Words of Dry Fly Wisdom

Thinking about the dry fly bite this am before heading to the water today.

Some things never change. Fish are wild animals. They are not trained. They do not understand that you did not practice your cast.

A few words of wisdom on this Sunday to get you in the correct mind set before you make that first cast on large BWO sipping trout.

  • First presentation is the best presentation. The sneak attack still is a tool used in battle.
  • Practice the drift outside of the trouts view. Out of their sight.
  • If you stand, you gotta be way farther away. They can see you.
  • Pounding the fly, slapping the fly, casting the fly beyond the fish landing the line o or near the fish is analogous to a rock falling from the sky landing two feet from you. Might scare you. Might make you jump out of your waders. How do you think a fish feels after you do something similar.
  • Do you shoot 7-12 rounds near a deer, or elk or animal you are attempting to harvest before you make the kill shot? Think about that one for a minute. If you do not get the correlation between the two events, think way more harder bro.
  • On a side note. Do you see your golf pro. Do you go to the range a hit some balls before your weekend round mid week. Do you get help from your accountant? Do you see a doctor to evaluate your health. Shoot you bring your kids to lessons, coaches, instructors several times a week. Look in the mirror man. You advocate the proper learning path for your kids, why not for yourself?  Point is, you should see your casting instructor once in a while. Or ever. Have you touched your fly rod since you cast at rising trout last year? Do you have a practice rod? Have you spent even 5 minutes thinking, preparing, practicing in any manner before you are confronted with a difficult sipping trout feeding on spinners, inside the current line, behind a branch…before you present your fly to the trout?

If not, don’t turn to me and tell me that He does not like the fly Mr. Guide Man tied on.

  • Fish are wild creatures. Have you ever witnessed a dog walking down the sidewalk as said dog hears a backfire from a car? Of course you have. Does that dog, stop in his tracks and look around trying to see, hear, understand what made the sound. Is it a predator? Then the next action the dog takes is moving forward cautiously taking ginger and silent steps, ears at attention, with all his senses peaked, for a couple moments. Do you think the fish may react a similar way when you pound a couple casts in there? Hmmmm.
  • The point is that dry fly fishing on the Mo can be difficult. Sometimes a 10 on a scale of 1-10. Not all the time. But a lotto the time. Not an easy fishery to capitalize not he dry fly bite. You gotta do a bit of practice with that new dry fly 5 weight you did not tell your wife about. Sneak it out to the back yard or park, invite a friend, and cast a bit. It’ll do wonders for your dry fly prowess. Become familiar with your tools.
  • This is not for everybody. Some do not like the challenge. Some do not like to throw the dry fly rod even when there is opportunities. That is what is so wonderful about this sport. You can do it any way that brings you joy. Nymphers Unite! Strippers gather together. Swingers clan up!
  • Dry fly anglers? They practice.
  • P.S. IF you want to learn all about this game, come see us at Headhunters. We love the dry fly game! We will teach you! Call today.

Trust me, I’m a guide.


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BWO, DFO, Guide Suggestions, Midge, Trust Me. I'm a Guide, Wisdom
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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Hey Mark – really enjoyed this post. I think about your angle here and also reflect on hard working days on the water as guide in Alaska among many others. Took me a while to realize that not all anglers want to, nor do they have the capability yet (could with more practice), to be that better than average technical angler….. ie that ninja stealth dry fly aficionado who understands conflicting currents, angle of approach, accuracy, all line and leader, fly coming down to the water at the same ect….. . The scope, depth of this aspect of FF may be just a bit beyond some people’s grasp – that more casual angler – as they, as we talked this spring, seek entertainment and maybe less technical fishing while on a guided trip. All good too! But still not the guide’s fumble when a great riser is close by and said caster blows it. The angler just cannot rant on a guide or cop an attitude here. The classic disconnect for inexperienced guests who simply did not understand what what really going on. This was the most challenging part of guiding. A constant education process on many fronts to help the angler execute and motivate at the same time. And yes practice! And listen to your guide – that why they are guides and guests are not…..lol


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