Where to Find Big Trout

by Fly Fisherman

Because the trout you are hunting are large it is better to use a fairly heavy leader—never under 1X at the tip—and a .010 inch diameter is sometimes better. Ordinarily a 7 ft. to 9 ft. leader is good, especially if the water is murky; but in very clear water and with scary trout you may need a 12 ft. to 20 ft. leader.
Usually a bucktail or streamer is most effective if cast across and slightly upstream, allowed to sink while it drifts with the current until a little below you. Then lower M.& rod tip and retrieve with a rest-and-jerk action. This may be done either with the rod tip or by a left hand pull. You may alternate the methods or use a combination of both. Changes of pace and action on the retrieve in this style of fishing are often effective. In any case, let the fly drift dead between jerks. The fly should move about two or three feet at each pull. Allow the fly to sink as close to the bottom as possible without snagging. It is better to take a chance on losing a fly or leader than not to get close enough to the bottom to get any fish.
Be careful to get your fly where a big trout hiding deep down can see it. This means that if the fish is under an overhanging bank or rock ledge he can’t see a fly that is too close to ‘him and near the surface of the water.
Trout usually take a bucktail solidly. For this reason, don’t get panicky and strike too hard. Firmness with no yank does it.
Sometimes you can get strikes with a bucktail or streamer by skittering the fly fast over the top of the water. Especially in white-water Western streams this works surprisingly. Once in a while, too, you will find that slapping a bucktail down hard will bring strikes. In this method you usually will need a long leader of 12 ft. to 15 ft. On a short leader the “spat” of the fly seems merely to scare the fish, where the same “spat” with an extra long leader may attract them.
Streamer flies, especially the marabou feathered kind, can be fished in a way not suitable to bucktails. Cast slightly upstream and, after allowing the fly to sink, lower the rod all through the retrieve. This gives a remarkably life-like action to the fly.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: