Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little and Eastern BWOs)
2. Little Yellow Quills
3. Little Yellow Stoneflies
4. Slate Drakes
5. Needle Stoneflies
6. Mahogany Duns
Most available/ Other types of food:
7. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
Fly Presentation - Part 5
One advantage of the down stream cast is quite obvious. Done correctly, the fish will see the fly
before anything else. However, if the trout doesn't take the fly, you must allow it to drift on by and
get your leader and fly line away from the fish before starting the back cast or you will spook the
fish pulling the leader and line up off the water. It is better to cast downstream at a slight angle to
the fish than directly downstream to it.
The big advantage of the down-stream cast is that you can simply get a longer drag-free drift than
you can when you are casting in an upstream direction. You are able to place the fly on the water
well upstream of the trout and allow it to drift into its cone of vision. This is also true when you are
searching for fish and want to drift through a likely holding area.
A big disadvantage of the downstream approach is that the fish is looking in your direction, right at
you. You have to be especially careful not to make sudden movements, and that is sometimes very
difficult to do, and almost impossible to do when you make the cast.
If you are wading you also must be careful not to disturb the bottom or you will spook the trout with
the resulting clouds of material you may kick up. Don’t forget the wake you can make wading. It can
spook fish, especially in smooth water.
Another disadvantage in the downstream presentation is that when a fish takes your fly there is a
tendency to pull the hook right out of the trout’s mouth. Setting the hook is sometimes more difficult
when you are using downstream cast.
The parachute mend can be used to control the slack line needed to present the fly in a
More on cross current presentations:
Yesterday's article covered various angles in between the upstream and across stream
approaches. Casting across the stream at an angle to the current is usually the best approach. I
have already said that it's best to avoid casting directly upstream or directly downstream. Casting
slightly to the left or right of directly upstream or downstream is almost always better. In most rivers
and streams, the upstream cast will out produce the others, but again, there are rivers and
streams where it will not work well at all. There are also situations you will encounter where it will
not work at all. There are even situations you can encounter fishing the small streams of the
Smokies and other small fast flowing, freestone streams where you need to make a downstream or
down and across presentation.
Casting upstream requires more skill than casting downstream and this is one reason some
anglers do not prefer an upstream cast. The reason it's more difficult is because it's more difficult
to control drag. Even so, in my opinion, you should use the upstream or up and across stream
presentations in preference to any other if at all feasible.
As a general rule, the rougher and more turbulent the water, the better the upstream cast works.
This is because the rough water tends to hide or disguise your leader that sometimes lets you get
by with a less than perfect presentation. On the other hand, the rough and turbulent water can
cause conflicting currents that work against you on the upstream cast.
Downstream cast usually outperform the upstream cast in situations were the water is slow to
moderately flowing and smooth on the surface. In this case, a longer drag-free drift is usually a
must. You can control the direction of the drift of the fly simply by moving your line with your rod tip.
The fish simply have more time and opportunity to examine your fly under these conditions and a
drag-free drift is usually an absolute must.
The exact angle that the cast should be made should be determined by you position and the
trout’s position relative to the current. Sometimes you have no control over this. You may spot a
rising trout, or likely spot that a feeding trout may be holding, that is in any one of an infinite
number of degrees relative to your position. It may be such that if you move, you will spook the
fish. For example, you may be fishing in an upstream direction and spot a trout rising directly
downstream from your position, or at a right angle to you at your side. Actually this situation seems
to occur rather frequently. In this scenario, we hope you try to catch the fish, even though you may
be forced to cast from a very unsatisfactory position. You will have a good opportunity to do so
provided you have mastered the various types of cast and line mending procedures. Very frankly,
this requires one thing for sure – practice and the more - the better. In this case there's no
substitute for actual on the water experience. You do need to become familiar with the different
types of mends, on the water and in the air and the different types of cast that help control drag.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh