and it doesn't have a tippet hanging from its bum, de-shine the line so its less visible and sinks easier and give the fly realistic movement. The fish want a living insect not a deceased dried out carcase.

Tight lines
 

eddleston123

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Peebles, Scottish Borders
There is a general view that fishing rivers is more difficult/harder than stillwaters.

When it comes to dry fly, I often doubt if that is the case.

When I fish dry fly on a river, I tend to fish the rippley rough bits of water which tends to mask and disguise my many imperfections in my presentation.

When I fish for bows on a Stillwater, there are so many variables to consider - ie - the rise form - which direction the fish are swimming- The timing of the strike - What are they actually feeding on, chironomids trapped beneath the surface film. Sedges skittering along the surface, etc, etc It's all a bit too technical for me!

Nah, It's ten times easier fishing a fast flowing river.


Douglas
 
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Cap'n Fishy

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The fish want a living insect not a deceased dried out carcase.
Not something that I have ever noticed.

Empty mayfly shucks...


This one was happy eating bits of vegetation and a sheep castration ring, none of which were moving at the time... along with all sorts of terrestrials, which, watching them in the water, were, just, er dead... and so not moving!


I would reckon I catch 99% of my stillwater dry fly fish on a static fly. There are times when they key in on a bit of movement, like the kick of a heather fly, or a shield-bug, and so giving a twitch to the fly can make the difference. At other times, they key into the downwind drift of a floating olive - and then you are stuffed, because you can't imitate that, unless you go to the downwind shore and cast into the wind and figure-of-eight your fly back to you. Or, from a boat, you can try casting 90 degrees out to the side and hang on, as everything drifts down the wind together. However, if you have dapping gear, you can do the downwind/upwind sweep and cash in on it. It's very effective when they tune in to mayfly coming down the wind, or daddies tumbling over the water.

Col
 
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Fredmoore

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Wales
If you make your own leader you can drop a fly with less disturbance than a feather, however if you watch a natural fly it doesn't just sit there it makes attempts to get airborne again, and it doesn't have a tippet hanging from its bum, de-shine the line so its less visible and sinks easier and give the fly realistic movement. The fish want a living insect not a deceased dried out carcase.

Tight lines
How would you recommend I do this,I have been using both shop bought tapered leaders and also some I made up with different strain maxima To a formular I read about online.
In spite of using a tapered leader I still get quite a few multiple knots appearing,I fear this is also due to poor casting technique.In spite of this I still catch my share of fish,but I will definitely shell out on some casting tuition before my casting becomes to set in bad habits.
 

gg76

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Something to try that might help with your presentation, rather than buy a lighter set up.When you are casting your dries try to imagine placing something on a shelf just above head height and stop your cast there.
 

Andrew Rourke

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Nov 12, 2018
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London
I'd agree the good advice given, I'd ignore the continual casting advice though, that's counter productive.
I'm talking hill lochs here, an observation I have made might help you in similar conditions if they arise for you.
Dry fly is my go to tactic, even when conditions dictate otherwise. On a bright day in flat calm, I often used to get refusals to a single dry. I usually like to keep a fairly taught contact with the fly.
On a day of these conditions a few seasons ago I had a fish in these conditions whilst not paying attention, and the line was slack.
I continued to release a few, and now when faced with these conditions I employ negative energy casts as if I were going for a drag free drift on a stream. Seems to work for me.
 

tangled

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Dec 28, 2015
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You are quite right,on the small commercials I fish sometimes,I can certainly notice that some more experienced fly guys are putting there flies down lighter,probababy more to technique.I tend to use the same 6# set up that I use everywhere,I will get a lighter set up when this virus ends,thanks again for advice
if you're getting splashy casts and knots in your line, it's your casting that's at fault not your gear. Don't buy anything until you've had a couple of casting lessons from somebody trained to give them. An instructor will not only help you cast better but also check that the gear you're using is balanced and not fighting itself. (By balanced I just mean having the right weight and shape of line on the rod.)

Casting ability and balanced gear is 95% of it. The gear itself is the remaining 5% but we tend to concentrate 95% of our effort on it because it's easy to buy stuff and we're all collectors at heart. You can prove this really easily; give your rod to the instructor and watch him cast with it - you'll be surprised how good it is!
 

Paul_B

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How would you recommend I do this,I have been using both shop bought tapered leaders and also some I made up with different strain maxima To a formular I read about online.
In spite of using a tapered leader I still get quite a few multiple knots appearing,I fear this is also due to poor casting technique.In spite of this I still catch my share of fish,but I will definitely shell out on some casting tuition before my casting becomes to set in bad habits.
Quite often knots (and twists) in the line are made when someone allows their arm to drop to the side while casting, also not waiting for the line to straighten out at the back before casting forward, theres some good advice on Joan Wolff's youtube videos.
 

dgp

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Jun 1, 2013
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Wales.
How would you recommend I do this,I have been using both shop bought tapered leaders and also some I made up with different strain maxima To a formular I read about online.
My dry fly fishing really benefitted from using tapered furled leaders
 

speytime

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Feb 27, 2009
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West Lothian Scotland
Ah yes a furled leader is well worth getting, you get a great turn over with them and they land really softly I wouldn't be without them now...
Mr trout forum member makes very good ones I'd recommend you try them.

Al
 

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