The Ramblings of a Fly Fisherman

Casting the Fly - Dry Fly Fishing

We have all been on the river and seen trout strike and roll at the surface during a hatch. Excitement ensues and we frantically search through our fly collections to find a good match to what these fish are hitting on. However, there is a problem. They seem to be hitting on everything but what you are casting! What could the problem really be?

Presentation is just as important as the fly being cast, but that will be part of a later post as its description will be pretty involved. Today, I want to cover “where” the fly should be placed. I have seen many anglers cast AT the fish without any real regard to where the trout is actually monitoring for food. While we want a natural presentation, it is just as important to be presenting to an audience. What would be the point of performing if no one is paying attention? When dry fly fishing, trout are often searching the surface for insects approximately 2 to 4 feet ahead of their current position. This is a critical window as this is where you, the fisherman, are expected to perform. I typically cast 5 to 10 feet ahead if possible as this will allow me to make any necessary presentation adjustments before the fly is within view of the perspective trout. Casting directly at the trout will often result in spooking the fish and failing to take full advantage of the hatch.


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