Fly Fishing Clear Pools - Part 2

Yesterday, I mentioned that the other way I fish pools is fishing them in a
downstream direction. I also mentioned that you need current in order to do this. If
the water in the pool is moving very slow, it does not work well. I suggest it only
when the water is at normal levels or above normal levels. It certainly would not
work well at the present time in the Smokies with the low water situation we have.

Everything I said yesterday about staying hidden and making longer than normal
cast still applies. In fact, the cast may even need to be longer because you are
facing the fish that are looking upstream.

Start by fishing the head of the pool where the water runs into it. Stay well back
upstream and cast down and slightly across into the faster moving water headed
into the stream allowing your fly to drift into the head of the pool. Make one or two
quick mends to help get the fly down. It should swing across the current to directly
downstream of your position.

This is a lot like fishing soft hackle flies down and across. You want to allow your fly
to pass by any trout that is holding in or below the water running into the pool. You
should continue to make the same type of presentation but move downstream a
step each cast. Each cast should allow your fly to swing across the water flowing
into the pool a couple of feet downstream of the previous cast.

You should be able to determine the main flow line of the water as it goes through
the pool. It may possible even out and the entire pool may have current. It all
depends on the particular pool. Every one of them is different. The idea is to keep
your fly in the current where ever it exist, otherwise it will not pull your fly
downstream and across the current.

Continue to move down one side of the pool, whichever appears to have the better
possibilities. Remember, you can't spook the trout. Doing so may alarm or alert all
of the trout in the pool. Continue to cast down steam and slightly across the current
so that the fly swings back across the current directly downstream. When the fly
stops swinging, allow it to rise to the surface of the water by stopping any
movement of the rod tip. The current will bring it to the surface. When it reaches the
surface, make another cast a couple of feet downstream of the previous one.

If you cannot get into a position to make a fairly long cast, strip some line off the
reel and feed the line out by hand just after your fly hits the water. You just want to
make sure you keep track of the point the line stops so that each consecutive cast
goes downstream of the previous one.

The trout will usually take the fly as it swings across the current or as it rises to the
surface at the end of the drift. You can either feel the take through the rod and line
or you can sometimes see a flick of the line when the fish takes the fly.

Remember to use a long leader. You want to keep your fly line as far away from the
fly as possible. You fly line can and will spook the trout in a pool. That is another
reason why catching trout from pools, especially when the water is very clear, is not
exactly easy. Everything you do has to focus on keeping the trout from being aware
of your presence.

Copyright 2008 James Marsh