Dan Fallon Fly Fishing Article Column 4 2016
Mid Summer Fly Tactics!
“I summon up remembrances of things past...“
William Shakespeare 1564-1616
Throughout still drought ravaged North America and the Western United States, wild and planted trout have by now seen it all! From little kids splashing and throwing worms, salmon eggs, to LL Bean clad grey haired old timers with fine split Bamboo tossing every known fly pattern ever imagined.
These under water dwellers have been highly educated in anything you may dream up to fool them into giving up freedom while caught and released... This extensive upper level graduate study is at its highest by August.
The waters most effected by this yearly education are the roadside fly waters hit the most. Because your up against this fact of human over use one must roll back into tried and true tactics that almost never fail from August to December when the season ends.
Forget any afternoon mid day fly work my dedicated fly fishers. You will only be wasting time and practicing your casting skills at best. From August forward begin your day at dawn or little before. Stand well back from waters edge and most quietly throw easy loops if working dry flies or if nymphing use the high stick drop method straight down and let the rig drift.
My advice is to keep moving slowly quietly if after 10 minutes no hits. I recommend trying my can’t fail go to set up of Grasshopper or local terrestrial on top and nymph on a dropper about two feet or so down into water column and let this drift near water shore edges or near boulders. Trout are hiding and saving energy and will only waste energy when a recognized local food source appears.
If your comfortable working my other favorite mouse patterns it will change your luck quickly! Simply learn to toss the mouse near stream edge or tree limbs near water and make the mouse move like a real mouse to and throw leaving a nice tail wake. If you learn to work mice naturally your catch and release rate will triple no question. Those who can work streamers like Wolly Buggers will get early morning hits. If you locate feeding lanes and current runs your fly success will increase for sure.
Very early or very late only!
Just before sunrise quietly sneak down to within five or six feet of waters edge and simply watch the water for any signs. By this time of year clarity will be often crystal clear. Resident trout not yet spooked will occasionally dart in and out after insects floating in or near feeding lanes. If a hatch is on dry fly action the most fun will occur. Though remember when you cast your shadow or splash around in your shiny new waders, the fish will be history quickly sports fan. Be quiet and catch and release..
Late afternoon near or just after dark is my favorite time as dry fly work often can produce hits and fish even with no apparent hatch going on! Almost without fail a well tied Mosquito will do the trick. If not try the local favorite dry fly or go to my best fly friend Mr. Fat juicy Grasshopper in all his glory. After Sun set your going to get some of the best action of the day Pilgrim.
Another unspoken rule to observe is keep moving and never stay in one area more then 10 minutes or after working your fly ten times. The odds of getting any hits after ten casts are slim to none. You have alerted all resident trout and they have fled to a more secure hide out. Trout are no different then any other wild beast. If disturbed they flee quickly and adjust their view of feeding lanes. If you maintain distance from stream, river, creek edges your time will be more productive. The old school rule number one applies, use maximum stealth tactics to succeed!
Mid Summer is the time to seek out the most remote areas where you fly fish. If your condemned by little time or simply no other local choices? Then remote venues is your only choice. Of course if your like many of the current fly fishers I run into? Then your happy with crowds and the social aspect of ogling each others shiny new plastic space age fly rods?
Perhaps these grossly misguided herd instinct equipped fly fishers can seek redemption by reading classic fly fishing literature that underlines the fact fly fishing in its classic sense is the least social sport ever created!
The formula for success catching and releasing wild or planted trout is so simple. The waters near you close to roads or multi use trails or worked relentlessly all summer long! Truly your only hope other then hiring a helicopter to fly you deep into remote wilderness? Will be to use maps and ask old timers or Park Rangers or perhaps local fish and game officials how to access remote trout waters?
I have used the following tried and true routine to access productive remote fly waters. When considering a new area or country I don’t know. The first move is to buy several bottles of expensive single malt scotch. I then drive or walk to the end of trails and find the very last farm, ranch or residence and knock on the door with a bottle of single malt in my hands! I have never found anything but total cooperation and huge smiles.
People draw maps for me and at times ask me to lunch and my day is made in the shade! You can try other bribes as I have over the years my fly fishing friends. Single malt expensive scotch never fails! Of course you more timid politically correct herd instincters can bring other bribes like fresh flowers or chocolate I suppose. The effect won’t be the same rest assured...
One last thought please be very careful about litter fire dangers or leaving anything behind when working remote areas. Always carry a compass or leave colored strings as markers so you can find your way back. Never stay to close to dark as your odds of getting lost greatly increase when the Sun sets. Good luck and try not to drink too much of that great single malt before you arrive at your destination...
Written by Dan Fallon © 2016