DE­TECT­ING TAKES

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Advice -

Per­haps the big­gest stum­bling block when nymph­ing is ac­tu­ally de­ter­min­ing a tak­ing trout. Speak­ing per­son­ally, my in­tro­duc­tion to fly-fish­ing in­volved tra­di­tional wet flies. Mov­ing flies quickly now, any in­ter­est from trout reg­is­tered as a pos­i­tive tug on the line. How­ever, trout feed­ing on bugs and nymphs (es­pe­cially buzzer pu­pae) rarely need to pounce on their prey. In­stead, they si­dle up to in­hale any un­for­tu­nate nymphs. Be­cause our re­trieve is painfully slow now, takes rarely reg­is­ter as an arm-wrench­ing pull. Given this, we need to rely on a vis­ual prompt rather than feel! Some claim to see the tip of their fly line or leader dis­ap­pear down some imag­i­nary hole. How­ever, given wave ac­tion and poor light in many cir­cum­stances, this is not a school of thought I sub­scribe to. In­stead, your fo­cus is best trained on the mid-sec­tion of your fly line, or where it en­ters the wa­ter off the rod tip. Any bow­ing in the line, caused by a cross­wind, will slide away when a fish takes hold. Watch­ing the line at your rod tip is ar­guably bet­ter again. The line usu­ally lifts like a coarse an­gler’s swing tip to sig­nal a take (di­a­gram 4). Fur­ther­more, on ul­tra­slow re­trieves any mem­ory in a fly line re­sults in open coils that snake out over the wa­ter. These should be closely ob­served as any straight­en­ing here points to a tak­ing fish.

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