Fly Fishing

Piscifun fly fishing reels

The Art of Fly-Fishing Page 4


The usual style of trout-fly fishing consists in wading the stream and making casts in likely places-at the foot of riffles, at the edges of stumps, logs and brush and beneath overhanging bushes and banks. The dry-fly fisher, on the contrary, waits until he perceives a rising fish and then presents his Oy in such a manner that it will float over it. In order to have the flies float, they must be dry, and to keep them dry the angler goes along his way casting them backward and forward through the air, never letting them touch the water until actually presenting them to the fish. This continual swinging enables him to have a quantity of line out and under instant control and also dries the flies after each unsuccessful immersion.

Some fishermen drag the flies over the water at the end of each cast, believing that the motion resembles that of an aerial insect endeavoring to escape to land, and flies are often tied with heads toward the hook barb so that, on being drawn over the water, the resistance of their legs and wings will cause them to flutter as if alive.

Other anglers declare that the more attractive method is to allow the flies to float quietly, and to enable them to remain on the surface, the bodies of some flies are wound over strips of cork.

Trout, black bass, grayling and salmon, are the principal American fishes whose capture may be sought with the fly. Both the grayling and salmon may be dismissed with a word. The former, while game, is found in comparatively few waters. The latter requires expensive tackle, boats, guides, and the rights to fish in the waters which it inhabits rent at so high a figure that comparatively few fishermen can afford to indulge in the pastime of bringing them to gaff.

Trout and bass, like one's poor relations, are always with us, scarcely any portion of this country is without its trout or bass water, and the poorest man may occupy his vacation in submitting the fly to their critical taste. The little sunfish or pumpkin-seed of our ponds and fresh water streams possesses game qualities not generally recognized. Although usually fished for with worms, this beautiful little fellow will take the fly, his preference being one in which orange or yellow predominates, such as the yellow drake, California red hackle, yellow may or ouananiche. On a light fly-rod, swinging his broad side against the straIn of the line which he makes cut the water in a hisging circle, Mr. Pumpkin Seed will often give the fisher a pleasant afternoon when trout and bass are not rising.

Many other species of fresh-water fishes will take the fly, some of them readily and with a rush. others somewhat gingerly. Among those we have taken with the fly may be mentioned. The crappie, calico bass, rock bass, warmouth bass, bluegill, red-eared sunfish, white lake bass, and yellow perch. And the cisco of Lake Tippecanoe and the small Wisconsin lakes takes the fly beautifully for a few days in June, as has been shown by that excellent and versatile angler, William C. Harris.

Clark's spey cast

"Clark's spey cast" is a difficult, but beautiful cast to make. Mr. Clark, from whom it takes the name, is credited with throwing fifty yards.

From American Game and Food Fishes. Jordan and Evermann.