.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park


I am calling this series Yellowstone Journals and Additional Information. It is a collection of a
rambling mixture of experiences on the streams with some notes, tips and additional
information thrown in. Some of this comes from my video tape logs (record of video shot)
and  notes made on my daily note books.

Fly Fishing the Madison River in September- Part 5

I mentioned yesterday that presenting a fly to a trout in the Madison River using
a downstream approach allows you to get by with a mistake or two. Maybe, but
not if it is the wrong mistake. On second thought, I don't really know if that offers
any advantage or not. I made that statement because when you are presenting
the fly in an up or up and across situation you must get the fly above the trout at
least a short distance in order for it to pass over or by the trout. This doesn't
allow much room for error. If you cast too far, you could land the fly line right on
top of the fish. In fact, unless you are wide right or left of the fish, the line and/or
leader could also spook the trout. I usually make a reach cast to get the fly to
the fish without lining the trout.

If you make a downstream presentation you still need for the line to pass to the
left or right of the trout or otherwise you would do the same thing. You would line
the trout. If you allow the fly to pass by or over the trout and there is no take,
and then proceed to recast before the line reached the fish, you will spook the
trout every time. Your line will be picked up off the water directly in front of the
trout. The whole idea behind making either an up or down stream presentation
is to prevent having to cast across the conflicting currents.

With either type of presentation, up or down stream, you can mend your line to
help get the fly line to one side of the trout. In fact, in the Madison meadows,
you will probably need to mend the line more than once not to get the line to the
side of the trout, but just to get it to drift drag free. I have mentioned the difficulty
with the meadow sections several times before. The grass and ups and downs
in the bottom of the stream creates some crazy currents that makes it tough to
get a drag free drift.

There is a big difference is one sense. When the trout is facing in your direction,
you need to be farther from it to make the downstream presentation. You can
get by with much shorter and therefore, more accurate cast if you are casting in
an upstream direction. Given a choice, I will usually take the upstream cast.

Presenting flies to trout in the Madison River is not really any different in the
than anywhere else, but it is more difficult in most cases if you are fishing the
meadows. The water is smooth and clear but it is moving fast at various speeds
and directions due to the grass and varying bottom. As I also previously said, I
let the position of the trout determine how I will make the approach. You cannot
always get into position to make the cast you would like to make. You have to
consider the water  between your position and the position you want to make the
cast from.

Continued tomorrow

Copyright 2009 James Marsh