Tactics and Techniques: Selective Rising Trout

"bank sitting"

image credit: Vicki Stiefel and Orvis.com

Some thoughts on "bank sitting"...

I have spent hundreds of days on the Henry's Fork in Idaho. I think most fly fishers that have experienced the Henry's Fork would readily agree that this river is almost always a test...even for the most experienced among us. You need to have all of your skills sharpened and ready to go. In addition to a lot of time on the river, I have been very fortunate to know and fish with some of the very best fly fishermen to ever cast a fly in this magnificent place.

As a result, my learning curve was much shorter than most. Aside from the first few years on the HF when every minute was an intense learning experience, much of my time was spent sitting on the bank watching a particular fish. Most often, it was a big fish (by comparison to most others in the river) and most probably because I had fished to that fish more than once, and had been unsuccessful. One of my frequent fly fishing partners on the Henry's Fork called my behavior (sitting and watching a fish) the result of being stubborn. Well, I prefer to think of it as curiosity. see more...

trout rising to a fly

image credit: Jeremy Allan and American Angler

A good "presentation" of the fly is everything...well almost everything.

 

I don't know about you, but I learned long ago that when you are fishing to selective trout (dry or nymph), presentation is everything. The absolute perfect fly will almost always be refused by a selective trout if the fly is not perfectly presented to the fish within the fish's "feeding window". If you are fishing in moving water, a good presentation is all the more difficult due to the presence of multiple currents that can affect almost everything (fly line, leader, tippet and the fly. 

It is the drag that these currents create that is most often the reason your presentation is less than perfect and the trout refused your perfect fly. Selective trout all have an almost magical sense of "normal" or should I say "natural". If your fly moves unnaturally even the slightest bit once it is in that trout's "feeding window", there is a high probability your fly will be refused. Obviously, drag on your fly is a problem but there are several things you can do to reduce it. see more...

Tips for Catching Selective Rising Trout - by Mike Lawson and Rio Products. Mike Lawson grew up fly fishing the Henry's Fork...a river well known for it's large and very selective trout. I have fished the Henry's Fork for 40 plus years and, without question, Mike Lawson is one of the very best when the fish get "tough". Click here to view article...

10 Ways to Fool Smart Trout - by William Tapply and Field & Stream. If you do nor know, William Tapply is a legendary writer for Field & Stream. I grew up reading his stuff. Click here to view article...

Selectivity - why and how do trout become selective feeders - written by "Silver Creek" on theflyfishingforum.com. For many years, I have tried to read all I can on "Why can some trout can be so damned selective? This article is among the very best I have ever read. Given his moniker "Silver Creek" makes me think this writer spends a lot of time on Silver Creek in Idaho...a place well know for selective trout. I will also note that "Silver Creek" was taught to fly fish by Gary Borger...a longtime childhood friend. If you are not already a member of theflyfishingforum.com, you probably should be. Registration is easy and free. The following link will take you to the article (forum post) I refer to. Click here...

What is micro-drag and how to avoid it... this is a relatively short video by Tom Rosenbauer and Orvis. Micro-drag is simply drag on the fly that we typically cannot see as it is so slight. Unfortunately, the trout sees it...Click here to view the video...