The 5 Don'ts of Dry Fly Fishing

The 5 Don’ts of Dry Fly Fishing

The 5 Don’ts of Dry Fly Fishing

We speak often about the ways to catch fish. Today we speak briefly about the way you can assure that you do not catch as many dry fly fish.

  1. The number one way that many anglers do not catch dry fly trout is never casting at the trout. Cast the fly at the fish. Many are afraid to present the fly at the fish.
  2. Don’t drag the fly over the fish on the first cast. Alerting the enemy that you are in the neighborhood is not a good idea.
  3. The goal is not to see how far or long you can drift your fly. Nope. The goal is to see how short you can drift it. I have never seen an angler catch 7 fish during a single drift. Catch one at a time. Much easier. Certainly more effecient.
  4. Using the wrong fly. Yes, that does not work. But not as important as the perfect drift. Good drifts catch trout.
  5. Getting fooled by the trout to toss the fly in water that you cannot present the fly properly. If the trout is rising beyond the seam, beyond the moving water, beyond the realm of reality…you cannot catch him. Casting into pond like water beyond the seam because you saw one trout rise in there is silly. But, go right ahead if you do not want to catch anymore in that area.
  6. Rushing into things. Stop. Watch the trout rise. Devise the plan. Execute the plan. Hook the trout. The fish is rising. It is not a sprint to see how quickly you can put that fish down. Or, for some it may be. And if that is the goal, to not catch them, then knock yourself right on out man. Be the turtle, not the hare.

A bonus today with 6. Be smart and catch them all. Enjoy the experience. Be diligent. Set yourself up for success. Put yourself in successful situations. Execute the drift. If you are a bad caster, no worries. Instead, be a good drifter.

Good drifts catch fish. Trust me, I’m a fishing guide.

Love all you folks out there in greater #Craiglandia. Not being a dick this morning. Just pointing out some flaws that we all have in the dry fly game. Enjoy the learning journey. The path to fly fishing greatness is paved with tears.

In trout fishing not everybody gets a trophy.

You don’t have to make bad drifts, or casts. Slow down and catch that trout.


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  • Forrest Jay
    July 19, 2018 7:35 am

    #4 is my favorite, it applies to all rivers. Not every trout is catchable……..

  • Fantastic advice. Dead on. Read it twice. Thanks. Fish with your feet first. Get into position to get a good drift before you even think about throwing. See you guys when it hits 5500 or lower.

  • Mark. I would add,
    — false cast somewhere other than over rising fish. Spraying them with water is going to make them wary.
    — when wading, approach like a heron, not a charging water buffalo in heat. A heron catches fish between it’s feet.
    — perfect your reach cast
    — and lastly my favorite, “Drag, even micro drag, is friggin’ evil!”

  • Wade like a heroin is stealth 101.
    Wait like a heroin is stealth 401.

  • Great list. I’d say that trout might be catchable if you take the time to get into the right position. But you have to make decisions in the moment based on the best strategy and that isn’t always realistic. Make wise choices as to which fish you target.

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