Tuesday Tips to Get You Outta Da Rut!

Tuesday Tips to Get You Outta Da Rut!

Tuesday Tips to Get You Outta Da Rut!

Find yourself not catching more dry fly fish this year than last? Are you the guy that takes 711 casts to get the rising trout to even eat the fly, while your buddy has cast, fed, landed, and resumed drinking his just opened Coors Lite in a matter of 3 short, gleeful moments? Are you stuck in an intermediate rut?

We’ll, I bet I can identify a few of your faults, without even meeting you. Certainly if you are male. But this applies to the female set as well. We all fall into this terrible nightmare of a fishing rut that we cannot break the ties from. Sound like you? Read this short today to look inside your game. Deeply. Honestly.

You can improve. You can get better. You too can enjoy the Coors Lite can with blue mountains. It is possible, but you gotta make the change.

And I mean actually try to break the chains. Not just talk about it, or feign some sort of interest. Those who progress, take the time to regress. I find most anglers nod their head, and go back to the process that does not work. Most rely on the gift fish that grabs the fly at some point beyond the first 5 drifts. The honeymoon drifts are the best drifts. Most just get by, get a couple eats, and believe the fly was wrong, the fish just wasn’t hungry. Most anglers do not understand that they can go out and dominate the dry fly. That dry fly fishing can be damn good, if they improve, or recognize that it is them that can make the difference. You can become better. You really can man.

You have to capitalize on your new found execution skills.

Here we go. Take a moment to assess your game. Do you exhibit any of these awful fly fishing skill sets? If so, ether change or continue to practice terrible drifts and casting drills on the top of rising fish. Just recognize that it is you, that you are the common denominator.

Disclaimer: I’m not saying you suck. You have to make that decision. I’m saying if you got thick skin, like catching more trout, are not afraid of looking within, and want to suck less…these are things (these bad angling behaviors you exhibit) to dismiss from your dry fly approach. You control your outcome.

If you don’t like the truth, read someones else blog…

Tuesday Tips to Get You Outta Da Rut! Bro.

  1. Face the trout. Do you face the target when shooting. Do you operate best when your shoulders, head, are aligned over the top of your hips? I know that 99% of humans do, the other 1% are a lost cause. Center your shoulders over your hips. Look your target in the eye. Many do not do this very simple thing. Check yourself out and center up.
  2. Practice making drifts beside the trout first. Do you cast at the trout during the learning period, during the prep period, and try to strip out line while the fly is on or near the trout, and kinda skid, drag, hiccup the fly, showing the trout that you are trying to fool, the one you are trying to catch, the fly poorly, badly, dragging, before you make that perfect drag free drift? If you do this repeatedly, over and over, every time you address rising fish…YOU NEED TO RECOGNIZE THAT IT WILL NEVER GIVE YOU THE UPPER HAND. IT DOES NOT WORK. EVER. EVER. EVER. EVER.EVER.EVER. EVER MAN. EVER. THAT KIND OF BEHAVIOR IS TERRIBLE. IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO CHANGE THIS ONE THING, STOP READING. There are other shop blogs to read if you like non-updated, non-informational, 5x yearly fishing, sort of stuff. If today is the day where you change this behavior. HOORAY. It means you are ready to move forward.
  3. Dragging the fly over or near the fish on your first cast does not work. It does not make you better. It makes you worse. It means that you do not understand the first concept in hunting. Which is, sneaking up on the enemy.
  4. If you repeat the two items above again, you need to check yourself. The fly does not matter when it is dragging, skidding, waking, hammering, tomahawking, anything but acting properly…which is generally drag free, floating as if there where not a string attached to the eye, dead drifted, not dragging, sliding over the fish. If you drag your fly over the head of the trout, they do not want to take your fly.
  5. Dry fly fishing is fun because you get to see everything. The fish rising. The type of rise form. The cadence. The distance the trout will move to eat a fly. The depth. The neighborhood. You get to se e the current lines/lanes. You get to see how your fly will drift near the trout in contention. You can practice near the trout and see how the water and drift and fly interact with each other before you make the kill shot. You get to see the fly on the water. You see everything. There is no guessing in dry fly fishing. NONE. You see everything. Execute with precision, methodically, slowly. There is no rush man. It is not a sprint. The goal is not to see how quickly you can lose this battle. Why rush in when you can see the fish rising. Why not wait and watch and make a plan and move in for the kill when you are ready, when you know what to do.
  6. Hey man. None of you are good enough to make that first cast, and drift, on the trout right out of the gate. You are not. I am not. Professional anglers, do not do what you do, drag the fly over the fish, on the first try. NEVER. EVER. NEVER. Anglers who catch most of the the trout they cast at, present to, approach quietly, softly, confidently, with purpose, executing with know outcomes. You can see everything when dry fly fishing. There is no guessing in dry fly fishing. Never. None. If you think you are good enough to cast at the fish while still pulling line off of the reel, when the fly is drifting, on the fish, you are mistaken that your method is a strong one. You are delusional, not centered in slack water dry fly fishing. You are confused, you are not fishing in the realm of reality, if you continue to do this over and over.
  7. Cast at the fish. At them. At their heads. Like you are trying to cast the fly into the trouts mouth. Casting at some pint nearly 10′ above the fish is stupid. It does not work on tailwater. It can on freestones, but the Mo is not a freestone, so it does not ever, ever, ever, work here.  Do you when trying to toss the basketball into the hoop, toss the ball at the bleachers, trying to ricochet the ball from the forehead of a spectator, into the basket? Do you? If you do, disregard this item. If you want to catch more fish, cast at them. At them. Not at some imaginary spot above them. Lead them by 18″-24″, reach cast, drift the fly 3′-5′. Repeat.

Hey. Any of that make sense. Do you do any of the above fishing behaviors while dry fly fishing tailwaters? IF you do, you gotta change. If you want to catch the same amount, or keep your buddy waiting 97% of the day for you to keep repeating the same shitty drifts, over and over and over and over without you recognizing that it did not work the previous 67 drifts, to drift it badly again, again, again, without you realizing that it is you, that your process is wrong, that it clearly does not work, then carry on my friend. You do you bro.

If you want to change, good on you. Your fishing partner will appreciate it.

Don’t drag the fly over the fish not he first attempt. Stripping out line during the first drift. Dragging the fly once again on the first look for the fish. Dude. Don’t do that anymore. Just don’t.

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  • Good content here! I’ve got to do better leading the trout by 18″ – 24″ and only drift 5′. I will admit, my big dumb man brain thinks that the longer the fly is on the water, the more time the fish have to decide if they want to eat it. I guess 5 or 6 dead accurate casts/drifts is better than one big long fly-struggling-to-float drift.

  • Greg Jarvis
    July 30, 2019 7:07 pm

    S O L …I will be better, the puck will go into the middle of the net , not the corner !
    School’s out !! Let Kelly know “Red Wine Thursday” is only 2 days from now.

    Greg J.

  • Joshua Schrecengost
    July 30, 2019 10:19 pm

    Boat position matters offensively for cast and drift, defensively to keep kayaks, intertubes, and giant pink inflatables from running over your pod of fish.

  • I didnt know how badly I needed to know this: “Lead them by 18″-24″, reach cast, drift the fly 3′-5′. Repeat.” Especially drift length. I’ve been struggling with dry’s and after reading this, I’ll chalk it up to many things, especially drift length. Bad habit from nymphing?

    When you say “cast at the fish & not directly overhead”, do you mean visualize a laser-straight imaginary line between you & fish, and cast to spot on surface where that line intersects? (I.e. off to the side and above trout)?

    Thanks in advance and keep up the great blogs!

  • “Lead them by 18″-24″, reach cast, drift the fly 3′-5′. Repeat.”
    I’m not quite following, Mark. Do you mean the fly needs to land 1.5-2 feet above the trout’s mouth, and then, if the fish doesn’t take, you let the fly drift another 2-3 feet (safely past the fish) before lifting up for the next cast? And is that short distance above the fish–usually I’m casting 3-5 feet above the riseform–you recommend because there’s so many microcurrents in the Missouri that a longer drift just ends up with the fly getting moved around by those currents, thus creating the “mobile dead fly” you so often warn us against creating? Sorry to be so obtuse.

    • YEs exactly. But the experts cast it 18″ above, let if drift 18″ below. Reset. Perfect drifts catch fish. Ones that even drag in th slightest don’t put as many in the net. I don’t know many that can drift the fly for longer than 3′.

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