Friday, June 22, 2012

Mixing it up.

I'm trying to make a conscious effort to improve my dry fly skills this summer. While I have had some really good success as I continue to develop my euro nymphing skills, there really is nothing like seeing that fly disappear from the surface of the water.

On a hot day recently, I hit the water for a couple hours and nymphed and area that was away from everyone on this day. As I drove along the river, I saw tubers and kayakers in places I have not seen them in recent years...so let's just keep driving. I walked to a favorite spot and rigged up my 10ft 3wt Echo Shadow PE, which I have to say, I have really been enjoying this season, and it was off to the races. Within a fews casts, I had the pleasure of seeing 2 belly flashes and Rainbows ended up on both flies. The double rainbow was brief as one of the fish shook off however, I landed the other.

this area was full of bows
I continued to work this area of faster water and had pretty consistent action for the better part of 30 minutes...all Rainbows. I was thinking that the heat might have put the browns down for a bit but, based on the cool water temps, I was thinking I might find them somewhere. A move to a second spot left me standing on the banks and observing the water for about 20 minutes. Often times, I am to preoccupied with wanting to fish to actually take my time, stand, observe and determine the best course of action. This day, I took the time and saw rising fish. I could not really discern any pattern to the rise activity as it appeared to be random and all over the place. Sadly, most of the risers were on the far bank, outside my casting reach. A walk just further downstream put me in a much better position to wade and cast. Now, from the middle of the river, I watched. This time, I found a fish rising with a little more regularity and wouldn't you know it, this fish was tight to the banks, in the shade with low over hanging trees and bushes...I was undeterred.

a very small window about 2 ft from the bank
The picture above does not do justice to how tight this spot was for a cast. At best, I could drift about 3ft before branches in the water hung me up. This brown continued to rise even after my first few cast to the spot. I decided to try to land my size 18 BWO foam emerger right on top of his head. Normally, I don't think this is the best strategy however, given the circumstance, it seemed like the thing to do. I had to side arm the cast into the spot and, success, my fly slipped below the surface and, for once, I set the hook properly rather than pull it out before it could set.

thank you for playing!
I landed a few more browns of similar proportions and I feel much better about my casting that I have over previous summers. Casting to picky fish that are not consistently rising was a good test. I continue to believe in the healing power of water!


  1. Rainbows on the dry fly. You hit it right.
    It's good to see you off the nymphs.

    1. LOL - sorry to disappoint Alan - the Rainbows were on nymphs but the browns were on dries! Trying to do more dry fly as the opportunities arise.