MASTER THE TECH­NIQUE

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Know How -

Rif­fle-hitch­ing re­quires your full con­cen­tra­tion. Start with big­ger (2 cm) tubes, which are eas­ier to keep on the sur­face. With prac­tice, you can learn to fish them more slowly. Then try smaller flies and fish them slowly, which is harder to per­fect. Cast at an an­gle of be­tween 30 and 45 de­grees. As long as the leader and fly turn over prop­erly, you’ll be hitch­ing al­most im­me­di­ately. Once the fly starts its swing, main­tain line ten­sion to con­trol the fly as it crosses the stream. You should aim to main­tain a con­stant, al­lur­ing V-wake through­out the swing. If the fly is be­ing swung too slowly it may dip be­neath the sur­face. If you move it too quickly by er­rat­i­cally mov­ing the rod tip or line hand, the fly may cause splashes. To quicken the swing, move the rod tip to­wards the home bank. To slow it, move the rod tip out­wards and up­stream. With less line on the water the fly will be eas­ier to con­trol, so keep the rod tip higher than you would nor­mally. Raise your hand and keep the rod fairly flat – up to just over head height. If you raise only the rod tip, the line will sag to­wards you and even­tu­ally lose mo­men­tum. This also causes prob­lems when a fish takes be­cause you’ve got no room in which to lever the rod. Speed and ten­sion can be added by re­triev­ing line with a smooth fig­ure-of-eight ac­tion. If fish­ing with a longer line, you can use con­ven­tional mends but keep them smooth, small and close to the rod tip as you want the fly to main­tain its path and not skip for­ward. With prac­tice, you can learn to use all of these move­ments to get your fly to pause, turn or surf back and forth over lies. When you’re ready to re-cast, lift off gen­tly. A quick lift will cause an au­di­ble “blip” as the fly leaves the water, which can spook fish – never do this mid-swing.

Smaller pools and runs are usu­ally best fished with a sin­gle-han­der, which gives more con­trol over the fly.

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