By Brett Coffman
HELP! I’ve become a dry fly addict.
Let me first explain that I’m a true nymph fisherman. This was how I learned to fly fish, and this is how I catch 99% of my fish. I enjoy it. I don’t usually use an indicator on moving water but instead rely on feel. This is how I take all my big fish. The last 2 trips however, have changed this and I’m now addicted to a fishing method entirely novel to me.
After miles of wading during run-off I recently spotted a feeding rainbow. Nearly a rods length away, I froze instantly. Whew, he didn’t see me. I immediately crouched down and moved downriver from him. While I quietly observed his movements I noticed several naturals drift over his feeding lie undisturbed. This does exactly build confidence in one who’s about to try and dupe a big trout on a dry. But, I remained confident that “I will catch this fish.”
So I removed my split shot and snipped off my double nymph rig. Watching his movements carefully, I attached ~3ft.of 5x tippet and tied on a #14 parachute Adams. This being about the only mayfly pattern in my box, that closely resembled the naturals that were hatching.
I then moved into position I proceeded to make my first offering. My first cast was greeted with a stiff gust of wind that I luckily was able to dump off to the left side of his feeding lie. I waited until the gust passed, then made a nice curve cast so the line landed on one side while the fly landed in his feeding lane. The Adams hit the water and I watched in amazement as the big rainbow surged forward and attacked my presentation. I was so overzealous that I immediately went to set the hook and ripped the fly from the fishes mouth and well into the bushes behind me. @#&% I exclaimed as I broke off the fly in the tall brush. I immediately thought that I had ruined my only chance at the trout of the day - but as fate would have it the fish remained unfazed.
I watched the fish as I tied on the same pattern. The whole time thoughts of articles about fish rejecting patterns they’ve seen circled through my head. My only hope was that he had not had that much time to inspect my initial offering.
I waited again for the wind to settle and then recast. I was again amazed as the large trout surged toward my offering then pounced on the fly. This time I was more calm and collected and was able to set the hook appropriately. Below is a picture of the ~20in fish that made me an addict. The other fish I saw surface feeding on top, but was able to catch without switching to dry flies.
This is the 20inch fish that made me an addict.
This other fish I saw feeding on the surface, but was able to catch without switching to a dry.