After a few more mini trout (sort of alevin…) John decides to stop at the head of a huge pool where he had noticed some nice rising fish.
Unfortunately, he had not considered that while passing by the hole, our shadows reflected onto the river bottom and the fish went motionless in their position instead of running away. He was sure that the fish had not noticed us and were nymphing. He wanted to make them rise to a floating fly…
We left him busy casting and casting, struggling with branches and bushes… That spot asked for but one or two casts, most important asked for cautious approach, which was not…
Time flies and we were again together, crouched under the scarce shadow of a still naked tree. Talks invariably slippered to a hard subject: the choice of the fly.
Jack was the first to consider the value of his patterns for that part of the stream. “They are too small” I told him. “Absolutely not” he said “They are too big: I missed a lot because the fish can’t swallow them and I take them out of their mouth when I strike”.
I was shocked: “Have you ever seen a trout’s mouth? There is space for at least two or three fingers… Believe me: you miss them because you can’t detect the fly on the water and can’t follow it while floating downstream… your strike is always late!”
They asked for my flybox and were surprised when noticed it was filled with Whickham’s Fancies and March Browns on #14 to 10 hooks. “I might be stupid but I think that you should see the fly to decide when it’s time to strike.”
They nodded, half convinced…
We went back to the water and after a while they stopped to sip some water. Furtively, I looked at their flies: the #20 and 18 black sedges had been replaced by a #12 Irresistible and a #10 Tricolor. “We don’t have any bigger…”. Before quitting the river, they caught 5 nice fish, plus one missed.
No doubt, it was a lucky day and I was surprised by the results considering that we were three guys together on such a narrow stream.
The real problem with those two beginners was casting: they hooked trees, branches and bushes 7 times out of 10: in addition to the time devoted to untangling flies and leader, they made noise, banged trees, moved rocks… a real disaster… why all this? Simple: they insisted on vertical casts where vertical casts were nonsense.
“I am not able to make a horizontal cast” complained one of the two “Nobody has ever shown me how to…”
“Show us, you great caster!” they both teased… I accepted the challenge and chose a very difficult spot, half covered by overhanging branches. I kneeled down in the middle of the small pool and the fly hit the target… a nice brown accepted my offer.
I can’t repeat their words here but… you can imagine.
They hadn’t realized that the casting position could be different than standing up in the middle of the stream… and had never tried another solution.
After a while and a few more casts, John complained about the leader: it is too long… it is not strong enough… it is too thin…. and often breaks when striking. “It’s is rotten… the shop assistant cheated me and gave me a rotten nylon…
“What size is it?” I asked. “0.12mm” “So thin, fishing such a strong current? Not surprising if you break on this fish and this current… Why such a thin leader?””
Because if I use a bigger one, fish detect it!”
—– to be continued ——