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Salmon River Pulaski NY-Drift Fishing w/Fly-Spin 2

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:59 pm
by Randy Jones
Drift Fishing w/ a Fly - Spin Rod Part 2
Correct speed of drift:
Imitating an egg-nymph dead drifting along the bottom at the same rate of speed as the bottom water column is imperative to successfully hooking up. This is achieved by looking where you're mono butt section enters the water. (Your fly line (running line) should NOT be in the water for many reason's) It should be moving slightly slower than the surface current. This matches the bottom current speed close enough. Making your offering look real enough to even the Smartest fish.
Jim Rusher once told me that in the wintertime it is sometimes advantageous to slow your drift down even further. This allows the lethargic fish time to move slightly for what it thinks is an easy meal.

Correct depth of drift:
When I first cast into a new piece of water my first question is how deep. This determination is achieved by raising or lowering rod tip until light ticking of weight on bottom rocks is felt. The next step for me is to look at the distance between the surface of the water and end of fly line. (I prefer to run an 8-11ft. -butt section of 8lb-10lb. test straight mono for steelhead, so fly line never touches the water on the drift.) By this distance, between fly line and water I know exactly where it should be on each successive cast. Allowing me to set up immediately for each additional cast to achieve the perfect drift. The end of the fly line act's like an indicator. Most angler's do not prepare their drift in advance, before they reach the 12 O'clock position. (This is where I start every drift and where I can control it) By using the end of the fly line as an indicator it is easy to prep your drift in advance of the 12 O'clock position. Allowing you to run the most productive drift possible. The next question I ask myself is am I weighted correctly?

Visual and non-visual characteristics of line:
In my opinion, when drift fishing correctly the line between tip of rod and weight should be a straight line. If you try to dead drift with a bow in your line, you not only create additional drag which speeds up your drift making your fly look unnatural but also makes for a lot of unnecessary snags on bottom. (Your rod tip should be as high as you can get it (for many reasons) and the fly line should be totally out of the water) With out a straight line (slack) your weight is simply slogging along the bottom looking for the quickest and easiest rock to call home for good. A lot of the time if you have slack in your line you will not feel the ticking sensation due to the vibrations not being transferred up through the line. There are about 20 other negative things that happen when you have a bow or slack in your line. Remember; with line straight from tip of rod to weight you will be lightly tapping the tops of the rocks. Cutting down on drag, giving it a more natural drift by imitating the correct bottom speed, feeling those pauses and hesitations better, detecting the take better and getting hung-up on bottom less.

Angle of rod tip to line:
To achieve a maximum dead drift and cut down on snags the rod tip should be directly over the line. If rod tip is in front of line then you will be prematurely initializing the swing and probably ending your drift prematurely. Also, if weight runs into structure, you will be pulling it into it and creating a worse snag than if rod tip was over line and twitched directly up and over obstruction on pauses and hesitations.

The lesson for today was to hold the rod tip as high as possible to cut down on the amount of line entering into the water. (High sticking) Every time the rod tip was held low several negative things happened.
1. First and most importantly no fish were caught.
2. The fly would swing through the hole, instead of dead drifting through it. There by making our tasty morsel look more like a speeding bullet than something that was naturally moving along the bottom at the correct speed that was edible.
3. The weight would not bring our fly into the strike zone, due to the current bowing the line and keeping it all off bottom.
4. A low rod tip puts more line into the water creating a sub-surface bow which has many negative effect's. Basically, not allowing you to achieve your desired and most productive dead drift.
The above articles all have some exceptions to them. There are even more advanced techniques to add to the above articles that will further your success rate. I guess I'll save those for my guest's :)
Happy Hook'n:
Randy Jones
More of the same can be found on my site - Fishing Reports