Fly Fishing Tips: Get My Drift

Photo courtesy of Jay Heckethorn.

Fly fishing is not like regular fishing.  It can be tricky to propel a microscopic fishing lure forward through the wind, without it grabbing obstructions such as overhanging limbs or tall reeds in back. If the cast goes well and the fly lands on the water like an insect, the next fishing technique is to continue to keep it looking like an insect through the entire drift. When an insect is floating on the surface (or even riding current underwater like a nymph) it should do so in a way that does not create an unnatural drag or ripple to alert fussy trout.

Here are 3 fly fishing tips to convince fish to get your drift:

1. Pay attention. Watch your fly closely through the drift and when the last little “J” of the fly line swings and straightens in the water, lift and recast before the fly creates a ripple and looks “wrong.”

2. Mend it right. Pull in just the right amount of fly line so that the speed and direction of the drifting fly matches the current.

3. Consider fly casting angles. Stay low and out of sight. If you cast too far upstream, strip quickly to match the speed of the fly being carried to you. If you cast too far down stream, you’d better hope the fish like streamers.

One fly fishing technique calls for “stripping” in line to give the fly motion. However, for high pressure areas and finicky trout, sometimes the best way to entice a surface rise is to do nothing, correctly. Be sure to check for additional fly fishing tips, including how to get started and more information on flies and other fly fishing gear.

 

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Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”...  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie."  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.
Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well...
And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.