Dry Fly Action: Fish don't see HIGH QUALITY pictures!

Dry Fly Action: Fish don't see HIGH QUALITY pictures!

Bernd Ziesche | Wednesday, 26 June 2019

We love to present pictures of insects - of course in best possible quality - in our social media. Don't we? BUT that's not what the fish sees from his underwater perspective!

In dry fly fishing for grayling there are some simple rules, which may help you to improve your catches:

1. Make the fly drift over the fish first, not the leader. The more visabilty the water offers and the slower the current is, the more this gets important. So, no upstream presentations until you fish nearly none fished water, a fast current or muddy water. Fish learn to see leaders (fast)!

2. Don't drift the same fly over the fish again and again. Instead one drift, yes - just one! Then wait 2 minutes. Maybe another 2 drifts with the same fly. One dead drift and one sliding. Then wait and after another 2 minutes change the fly.

3. Watch the fish first instead of starting to hammer it into the ground by over presentation with the wrong strategy.

4. Use a long and thin leader and drift only the thin part of the leader over the fish, not the line.

5. Imitate the movement of the natural food. That is unless too many other fly fishermen are doing the very same. If so, aim for something different!

6. If the water isn't too clear + slow, drifting just the fly over the fish's plane (leader in a 90° angle to the current) can be smart and allowing you to drift over the fish more often without warning him. In slowly moving gin clear water I always make my leader come straight (parallel to the current) behind the fly!

7. If fish are rising, but refuse your fly, change the leader (tippet), the angle you cast the leader to the fish in relation to the sun, the movement or the fly. CHANGE YOUR STRATEGY!

And then most important: Try to forget about how all your fine flies look in your box! Get under water and check out what the fish sees. Lots to learn in that for sure!

In the pictures below you may find some pictures showing a vulgata hatch (emerging) seen from below with the (almost) fish eye lens.

Right now it's 1:30 am and I need to make plans for our group for starting 7am. So it's really time to hit my bed! But let me offer you my experience in watching many fly fishermen dry fly fishing:

99% of us fly fishermen hammer down all fish (those they saw rising and those, which they imagine to be in the spot) by casting, casting, casting and still casting. Upstream, cross stream and down stream - all mixed and never stopping to first study the fish's behaviour.

In my experience most fish know pretty well, that in a no (or little) hatch time no insect will pass by again and again. Especially not in an unnatural way.

I hope to have offered you some worthful thoughts. ;) Of course I could lengthen the list of proper hints for dry fly fishing a lot. But it's the key points above I most often see to be missed totally.

Great week to all of you!

All my best


Few pictures from our last 7 days. We did pretty well!

norway hosted fly fishing trips
flyfishing sexyloops
lots of fish