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Getting drag free drift- line "pulling" fly

Re: Getting drag free drift- line "pulling" fly

Postby dwalker » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:55 pm

I would agree that on such a narrow stream such a long line is not needed and to get better natural drifts use a shorter line. There is a small stream in front of my house that is probably 8 to 12 feet across when we've had plenty of rain and I have good success with a line that is a little shorter than the rod or perhaps only 3 or 4 ft longer than the rod. Mostly I use the Ayu. However, my little stream is not full of particularly wary fish.

otoh - the closest river to me is about 6 miles away. It is probably 40 to 55 ft across. The water is flat and clear. I used a much longer line ( 24 ft) for much the same reasons you gave. To get further away from the fish and not be seen by them. I had only moderate success catching fish and keeping the line off the water was more difficult.

What helped on this clear water, flat water stream was not using a longer line but rather it was adopting Eddie's rule of 4ft/sec or slower movement speed and going to a shorter line, no more that 18 or 19 ft. In flat water there is no white water or noise from water rushing over the stones to mask the fish's vision of you nor to mask the sound you make wading in the water. Moving slowly, dressing in earth colors, I caught more fish. Even if you can fish from the bank if the water is clear and flat. Mover slowly.

I first noticed this when standing in the middle of the stream changing the fly. Standing still for several minutes changing the fly or changing the line, I noticed a lot of fish had gathered at my feet. If I moved slowly I could get within 2 or 3 feet of fish holding behind a submerged stone. They did not seem to be spooked away by my arm movement casting the fly, or at least the majority of the time they were not spooked by the casting motion. They were only spooked off when I waded quickly.

Using a line that was 16 to 18 ft long, including tippet, I can cover this stream from bank to bank with only having to move a few feet one way or the other from the middle of the stream. I did not have to use a line approaching 24 ft in length and found it more difficult to hold the line off the water. Though I sometimes use a line that long just for the fun of it, use a light line and keep the rod tip high, close to 1 o'clock. I can't keep the longer line off the water with the rod tip lower than that.

For more natural drifts with a longer line I would echo what others have said, use lighter line, keep the rod tip at higher angle, maybe use longer tippet and shorter line for the same overall total length of line. 2 cents from a self taught tenkara fisher.

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Re: Getting drag free drift- line "pulling" fly

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:02 am

The 3 biggest things I notice that prevent a good drift are:
1)Too much line in the water by not stopping rod tip high, but sounds like you have this covered.
2)not using the currents properly. Try casting just a bit beyond the current seam you are aiming, get the fly to drift into the current. That should help keep the line tight and as you follow it will give a good drift.
3) this is a big one, and also goes with number 2: work with shorter drifts and break that long drift you want into smaller ones. Most often there is a sweet spot for the drift and it can be hard to achieve once you go past it.
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