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


Choosing the Right Fly - Part 8

The Speed of the Water:
The speed of the water is the number one reason trout can be fooled by
generic, impressionistic or attractor type flies.

In fact, if the water in the current seam is moving fast enough and the trout are
holding fairly close to it, they can often be fooled by a fly that doesn’t resemble
much of anything they have ever seen before. Due to the factors I have
mentioned above, and the fast speed of the fly, they don’t have much
opportunity to examine anything.In smooth, slick water where the current is
moving at a slow rate, the trout have plenty of time to make a very close
inspection of your fly. For years I have said that you want a fish to see any
artificial bait or lure just well enough to think it is a real creature, but not well
enough to determine that it isn’t. In other words, you want them to be able to just
barely see it – just enough for them to think it is the real thing.

The same thing is true of flies. It doesn’t matter if it is a twelve-inch long marlin
lure, jumping in and out of a wave in offshore blue water; a crankbait passing by
a bass in dingy water, or a fly passing by a trout in clear water. You want the fish
to see the artificial imitation only well enough to fool it into thinking it is the real
thing. The more the lure or fly looks and acts like the real thing, the longer you
can allow the fish to examine it. In other words, the slower it can pass by the fish.

Notice I said “acts” like because that is even more important than “looking like”
whatever you are trying to imitate. A solid brass nymph cast to perfection exactly
like the real thing won’t fool a trout very well. It’s abdomen, gills, legs and other
body parts will not move and act like a nymph. When you are fishing for trout
with flies, the faster the water is moving, the easier it is to fool them. When trout
can only get a quick glimpse of the fly they are much easier to fool than they are
when they have a lot of time to closely examine the fly. This is especially true
when it passes by at close ranges where they can really focus on the details of it.

Continued tomorrow

Copyright 2009 James Marsh