Ebooks and Information on Fly Fishing for Trout-3
By Major G. Baillie
"Fly fishing in a clear, low water is beyond comparison, the most difficult of all the branches of the angler's art, and should therefore rank highest as sport,"
The challenge of fly fishing is not for everyone. If it was always easy I would loose my interest very quickly as I'm sure many of you would loose your interest to. But the mental challenge and the beautiful surroundings in which we find ourselves during our pursuit of trout, keeps my interest and enthusiasm and I can't wait to do it again.
Here is another quote from the author:
"This small book on dry fly angling is intended for would-be dry fly sportsmen, who, owing to real or imaginary difficulties, may be somewhat timid about commencing ; if it should be the means of encouraging some to take up one of the most healthy and delightful of sports, my object will have been attained."
"There are three essentials which a dry fly angler must possess so as to thoroughly enjoy and be successful in this form of trout fishing :- 1. Patience, 2. Love of Nature, And 3. A System.
When to Strike
I think that the majority of anglers are agreed that it is important to strike at once. Some try to get out of the difficulty by hedging. H.I. Regan advises, “Don’t strike too soon, but meet the grip of the fish with a delicate but firm strain.” In other words, I take this to mean, “let the trout strike himself.”
It is so important to strike immediately, having seen the rise which in dry fly fishing you are expecting, that it is as well to discuss the reason why one does not do so, and why one should so do. There is a natural timidity about striking too soon and perhaps pulling the fly away from the fish; on the contrary, when fishing up stream, as in dry fly; the trout is head up stream and you are striking down stream, both factors in favor of striking at once. When you see the rise, the fish has already taken the fly, and is doubling round to get into position again, and that is the time to catch him bending; strike at once before he has time to discover the fraud. Supposing you notice that when drinking a pint of beer, you have taken a fly unto your mouth; instantly, and I may say, involuntarily, in spite of all the laws of etiquette, you eject it; in other words, you have instantly noticed something in your mouth which should not be there according to your long experience of drinking beer.
A trout, being a connoisseur in the matter of flies, suddenly finds that instead of the soft, delicate morsel he has for years been accustomed to suck in, he has something in his mouth which has as much resemblance to a fly as a Carlton cutlet has to an Army iron ration.
Are you going to make him sample your iron ration or allow him to make reference for future guidance? Remember that he who hesitates is lost, and also remember that a very slight twist back of your wrist will do the trick, as a quarter of an inch will fix the hook as firmly in his jaw as it will in your ear or your finger.
Regarding the importance of striking as soon as possible, I look at the matter in the following way. You see a rise, presumably at your fly, the trout has either taken or missed it, if the former there is an end of the argument, and the more you drive the point home the better; if the latter there is no harm done as the trout cannot instantly right himself to see what has happened. Personally I have never yet been quite convinced how much of the striking has been done by the trout or by myself, and I think that by striking at once one meets the trout half-way. If there is no drag and the trout is keen on having your fly he will strike himself. Francis, in “book on Angling,” advises striking at once, so that later on in the book I was puzzled when reading the following:: – “I had cast my fly into the water, and having to light my pipe I allowed the fly to sink to the bottom, when I recommenced I raised the point of the rod to withdraw the tackle, but the line was too long and dragged, and I fancied I had taken hold of a weed. I then took the line in by hand and found that, instead of being caught in a weed, the fly had been picked up by a good fish. I struck him with the hand and eventually killed him.” Surely when it is necessary to calculate almost to the fraction of a second when to strike a fish, this trout had assuredly struck himself.
HOW OFTEN ONE SHOULD CAST OVER A RISE?
Some authorities recommend half a dozen casts, some a dozen. So long as a trout is feeding regularly there is always hope of hooking him. I will quote three examples from my own experience recently. I saw a trout feeding regularly and fished over him for about one hour, eventually hooking him on an olive dun; all the time he had been mopping up these flies as hard as he could, but took nearly one hour to make up his mind about mine, although the wind, etc., was in my favor for good casting; he was well over a pound, because I had a good view of him when he leaped out of the water, taking the fly with him, and leaving me the rest. Very shortly afterwards I noticed a good rise further up the river, for nearly one hour and a half I tried seven different flies, the last being a very attenuated hair’s ear, the only one I had, which he seized on the first cast. I put him down at three pounds weight, because he leaped twice out of the water, and the last time I saw him very distinctly floating in front of my face, owing to the bank having given way beneath me.
The third instance, I saw a trout feeding well and regularly, the same diet, olive dun, he was sucking them in as fast as they chose to come along. I tried him for a long time unsuccessfully, on coming back about two hours later, he took my fly after a few casts, made a dash for the bank, and smashed me. For several days after this I tried him each day for quite a long time, without success; I never put him down and all the time he was sucking in olive duns.
It is indeed a mystery when fishing for a particular trout which is feeding steadily and you know for certain the fly he is taking, how you can cast continuously over him for a considerable length of time, and, without putting him down, fail entirely to get him to take your fly.
It is better to have hooked and lost than never to have hooked at all; but it is very exasperating to keep on losing fishing throughout the day, possibly the light may have something to do with it, or the fish may have had a surfeit, and be only playing with the fly, or taking it half-heartedly: do not omit to examine your hook to see if it is bent outwards or has the barb broken off. If this state of things exists, lie down as close as you can to the river’s edge and watch a rise carefully and you may find that you are either not striking quickly enough or too quickly.
When fish are feeding regularly and you know the fly they are taking, but cannot induce them to fancy yours, this may be due to some slight peculiarity in the hatch of flies for that evening which you may be quite unable to detect; I have occasionally overcome the difficulty by casting the instant I have seen the rise so that the motion of the water may conceal whatever defect I may suppose exists in the artificial fly. I think it is a matter of taste on the part of the trout, and that the difference between the natural and artificial must be slight, as I do not recollect under the circumstances having put the fish down.
Another source of disappointment to the uninitiated angler is when to all appearances trout are rising well and his fly remains unnoticed. This may be due to “bulging.” I have carefully read many references to “bulging” trout; but there are two conditions which I have not seen explained, one is why a trout will not take any notice of your fly, and another is how to detect “bulging” trout. When trout are “bulging” they are feeding on Nymphae coming up from the bottom of the river; and as they have not got eyes in the back of their head, incredible as this may seem at times, they do not see your fly, but occasionally, either because they may desire a change of scenery, or may be suffering from a stiff back, they look up, and at that moment, if your fly happens to be floating down he may make a snap at it. I have watched trout very carefully, and it appears to me that, when they are bulging, although there may be quite useful rings on the surface of the water, there rarely is a breach of surface; if this should happen it will be formed by the motion of his tail and will not be in the centre of the ring. The usual lament is: “They were rising well, but would not look at my fly.” That is what does happen; they do not look at it. The first thing which will probably put you wise regarding bulging trout, is that you may not be able to detect any flies on the water to account for the rise.
Keen observations, patience, and knowledge of trout habits and needs will provide the angler with great oportunity to catch fish. Read this book. It's short, concise, and filled with great information.
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