Fishing Forum
Skip to Content


Fishing Forum > Fly Fishing Forum : Fly Fishing gear & equipment >

a Good drift on a small stream

Allen Fly Fishing
fishing
Report Post | Register to Reply
a Good drift on a small stream
Getting a good drift on a small stream can be difficult because :

The drift is short.
Slower and faster water are right next to it.
Slower and faster ware are right above or below the drift.
Then there are all those rocks.

But the rocks and gravel can be your friend.

When currents around where your want to float your fly will limit or make a drag free drift impossible then rocks and gravel can help you by keeping your line off the water so that you minimize what is laying on the water. You can drag the line backwards over the rocks towards you as the fly drifts down stream towards you. The same can also be true, on occasion, with the gravel edges.

dB
disinfect your wading equipment. wash boat. disinfect livewells / sumps, wash ur dog
(This post was edited by Scruffy_Fly on Oct 12, 2008, 10:12 AM)
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [Scruffy_Fly] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
Very nicely put, thanks Scruffy!



Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [Scruffy_Fly] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
Flyfishing can be the most technique-intensive sport found in the world. But I don't find small stream fishing to be any more or less difficult than others. It just requires other thechniques is all.

I actually prefer fishing headwater streams and pocket water, because for me it's more challenging. Let's face it, when your leader is longer than the amount of line you're using, life is a lot more different than getting one of those long, drag-free floats on, say, the Madison or parts of the Ausable.

Anyway, one thing to try, when encountering conditions such as you describe, is to remember that you're not on an English chalk stream, and their rules don't apply. Try reversing direction, for instance, with a downstream presentation of one sort or another. Maybe a soft-hackle fly is in the cards. Or perhaps you need to be dapping?

As a technique, dragging the line through the rocks can be effective, as you say. But too much of that can tear up an expensive fly line. So I'd save it as a last resort.
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [Brook] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
When you mentioned the Madison, I had visions in my head of fishing a stretch a couple of years ago.
The wind was howling so bad that a drift boat was rowing DOWN STREAM!
I had a big stonefly dry and a small black haresear dropper. I did have nice 10' rod so, standing under the bridge to block the wind, I cast out to the middle about 50' to a huge rock sitting there. I watched as the big stone swirled around the floated behind the rock in which is then disappeared.
I thought, what the heck happened?! I began to strip the line and felt resistance. I thought I had hooked a rock, but THEN, the rock began to move up stream. I started yelling for help, but as it were, I was in Tan waders and an Olive wading jacket and I blended right in with the shore line. Finally, my hubby saw the small portion of the navy blue stocking cap I had on with the NY in white. Anyway, got the fish to the rock and released a beautiful 26" brown.
Of the subject a bit but a nice memory.
There are portions of the snake that you could cast to the backing to hit the middle of the river.



Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [flygoddess] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
I reckon we've all had days like that. But they don't usually end with a trophy like that.

My best time on the Madison came one summer. All the flyshops in West Yellowstone said stay out of the park, the good fishing was below Ennis. But I always fish the park, for nostalgia sake if nothing else.

Friend Wife and I were in that long stretch just before the river leaves the park, and we're destroying them. Tricos in the morning, then hoppers once the sun warmed things up. Fish averaging about 14". We probably caught and released 30 of them between us.

The best part was the fishing partner who joined us for awhile. A bald eagle dove for a fish no more than 20 yards from me, caught it in its talons, and headed out with it. Would have been worth going just to see that; the fish we caught were just icing on the cake.

That evening we checked back with the flyshops again. All the "good" fishing, below Varney Bridge, resulted in a total catch of sixteen fish among all the boats, the largest only 12".

Ya gotta love it when you fool the experts. Fishin'

Of course, when you talk wind you're talking the Yellowstone. No matter where or when, it's always blowing a gale; and always right into your face.

How come the literature never talks about double hauling for a 20 foot cast?

Brook
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [Brook] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
brook wrote: ....Try reversing direction, for instance, with a downstream presentation of one sort or another. Maybe a soft-hackle fly is in the cards. Or perhaps you need to be dapping? ....
-----------
Yup all good things to do.
From above, slowly hand retrieving a fly up stream can produce strikes. From above, holding the fly in the seam next to a fast current and skitter a elk hair caddis back and forth can entice those high mountain fish to rise.
Then to get into tight spotst here is the bow & arrow cast discussed in another thread. There is the skipping the dry fly on the water with a low side arm cast to get it upstream and under low hanging branches. Doing the same with nymph works too but is more difficult to control.

Never have been able to trace what is wearing out a line there are so many things that can cause it. Forgetting to was the suntan lotion or the deet off my hands. Bushwacking through the brambles. Snags in the river. My stepping on the line at my feet. Errant casting for tree fish. Bad timing on the casts. Dragging the line on the rocks. It all is blended into slow degredation of the line. It always seems that it is the front 10 feet or less of line that is damaged the most. and that part is not the part that gets dragged on the rocks the most.

dB
disinfect your wading equipment. wash boat. disinfect livewells / sumps, wash ur dog
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [Scruffy_Fly] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
And let's not forget skaters and spiders.

Although they seem to have gone out of fashion, they are a perfect way to fish small streams and pocket water.

With a long enough leader, in fact, you line never has to touch the water at all. Plus, with the right wind and a little finesse, the skater barely touches it itself.

I've often wondered why skaters went out of fashion. True, they can be difficult to tie. But so, too, can parachute flies. You do what you have to do to get the job done.
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [Brook] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
"...... Or perhaps you need to be dapping? "

Brook,

Just curious, have you ever tried dapping? Many moons ago on the float tubing portion of this website a member was curious if "dapping" would work well from a float tube since it is tradionally done from a small boat rowed around the water..

MacFly Cool




...."May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it. ~Irish Blessing"
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [macfly55] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
Mac, I wonder if we're talking about the same thing?

Dapping is a technique whereby you have a fly and just enough leader out to touch the fly (i.e., dap it) on the surface.

It's usually used in brushy, overgrown situations where there's no room for a cast. But you can reach through a hole in the foliage with the rod and short leader.

Its application here would be to reach across the rocks and dap the fly in the holding water.

If I'm in a belly boat or other craft there's usually room for a back-cast. Except, of course, on Quake Lake where everybody is trolling. Wink

Brook
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [Brook] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
To heck with everyone trolling, I always find the under water trees....at least I think it is an under water treeShocked

I was going to post that Dapping is as you said dapping the fly on the water. Even HI-STICKING can be done...... NOW add allot of weight and a slight pull through the deep pools and current and you have upgraded to Polish/ Czech NymphingWink



Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [flygoddess] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
What you describe is similar to the Smoky Moutains technique called tight-line nymphing---which happens to be a great technique on smaller waters.

Basically, you work on a short line with a weighted nymph. No indicator is needed, because you're in direct touch with the fly---usually very little line is out.

You immediately feel any pick up because of that direct connection.

Some amazingly large fish have been taken out of small creeks with this technique. I once watch a guy take a 4 pound brown from a pool I could have crossed in three small steps.

Brook
http://www.the-outdoor-sports-advisor.com
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [Brook] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
The idea is similar.. that is why I was asking for clarification.. here is the post from our float tubing forum that first peaked my interest in this technique..

Irishfloattube post on dapping..

and here is a link that IFT gave us in his post on how it is traditionally done over in the.. United Kingdom .. from what I gather the technique was developed and refined over there and then IMPORTED to the US..

so my question is still have you tried dapping in the traditional UK way?? Smile

MacFly Cool




...."May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it. ~Irish Blessing"
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [macfly55] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
Who was it said the Brits and the Yanks are two people separated by a common language? This is just another example.

To answer your question, no, I've never fished that way. For starters, it's a lot of work, and I'm lazy. And, to do it properly, requires a really long rod. Something like a Spey.

But you can achieve the same effect with skaters and spiders, letting the wind bounce the fly instead of working it with the rod.

Our form of dapping, on the other hand, means working on a short line, with almost no slack, and is a technique used on moving water. The dapping you refer to is a flat-water technique.

In many respects it resembles the old-fashioned 3-fly casts using wet flys and long rods. That technique, when used on flat water, is almost like cane pole fishing.

Brook
http://www.the-outdoor-sports-advisor.com
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [flygoddess] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
isnt the polish/chech thing basically a tight short line with a weighted nymph and you gently pull.. bounce it off the bottom .. .

in the dapping I am alluding too.. it is generally a light fly.. like a dry.. long pole.. off of a ribbon I think they call a silk.. and a short leader/tippet material. the idea is to allow the fly to barely.. and I mean barely stay above the water ... in fact the touch is so light that the wind blows the silk..and that makes the fly all but dance on the surface of the water..

or at least that is what I am told.. lol..

MacFly Cool




...."May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it. ~Irish Blessing"
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [Brook] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
from what I have read on the subject.. traditional dapping can be done on both moving and stillwater..

you are correct in that it is a long pole.. but with a light fly.. on a piece of silk ribbon and a tippet type material. the fly is not so much dipped as letting the wind "dance" it across the water.. the movement of the fly is caused by the wind blowing the silk around.. its suppose to drive fish nuts if done correctly..

MacFly




...."May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it. ~Irish Blessing"
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [macfly55] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
From what you describe, that's almost exactly the way skaters are fished. The differences:

Skaters are fished on long, light leaders. 14-18 feet is not unusual. And skaters are specialized dry flys, whereas the impression I get of the dapping flies you describe, they're more like a soft hackle or a bushy palmer.

I could be wrong, of course. Won't be the first time.

Brook
http://www.the-outdoor-sports-advisor.com
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [Brook] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
I think we are on the same page on this now..lol.. so many techniques and so little time to learn them..

what I found unique on the traditional dapping is the use of a wide 3/4" inch I think.. ribbon.. off of that is the actual line for the fly.. and the ribbon.. even in a slight breeze move the fly around just above the water.. since the ribbon or floss is wider and maybe lighter than regular line its able to catch more of the breeze and keep the fly moving..

now.. back to why Irish Float Tube posted any of this at all is that he was curious if "their" dapping technique would work well from a float tube or toon.. and Im thinking it would.. put the pole in a holder.. let the fly out.. and drift around.. .. lol.. that sounds fairly easy to do ..even for a lazy person like me.. LOL..

MacFly Cool




...."May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it. ~Irish Blessing"
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [macfly55] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
macfly55 wrote:
I think we are on the same page on this now..lol.. so many techniques and so little time to learn them..

what I found unique on the traditional dapping is the use of a wide 3/4" inch I think.. ribbon.. off of that is the actual line for the fly.. and the ribbon.. even in a slight breeze move the fly around just above the water.. since the ribbon or floss is wider and maybe lighter than regular line its able to catch more of the breeze and keep the fly moving..

now.. back to why Irish Float Tube posted any of this at all is that he was curious if "their" dapping technique would work well from a float tube or toon.. and Im thinking it would.. put the pole in a holder.. let the fly out.. and drift around.. .. lol.. that sounds fairly easy to do ..even for a lazy person like me.. LOL..

MacFly Cool

John, the English (and Gary LaFontaine) have both used a "dapping tecnique that uses a long (12'+) rod and unwaxed dental floss a few feet longer than the rod itself. The strands of floss are pulled apart, to form, like was said earlier, a ribbon if you will. The fly was then left to the breeze and you dapped close to the water.
BTW, if you want a really good drift on a small stream, it's hard to top unithread furled leaders with a 3' tippet.












I'm with stupid.
(This post was edited by EvilAsh on Oct 24, 2008, 5:52 PM)
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [EvilAsh] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
what you describe is what Im talking about.. I was just trying to clarify what was being said.. and with your help I think it has been..

the dapping described by Brook sounds more like dipping to me.. I know that is not a ff'ing term but that is what I picture in my mind with the way it was described here..

now.. a unithread furled leader.. I wonder if that is that what FgGmakes.. and if she does I wonder if she make them in 12 ' lengths.. lol.. hmmm .. lets see.. a reel with backing connected to a 12 - 14 ' FG furled leader.. with a short tippet tied to a fly.. and then put it in a rod holder on the tube or toon.. and let it blow into the wind.. makes you want to put a cooler of beer on the ride.. put your feet up.. and see what happens.. LOL>..

MacFly




...."May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it. ~Irish Blessing"
(This post was edited by macfly55 on Oct 24, 2008, 9:11 PM)
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [macfly55] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
No furled leaders that long, but a 6' furled with 6' of tippet can surely be done.



Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [flygoddess] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
and that is straight off the backing correct? and your furled leaders are the type mentioned correct?

MacFly




...."May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it. ~Irish Blessing"
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [macfly55] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
"Dipping" is a good image, Mac. That's exactly what you are doing.

Sometimes you can get away with a very short float by letting out leader slack. But most times not. If you have to dap it's because there's no room for anything else.

Brook
http://www.the-outdoor-sports-advisor.com
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [Brook] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
my mental image of dapping is different than that for "dipping".. be that as it may and for the sake of this dicussion Ill consider your dapping my dipping.. lol..

MacFly Cool




...."May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it. ~Irish Blessing"
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [macfly55] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to

One can dip a chip or one can dap a fly.
dapper \"da-pr\ adj 1 : spruce, trim 2 : being alert and lively in movement and manners : jaunty







Dryrod
There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm!

Not a member yet? Click this link to register.


Tell them Dryrod sent you!
Your Fly Fishing Moderator



Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [Dryrod] a Good drift on a small stream In reply to
LOL.... exactly..

Cool




...."May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it. ~Irish Blessing"