DETECTING SUBTLE TAKES FROM NYMPH-FEEDING TROUT
Trout feeding on slow moving food items rarely need to hurry, so consequently nab their meal with little fuss. The takes we experience then during nymphing tend to be subtle affairs and not the arm-wrenching pulls we’re more familiar with when fishing flies worked at speed. With no ‘tugging sensation’ that signals a taking trout, instead we have to rely on sight rather than feel. Some would have us believe our leader disappearing down an imaginary hole is a cue to strike. Only in the calmest of conditions is it possible to see the leader indentation at the surface, and even then you’re likely to give yourself a headache by focusing on the terminal end of things. Instead, concentrate your vision on the fly-line’s mid-section, or where it enters the water, off the rod tip. Any bowing/arc in the line, caused by a crosswind will slide away when takes occur (diagram 1). Even better, watching your fly-line at the rod tip is recommended for beginners. It lifting like a coarse angler’s swing tip, signals a taking trout (diagram 2). Equally, on ultra-slow retrieves, any memory in a fly-line results in open wiggles that snake out over the water. These should be closely observed as any straightening here points to a taking trout (diagram 3).