Sunday, March 4, 2012

Young Pups Can Teach Old Dogs A Trick Or Two

I received a great lesson yesterday.  I was fishing for trout and the water was way down.  All over New England flows are being held back due to our lack of snow for run off in the spring.  Holding water, in the lakes and impoundments, seems to be the mission right now.  This put the fish in the deep holes seeking cover and great care was needed to attract a take.  I was only rewarded with one fish for the day and I left the river at dark with a need for some answers.

My day started in a hard freezing rain that came in waves.  My solace was the understanding, according to the hourly Weather Channel forecast, I would only be subjected to this pounding for a two hour period.  I must admit it was absolutely beautiful being out through natures changes.  While pellets clicked off my hood and fresh snow fell from the trees, I hooked the only fish of the day.  The falling ice must have given some cover for my weighted nymph presentation.

As predicted, the rain stopped and an over cast calm took it's place.  When I say calm, I mean dead calm with no movement.  I covered the water in four locations without another pull and worked very hard using every trick I could think would work.  That is except the one I learned from a friend who has only been an angler for three years.

"Get rid of the weight", he said.  I didn't listen.  "I cast up river and let the fly settle on it's own and that seems to be working in the low water".  I didn't listen.   He then proceeded to fish the water that I just finished and landed a beautiful eighteen inch rainbow.  Now I'm listening, and thinking and coming to conclusion what was clear to my friend.

So, let's analyze what happens when we are indicator nymph angling.  The constant in this concept is that the indicator is used for showing strikes, right?  Well let's just say that the strike is the bonus.   The indicator is used to show you that you are dead drifting with your fly leading the way.  Ever notice that your indicator is constantly giving false takes?  Ever notice the direction it is spinning?  Over and over again and again the signal is given and no fish on the strike.  The reason for this is that the weight is dragging and the indicator is stopping over and over again.  Now think about where your fly is positioned.  It is hanging below the weight that is dragging and the indicator is the thing that is the farthest down river with the leader lining the fish right in the face.  This is not a pretty picture and one that will keep your success level to a minimum.

What to do.

First thing could be to make sure your distance from indicator to weight is no more than the depth of the deepest water you are fishing.  At least then your weight can't be too far behind the indicator.  You could also put a weight immediately under the indicator.  By having a larger weight under the indicator and a lessor weight below will slow the indicator and let your leader lead the way.  Or, you could get rid of the indicator and let the weight bounce along behind the fly.  Or remove the indicator and weight and use a weighted fly as the top with a smaller dropper fly.  And finally go to a Czech Nymph style with the weighted fly and one or two flies put on droppers tied with Double Surgeons knots to the main line leader above the bottom weighted fly.

Later this week I am going to set up rods with the last two choices.  Both get rid of the weight.  Both make for less invasive presentations and both are proven winners.

My conclusion is that even though we have so many years of experience we are never too old  to accept help.



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