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


Catching Yellowstone Trout in Cold Water - Part 7

The idea is to keep the fly line behind the fly. This not only allows you to feel the
fly better, it keeps it out of the view of the trout. You want to keep slack out of
the line. Cast upstream and slightly across but only a short distance of ten to
fifteen feet. In most cases, it will help to quickly mend the line. When the fly first
begins to head down stream you want to raise the rod to hold the tip of the rod
high above the fly and keep the fly line out of the water. As soon as you do this
the line will begin to tighten due to the pressure of the current. The idea is to let
the fly drift in a natural manner and not be dragged along by the fast current
near the surface. You want the fly line to be upstream or behind the fly
throughout the drift. This will keep the line tight so that you can feel the fly
bumping along the bottom or when it is taken by a fish.

Most anglers extend their arm out to extend the overall length the fly is from
their position. As the fly passes by, you want to slowly swing your arm and fly
rod from its up and across position to a down and across position, following the
fly, but staying behind it. As the line extends out downstream the fly will
eventually begin to rise back towards the surface and at the final point reach the
surface. In the cold water, most of the strikes will come when the fly is directly
across from your position, or in the deepest part of its drift.

After you have made a few cast and made sure you have covered all the water
directly in front of your position you will want to take a step or two upstream to
be able to cover new areas of the bottom. You will always be standing rather
close to the area of water you are fishing, so you want to be extra careful not to
spook the fish. Move carefully and slowly and if you are wading, by all means do
not scrape or drag the bottom with your feet or you will spook every trout within
several feet of you. They will hear you through their lateral line.

You want to be ready to set the hook as quickly as the line changes its
movement, stops moving, jumps, jerks, twitches or when you feel a tap or any
movement of the line that feels unnatural. You will soon be able to tell the
difference in the fly bumping rocks and the bottom along its course and a fish
taking the fly. That will come with experience. If you are in doubt, set the hook.
You do that by raising the rod tip fairly quickly and smoothly. There is no need
to jerk the fly out of the water.

Tomorrow I will discuss making longer cast and mending your line to get the fly
down. It is necessary to do that is some circumstances such as when the deep
water area is fairly wide and you cannot reach some of the deeper spots using
the "high stickin", short line method.


Copyright 2009 James Marsh