Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Another day of begging, pleading, and trying to coach a good cast out of the front of the boat. I'm not talking a 30 footer into the wind, I'm talking 20' inside a 4-5' window near the bank. not in the grass not in the trees, not in the middle of the river but near the bank...one foot is good, three is alright, 5 is ok but -5 or 10 off is not and never is 4 feet above going to work.
Streamer fishing is a type of fishing (with flies in this case) during which the fisher person is trying to entice a fish into eating or striking a moving piece of meat. Sometimes the movement is imparted upon said fly by casting out and allowing the water to cause the fly to "swim." Sometimes we use split shot to cause the fly to "roll." In the traditional western fly fishing sense of streamer fishing, the goal is to get the fly moving through a techniques know as "stripping" whereas the fisherperson makes variable retrieves of the fly line by pulling on line with the non-rod hand while the index finger of the rod hand is used as in extra guide on the rod in a way. The index finger is used to pinch the line down when striking or between strips to allow a direct connection to the fly. The overall goal of the process is to move the fly, just because one strips line does not mean that the fly moves. In order to get the fly to move via a stripping retrieve, slack must be removed from the process to a large degree, some slack is ok, but 5-10 feet really doesn't do it.
So, a good way to pull this all off from a drift boat is to cast slightly behind your position in the boat, point the rod tip at the fly and strip line. Again, the goal is to get the fly to move and ideally to get it to move across the current of the river. If you prefer to not do that, than an indicator rig is much more effective than dragging a loose mess of feathers, fur and metal around the water. However, if you are able to get a tight connection to the fly with very little or no slack, and properly execute the strip in a whole of half-ass way...that blob of feathers and fur starts to look kind of like a fish swimming across the current. If a hungry or aggressive fish...hopefully bigger than the fly...happens to see this going on and is in the mood...sometimes you can even feel the interaction between bigger fish and streamer and set the hook which is often done simply by going back to that index finger we talked about and pinching the line, a "strip set" or even rod tip movement can often work as well.
Needless to say, I had plenty of opportunities today to try to explain this whole thing. I think my instructions were clear, I think that the intent was there, but there were some execution errors here and there. That said, there were still 15-20 fish that managed to impale themselves on our various forms of articulated streamers throughout the day. The upper is juicy right now and the fish are frisky, we laughed and screamed a lot and overall enjoyed the hell out of trying to make it work every once in awhile today. That is my life.