Abomination

by Fly Fisherman

We haven’t touched on the “abomination” subject for quite
a spell now and I hope you will seriously catalog this issue in your mind. DRAG causes more unfilled creels, more action-less days, more heartbreaks in downing fish than any other cause in normal dry fly presentation. Natural insects rarely skate around on the water’s surface leaving a discernable “V” wake behind them and trout instinctively know this. If the insects knew it they’d make it a point to develop this prank, then they’d all live their whole life rather than suffer violent extinction before they have a chance to meet the boy friend. The aversion to dragging flies is one of nature’s gifts to the trout clan. It’s an ideal protection against the trout’s toughest enemy, us!

If we’ve taken every precaution, as far as the stream currents are concerned, against possible drag, then we must never cast too tight a line. If the line were cast so that there was some slack then that slack must ordinarily have to become straightened so that it could do some pulling on the leader to move the fly unnaturally off its course, causing a drag wake. So the answer to the problem is to, within reason, put some slack in the line and leader. In other words postpone the drag as long as you can.
I’ve seen others do it and I’ve done it myself—that is, in making more or less extended casts and not applying the required amount of power, have the line get itself thrown about by a blast of gusty wind and dropping in a very amateurish disorder then have the fly, in amongst this jumble, be taken very deliberately by a trout.

I cannot suggest that this performance become a part of your fishing practice. You won’t have to try to do it, it’ll do itself. All you’ll need is a desire to put out a nice long cast coupled with a nasty unexpected burst of breeze and there you’ll have it.
I know of one fisherman who resides on a ranch in the Sierra Nevada mountains who fishes some practically every day during the season. He knows his water well and he knows fish. He is not a champion caster by any imagination stretch but he uses an extremely lengthy leader (14 to 18 feet) and he deliberately drops an exaggerated slack between himself and the prospective fish. He keeps few of them but, man, can he catch them!

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