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yaffle 07-31-2003 07:51 PM

backcast drag
A couple of weeks ago while fishing a small local creek for brookies, I caught my biggest fish in a very unconventional way. I tucked myself back amongst the alders about halfway up a short run, on the left side in the edge of the stream. water was about thigh high and deeped up the run, shallowed down the run. I cast my dry spec-key fly ( my own pattern) up stream and mend to insure the best drag free drifts that I could muster. After a hour or so I brought in a couple of little guys 6 or 7 inches, and it just didn't seem like the big guys wanted to play. I was about to move on when it occured to me, "I should try laying my backcast down stream near the end of the run." The water here was shallower, but what did I have to lose? I stretched the line out over the water on my backcast and let it drift then drag. As soon as the line came tight to drag (which now may imitate a skating fly), an 11" speckled beauty lunged out of water and slamed my fly. Made my day, and I did it my way.
I often break the rules (e.g. every cast a perfect dead drift) and fish dry's in all sorts of ways, and when the dead drift doesn't work so well something else often does. Don't get me wrong, I do catch the large percentage of my fish dead drifting, but other techniques can be very rewarding. -yaffle

flytyer 07-31-2003 08:10 PM


Fishing a dry downstream with cross stream drag is a very effective technique when many species of caddis are about during their egg-laying flights. There are a large number of caddis egg-layers that have trouble breaking the surface to swim to the bottom and lay eggs and they swim arcross stream until they get through the surface miniscus. More folks should use this waking caddis technique on trout.

yaffle 08-01-2003 07:20 AM

skating caddis
flytyer, right on, and an EHC or Hair Wing caddis are great patterns for skating across or up current. Skating will often get noticed by trout when dead drifting will not. The caddis flies I observe in the evening are fluttering next to the surface and not sitting still. -yaffle

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