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and the stillwater setup

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Ronan's report


Thursday 30th June, 2011

I've been betrayed by the calendar. 365 solar days ago, I was enjoying the best fishing my tight-as-a-rusty-nut river has ever bestowed upon me. My game was on and big fish were coming up to my flies like I'd just reached some platinum level and could cut right to the front of the line. Keen for a repeat I've fished the river exactly zero times so far. It's like the water doesn't know what day it is, but my memory keeps tormenting me as I watch the days of high water go by. I've got to adjust to the new calendar, the flow calendar, to hell with the sun. Just hoping my eagerness can take it!


Now you all in the UK (or similar influence), turn away. Go read the casting forum and consider at what point during the cast have you committed to loop formation and there's no chance to bail out. This stillwater bit will be nothing new to you. I'm going to thank Paul for a bit of fishing we had on Hebegen and Madison lakes in MT. That's when I first got exposed to slow retrieving a team of wet flies. It seemed cool at the time but there wasn't much confidence there.

The setup is a little intimidating at first but it's easier to cast than you might think. Nice heavy tapered leader to turn over the flies, couple feet of tippet to the first fly off a short dropper (a higher water fly like a sparse no-hackle elkhair caddis, possibly attractor, or bigger spider), 3.5-4' to the middle dropper (spider or nymph), then 3-3.5 to a heavier anchor/point fly (damsel fly is a killer here). Cast out straight, give a little sink time, then keep the flies tight by slow retrieving or letting them swing down in the wind. Have a little patience and let the fish find the flies (they will).

It's been the genesis for a lot of success. So if your calendar is off and you find yourself out at the trout lake, give it an honest try on one of those days when fish seems around but not on the surface.

Eric


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