Fishing Wets Across & Down

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Re: Fishing Wets Across & Down

Postby Old Hat » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:58 pm

Jeff, you need to make to the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. and do a little steelhead fishing. Your technique would serve you well.
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Re: Fishing Wets Across & Down

Postby Mataura mayfly » Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:48 am

Funny you should mention that Carl. A few of my San Franciscan friends that have done a LOT of Steelheading have mentioned I use the kind of methods required to fish there when they stand (aghast) watching me drift down & across wets in what is reputed one of the best dry fly rivers in the World........ but if they ain't rising......

I find it really hard to relate in written text just how I go about fishing, sometimes in a matter of 20 yards, technique can change dramatically. This coming season I am considering some kind of head-cam and perhaps some video footage.
"Listen to the sound of the river and you will get a trout".... Irish proverb.
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Re: Fishing Wets Across & Down

Postby Rabmax » Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:08 am

hankaye wrote:Rabmax, Howdy;

What I find interesting about your initial question is that
you didn't mention what type of water it is that you fish.
You mentioned up and down stream so I take it you are
on moving water. Is it small, or of a larger variety? Slow
moving or with some pace to it?
I'm sure that the advice that everyone has offered is good
for most waters in general but I feel that if you were to
give some specific information they could give some better
information to help you.


The river i was fishing was fairly small 12 foot across.I also fish a few rivers up to 30 foot across though.I will normaly target the faster water & tail ends.
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Re: Fishing Wets Across & Down

Postby Old Hat » Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:08 am

Personally I think the tail ends of riffles and some runs are the best places to fish down stream on a tight line. I probably wouldn't fish downstream much at all on a 12' wide stream. If I did it would be only at these tail ends. I would incorporate the method more on a 30' wide stream though.
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Re: Fishing Wets Across & Down

Postby William Anderson » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:19 am

tie2fish wrote: I have found that fish taking a wet fly at the bottom of a drift will generally hook themselves if given a chance. A simple lifting of the rod tip will usually complete the hookup more often than will a jerking motion.

This past season I've put a lot more focus on the subtleties that make the difference between hooking up and not. I really thought there were just too many variables to really live by any constants that would make the difference. It seemed to me that for no apparent reason, circumstances out of my control, I would either miss many, hook many, never notice takes or maybe the stream was barren and it really wasn't my fault at all. =)

One of our veterans told me before I left for Montana that I would learn more in a week on the Firehole than years on some of our streams in the East. This sounds like hyperbole but I've learned to listen and he was exactly right. What I witnessed and experienced was eye-opening for certain. A couple of things stand out when fishing down and across, and have played out again and again this entire season. Where I would have typically (previously) reasoned that given certain unknowable micro currents or a trouts holding depth, etc, allowing each cast to have it's own character might put you into the right position, which you could not have foreseen. You can anticipate the most likely holding position, but things are not always what they seem so I assumed lots of variables were acceptable. What I saw in Montana was a gentleman who honed a few core principles that put him into more landed fish than I could have imagined. No indicators or dry-dropper techniques required.

A couple of key things stuck and made a big difference in my week. The first were about the smallest changes in keeping in touch with your flies. In every way I noticed that the differences made the challenge into game of inches. Literally inches. If my leader was a couple inches too long, the cast would offer a sloppy position and my reach cast, and subsequent mends wouldn't be enough. A clean roll out of the flies would do more than all the mending. Then the soft reach mend before the line hits the water. This is something I have always tried to do, but apparently I wasn't doing it well and with some concentration I was able to get a softer more consistent landing that put my line above the flies, but not so much that there was a significant arch (an upstream mend) in the line as it landed. A difference of inches.

Another adjustment I made with significant success was that as I completed my initial cast, usually perpendicular, sometimes up, sometimes down of my position, it was important to bring the tip down further than I was accustomed to doing, which resulted in an angle just below 45 degrees and follow the flies (and a relatively straight line - not too much belly) with the rod tip. A real adjustment, I swear this happened, was to follow the flies with the rod tip a couple of inches behind the flies and not in front of them. It worked. Like in a three times greater success rate kind of way. I had been following the flies fairly closely but usually leading the flies toward the end of their ride allowing for a bit of a belly to pull the flies. When I made this adjustment, it was a real difference. Instantly more contact and more takes.

Another, as mentioned before, was the subtly required in the hook set, which isn't actually a set as all. It took some time for me to get this, but as I watched carefully it was never a "set", it was rather just that at one moment his rod was at one angle, and then it was slightly higher. No appreciable action, just a soft lift...and then the smile and the large bend in the rod. Again and again, I would pull the fly out with more "set" than was required and I did much better when an effortless lift was employed.

Granted, each river is different, results may vary, Wotton uses a very different presentation where he "works" his flies, etc. Some of the most successful anglers use very different techniques. True enough, but my time on the Firehole was as close to a clinical condition as I have had as I was shoulder to shoulder with my fishing partner, sharing the same rod (thus same leader and same flies) learning the differences between what he was doing and what I was doing. The same conditions in every way, except for the presenter. I understand that each hole, stream or season requires it's own strategy, but if the goal is locking in a set of principles that allow you to reproduce successful results when possible, it was a pleasure to watch someone who had found his own and shared them generously.

So I'm grateful for the on stream instruction and patience shown that have made all my subsequent days on the water much more successful. Now I can only assume I have an equal knowledge deficit regarding dry flies, nymphs and streamers. Maybe I'll get a chance to bring those skills to a new level as well if I will listen. I'll try. :D
"A man should not try to eliminate his complexes, but rather come into accord with them. They are ultimately what directs his conduct in the world." Sigmund Freud.
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Re: Fishing Wets Across & Down

Postby Smuggler » Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:17 pm

I'll vouch for everything William said, it was pretty amazing watching these techniques play out.

When it's slow at work I close my eyes and try to put myself back on the Fire Hole with the snow flying and the trout rising.
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