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


Catching Yellowstone Trout in Cold Water - Part 5

First, let me focus on fishing slow moving water beneath fast water. In most
cases, this is what you are going to have to be able to do to catch trout. As
already mentioned, you will not know exactly where the deeper holes or places
the water is moving slowly are. One thing you can do is to wear polarized
sunglasses that have the right shaded lens for the light conditions you are
fishing under. This will not necessarily allow you to see trout but the right
sunglasses will help you determine where the deeper pockets and holes are.
They will help give you get a better idea of the areas you need to try to get your
fly to drift in. Some of the bottom you cannot see with your naked eye will show
up clearly with the sunglasses. The deeper holes will appear darker. This will
also eliminate your having to fish much of the bottom that doesn't have the deep
holes because in cold water that is most likely where the trout will be holding..

There are two basic approaches to fishing this type of water:

1. One is to normal way of casting a weighted fly and mending your line to get
the fly down. This can be done using an upstream, up and across, or down and
across presentation. The biggest pitfall to this method is the fact it is difficult to
prevent your fly line from dragging your fly too fast through the slow water when
you do get the fly down. You will have to keep mending the line and watching
the water carefully.

When the fly is floating on water that is moving rather fast on the surface, but
the fly is passing through water that is moving slowly, the fly line drags the fly
faster than a natural nymph would pass through the slow water. In other words,
you wouldn't be getting a drag free drift. The fly wouldn't appear natural to the

2. Another method, and the best option in my opinion, is to use the "short line
technique" method of presenting the fly. I will also use the name "high stickin"
because it is a common name for this method of nymph fishing. This method of
fishing the nymph was taken from the "Czech" method of nymphing which allows
you to keep in direct contact with the fly and allows you to control the speed of
the fly much better than you can when you have fly line lying across fast water
on and near the surface. When you are using one of the short line methods
your fly line would rarely touch the water.

I'm not getting into the details of the "high stickin" or the "Czech" method of
nymphing at this time. I am just pointing out a disadvantage than many Anglers
never think about. Getting a drag free drift doesn't just apply to a dry fly. It
applies to any fly. If you aren't careful when you are nymphing you will be
presenting a nymph that doesn't appear natural to the trout, getting poor results
and not even knowing what the real problem is. Anytime a trout is holding in a
pocket of water, or hole that has slow moving water beneath fast moving water,
you will encounter this problem.


Copyright 2009 James Marsh