Fly casting and catching trout on artificial flies is nowhere near as hard as you think.
Popular with modern fly fishers is this simple braided loop connector which sleeves over the end of the line - once in position, a plastic sleeve is slipped across to secure the braided end to the fly line. Working on the principle of tension from the leader end causing the braiding to tighten around the fly line these leader connectors are a simple no-knots solution.
Now take a tapered leader (also called a cast) and attach to the leader loop using the loop to loop method (1).
You'll may want to use monofilament cast that is steeply tapered, enabling your fly to land delicately upon the water. When this becomes shortened through tangles or the continual changing of different flies you can prolong its life by adding a sufficient length of mono called 'a Tippet'. And to do this use the four turn water knot shown here (2). This reliable knot is also used for joining droppers of the same test strength to the leader
when reservoir fishing with teams of either two or even three flies. For tying your fly on use the seven turn tucked half blood knot (3) and for making a loop to monofilament for constructing your own leaders consider the double overhand knot (4).
If you are a beginner to fly casting, then one of the first things you should know before casting, is that it is imperative to wear eye protection. If you imagine the speeds which the fly hook will be reaching (this will no doubt become obvious the first time you 'crack' the fly off the leader), and think how close to your face this is happening - then the rest should be common sense. When you couple this with the advantages that Polarised glasses give the fly angler, then you should be in no doubt. Therefore, as a rule, no matter what level of fly casting you are at, you should always wear glasses of some sort - and preferably polarised.
The simplest and most commonly used cast is the overhead. It is best described by employing the concept of a clock face in the diagram shown. Imagine you are standing with a clock face sideways on beside you, 12 o'clock at your head, 6 o'clock at your feet, 9 o'clock in front of you and 3 o'clock behind. The cast should begin with about 5 yards of fly line out beyond the rod tip. Place the foot on your rod side slightly forward and put your weight on it. Then point the rod at the water at the 8 o'clock position and grip the fly line against the rod with your index finger.
Next bend your elbow and bring the rod back smoothly but progressively faster until you reach the 12 o'clock position. Stop here and allow the line to extend behind you in a straight line.
When you can feel the rod tip pulling, push the rod smoothly forwards again accelerating the movement as you do so. Stop smartly at the 10 o'clock position for an instant and at the same time flick your wrist downwards in the same way that you knock a nail in with a hammer. Then continue the downward movement of the rod towards the water, progressively slowing it as you do so and finish with the tip pointing at the water's surface. This will result in the line and leader lying out on the water in a nice straight line.
There is no substitute for casting tuition from a qualified instructor, however if for some reason this is not practical, why not have a look at Mel Krieger's world renowned tuition DVD's. These are available to cover everything from the absolute beginner, to the advanced Salmon angler.
Fishing the Dry Fly
Use floatant to ensure the imitation floats well and does not become waterlogged. As the dry fly drifts towards the rod the line should be carefully retrieved with the non-casting hand in order to be ready for a strike when a trout sucks down the imitation. When the trout gets its head down beneath the surface again, and only then, should the strike be made, simply by lifting the rod top and pulling the line simultaneously with the non-casting hand. Premature striking is the most common fault in dry fly fishing. On stillwaters the use of dry flies has become increasingly popular. So too have so-called 'emerger' patterns which are designed to sit in the surface film rather than directly on it, and represent insects in the process of hatching.
On rivers, dry flies are used singly and cast at rising fish, while on large stillwaters one, two or even a team of three flies can be employed.
Nymph fishing is widely used to catch trout from both rivers and stillwaters. Nymph patterns are tied to imitate the larval or pupal stage of many aquatic insects, such as buzzers as well as adult invertebrates that spend their entire lives beneath the surface, such as corixae and shrimps. Treat your leader liberally with leadersink so the nymph sinks easily to the desired depth. On stillwaters such as reservoirs, flies are most often fished in teams of three and retrieved as slowly as possible. When a breeze is blowing across a fishing position, it may not be necessary to retrieve at all. Simply let the wind drift the flies around in a wide arc. On smaller lakes, particularly clear-water fisheries trout are often stalked with weighted nymphs and cast to when spotted. In this induced-take style of fishing, only one fly is attached to the leader and it is observed through polarised glasses from the moment it slips through the surface film and starts to descend. Very often a gentle twitch when the nymph is within the trout's vision brings a dramatic and immediate response.
On stillwaters and rivers normally wet fly fishing involves the use of a team of two or three flies. On stillwaters they are given movement by being retrieved - either in short or long pulls or by a continuous figure or eight action. On rivers, wet fly anglers usually cast across or downstream and across and allow the current to impart movement to the flies. Takes come as the team of flies swing round towards the bank.
Also known as fishing on the drift 'loch style' involves casting a team of flies - usually wet flies, though it can be nymphs over the front of a boat drifting side on to the wind. It is effective for trout, salmon and sea trout, though for salmon fishing it is more common to use only two flies.
Drogues are often employed in windy weather to slow down the speed of the boat as it drifts along, thereby giving the anglers more control over the way the flies are fishing.
Lastly, do not be confused by the ever increasing array of artificial flies on display in tackle shops. In truth you could probably do with no more than a dozen different patterns to see you through a years fishing in both still and running water. But flies are fun and if you think a different colour, type or pattern will do the trick, then its always worth changing over.
Reproduced with kind permission of Masterline International © Tacklebargains.co.uk This document, and its content, may be reproduced in its entirety only if kept to its original format with no emissions, changes, or additions, for free redistribution in any electronic format. Any other use of this document will be in breach of Copyright.
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