My eldest son Brandon and I were enjoying the excitement of trout rolling at the surface preying on emerging chironomids and caddis. The wind allowed us to anchor the boat in such a manner that we could cast our flies across the drift in the same fashion as fishing a river or stream. Using a small soft hackle fished in the surface film Brandon made his first cast placing the fly within three feet of the bank. The fly had barely drifted three feet when I noticed the gentle bow of the floating line straighten. Not believing his eyes Brandon delayed his strike until he felt the grab but this was too late and he missed the fish. Three casts later and three missed fish an excited and frustrated Brandon cast to the same spot. This time after a brief coaching session Brandon believed his eyes and set the hook the moment he saw the line straighten and he was fast into a fish.
Brandon had learned a valuable lesson in that not all takes are felt. Too often fly fishers wait until the undeniable tug that signals a fish. However, many times trout leisurely inhale the fly as they do the natural food source leaving the angler with only visible clues to signal the strike. Fly fishers need to develop a keen eye and watch their fly lines for anything out of the ordinary and strike. Believe what you see, the increased frequency of hook ups and success is amazing.
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