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

12/06/09

The Basics: Presentation - Part 25- Catching Trout Feeding on the
Bottom
When you find a trout feeding on the bottom, you have a good opportunity to
catch it, but it isn't as easy as catching one on the surface for one reason. You
have to deal with the second dimension or depth. The problem in doing that is
the refraction of light.

When you view any object in the water, you see it in a position where it actually
doesn't exist. Seeing is believing but seeing a trout, or anything else under the
water, isn't exactly where it appears to be. I found that out as a teenager when I
tried to shoot a bass on a bed with a rifle. I couldn't kill it with my 22 so I got
dad's 30-06. I killed the bass but it was due to the concussion, not me hitting it.
When I got the bass out of the water, it wasn't scratched.

Light waves travel through water at a different speed than they do through air
and this causes the problem. Without going into the scientific reason for this,
lets just say when you first cast to a trout two feet under the surface of the
water, for example, and you see your fly come by it, chances are it want be
where you want it to be, even if you make an excellent cast. You will have to
adjust the next cast to get the fly in the right position. Normally, a trout want
move very far left or right of the line of drift it is feeding from on the bottom any
more than it would on the surface. It is necessary to get the fly directly upstream
of the trout a short distance and make it appear to be drifting naturally
downstream. The problem is, that isn't as easy to do as it sounds.

The more trout you cast at under the water, the more accurate you can get with
the cast. It takes practice like any other type of presentation. The fly also has to
be weighted just right for it to drift on the bottom like the naturals. If it is weighted
to heavy, it will be slow and kick up to much of the bottom. If it isn't weighted
heavy enough, it will drift over the trout. That can even spook the trout

Remember, that in Yellowstone National Park, you cannot use lead. You have to
add weight to the fly, in this case a nymph or larva imitation, using non-toxic
weights. It is best to place this weight a few inches above the fly but if the fly isn't
heavy enough, the weight may be on the bottom and the fly drift above the
bottom. This takes the right fly not only to match what the trout are feeding on,
but also to keep it on the bottom in such a manner that the fly appears to be the
natural insect or crustacean the trout is feeding on.



Copyright 2009 James Marsh