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


The Basics: Presentation - Part 5
So now we are seemingly just adding more and more problems to making a
good presentation of a fly to a trout. Now I hope you are beginning to see why
you just can't throw a hula hoop out on the grass and cast a fly in it every time
from forty feet away and say you have everything down pat. Well, I doubt many
are old enough to know what a hula hoop is, so let me say a ring about three
feet in diameter.

There are several things wrong with casting the fly as just mentioned. First of all,
you don't need to be forty feet away. You should start at about twenty-five feet
from the target. Next, if you can cast the fly in the loop with a 3 foot diameter,
that isn't near accurate enough. Your fly could be left or right of a trout feeding
in a current seam as much as a foot and a half on either side of the center. That
is too far off. A trout may just ignore you fly if it misses 18 inches. If the trout is
only a few inches under the surface, it want even see the part of your fly that is
floating above the surface. You should be able to cast the fly to within a few
inches each of the center of the target. A loop with a one foot diameter would be
a much better target.

Another thing would be the shape of the leader and tippet when the fly did land
in the loop.
If it is straightened out, you still have a major problem. It
needs to land in the loop with the leader and tippet in S curves. Otherwise,
unless you were fishing in dead calm water, or water flowing without any
differences in current speed or direction, you fly is going to drag. If your line
landed across faster conflicting currents, with no slack in it, the fly line would
snatch the fly out of the small loop in a heart beat.

Now, if we added to that, the problem mentioned last in yesterday's article, you
would have yet another problem to deal with. If you were fishing smooth flowing
waters with tricky currents, such as I described yesterday on the Madison and
Firehole Rivers, you would need to use a long leader and tippet. A regular
factory prefabbed 9 foot, 6X leader may have about two feet of tippet on it. That
would cast fairly well but you would need more tippet. I would probably cut the
two foot section that come on the leader off and add about four foot of 6X tippet.
On a spring creek, you many even need to use a 12 foot leader with a 3 or 4
foot tippet. Casing that and landing the fly in a one foot in diameter circle most
of the time, leaving plenty of S curves in your tippet and leader (or at least the
tippet) isn't easy at all. Now, if you tried to do the same thing from forty or sixty
feet away, then good luck. You would end up with a straight leader and tippet in
the best situation you could probably pull off. With the long tippet and leader
just mentioned, I would guess that you couldn't hit the circle one out of twenty
times and have plenty of slack in the tippet. If there was a little wind, I would say
it would be next to impossible. That is why the young guide I mentioned three or
so articles ago, didn't catch a trout.