One thing I have learned about teaching, is that much of what I do after 50ish years….is almost unconscious.
So I think out loud with a client by “Thinking about what to do?”. (You can do this by yourself, but hopefully no strangers around to wonder about your sanity.)
They give their input, I give mine…..we pre-visualize the process. I think of it as front loading success…
This started partly due to big fish. that bolted, and I lost them. One of the local fish’s favorite moves.
I started looking where I might run, should it happen on this drift.
Started landing more fish…..
Applied this approach to all facets of play, and started landing even more fish.
The better I got at thinking about how it will go; Perfect first drift, menu choice, best set, etc… bigger fish came to hand more often with fewer drifts. And I add….if you do everything perfectly, you should expect a fish…so don’t be surprised! Too much surprise…stats go down.
To get to the level of one-drift, one fish….it is mandatory to plan ahead. I started thinking about one drift, only because it happened on accident a lot while teaching…often on the first drift.
So, I figured if you could do it on accident often, you could do it on purpose more often.
This goes for all styles, dry, nymph, streamer…
The result of not fishing randomly, and paying attention to what you are doing…is your stats go up.
Making 200 poorly considered drifts with the “lucky fly”, setting willy-nilly and then just standing and watching when you manage to hook-up…not so much. At least it never helped me….
I think of this as a secret in plain sight…..anyone can find it. If there is a divide between the recreational fisher, and the pro/advanced fisher, this is it. Plus thousands of water hours of course.
It is hard to share the feeling of calling it (this drift) and then having it work out correctly with a fish of dreams…. Honestly, the only thing better than me doing this, is watching a student realizing this by one-drifting a fish purposefully and netting it.
Once you do this a few times you realize it is not an accident…..or luck.
I ask people, what do you do, when you do it perfectly? Answer, do it again…..
Those that know the Truckee, are getting excited. We give the tourists and Highnoon dry fishers the river in summer.
But winter is the time for biggies…….and locals.
I always have a period where I have to remember to fish winter style, not summer style.
Long slow drifts are the thing, with small bugs, and less weight.
The fish pool a bit, and the takes are softer. So I use less weight, and a long stick to drift as well as I can.
The folks who are focusing on the cast, need to forget that, and work on PERFECT drifts.
Get you elbow above your ear and DO NOT move your indie when mending……
Right now the flows in town are at 175cfs and lower in the canyon is 270cfs.
It’s cloudy and lightly snowing…….finally!
Midges and Baetis are the special.
Looking forward to graveyard snow removal…..frees up my days to fish.
It got down into single digits last night…..the Hoppers have gone….sigh.
Days are so nice we are all out playing!
Been spending some time on still waters this last couple weeks.
It’s a nice change from executing perfect drifts over super smart fish.
Switching between watching a dry just sit there, and watching a bobber just sit there…..
OK, maybe a little micro troll too…..we had some big Grey Drakes coming off, but the fish weren’t eating dries for some reason, so we swam some nymphs, just above the grass, near the bottom. The big guys were deeper than the little guys….
The waters are down to low winter flows already, and won’t improve till spring.
Waiting patiently for snow, so most humans will leave the water to me and my sicko friends.
There will be a [U]small[/U] window for risers, but mostly fishing a little bobber and small flies…
BWOs, and midges mostly….the little bugs of love.
Bring some warm fuzzies for wading, and bring a hat and coat for early attacks.
Bring your A game….the fish are waiting.
So, that’s a wrap on Summer!
Most every night will be chillier, and days too. Hasn’t frozen yet at this elevation, but bring a light jacket for a dawn attack. And it’s nearing the time for a non-leaking pair of waders. Bring some backup clothes as it is still slippery out there….
This my favorite time of year……
As there are fewer fishers out and about, the fish are more likely to eat something……
Mornings are nice.
There are fewer bugs this time off year, what I think of as a limited menu.
Midges early, Hoppers midday, and a smattering of Caddis and tiny Mayflies at the magic hour.
This is another tie or buy alert. Might be September Caddis hatch this year.
I checked another pupating Caddis and it was well advanced. Are you ready for the last big bug?
Locals refer to this time as the shoulder season…we relax a bit before the winter starts. The Squirrels have gotten territorial a little later this year so we may have an extended Fall season…
If you check back through my blog for a decade of observations, you can feel ready for most anything nature can deliver.
Flows are stable, lower, and cooler than a couple weeks ago.
I am feeling the love….
Summer is starting to fade…….nights are getting cooler. This evening it will drop to 37 deg.
Soon we will get near freezing at night, and a few clouds, then it will be GAME ON again.
Days are still around 80+deg. Grass is starting to go golden, and there is a slight case of smoke on the water in the morning……
Harsh nuclear blue skies during the day (I think hey are beautiful, but fish don’t).
Water temp at dawn is a warmish 63-64…..by evening it is closing on 68.
About time to ease up on the fish at dusk. Strike early to be nice.
Midges are the mainstay….bunches of them early.
We are seeing some BWOs that are tiny.
A few PMDs and PEDs sporadically.
Caddis both little Glossasoma and some medium sz as well. Swing it!
Crays are molting.
The crowd has thinned!!! So it’s time to roll out!
Still seeing a few Golden stones and little yellow sallies are about gone….
Short wing stones are about due…..
October Caddis have began pupating already, so they will be here in about a month….a little early perhaps.
This is your tie or buy warning.
Water is too warm for swinging streamers right now, but start tying them……
Hope you folks enjoyed your summer, because it’s about over.
Flows will drop out of Tahoe soon, that will reduce the water temps lower in the canyon finally. The lake releases are tepid temps at best.
Fish the bubbles.
Hey you fishers!!!
Hope you are getting after them…..
Flows are nice for the moment, at 300cfs in town, 600 down below. (And cooler too.)
Temps are still OK but slowly coming up.
Mid-day can be a challenge, flinging a hopper is the best bet.
Some surface activity about 9:00 am for an hr.
At twilight they may go again.
A mix of Caddis and little Yellow Sallies.
The fish are shopping hard, but have to eat.
Choose a good bug and get an excellent drift.
Mud your leader religiously if there is sun out.
Going to lighter tippet during the day, but increasing strength as we go into dusk.
Bigger fish come out to play and with warmer end of day water you don’t want to just follow them around.
Always play them as quickly as possible to prevent over-stressing our beautiful fish.
They have been leaving the flows steady, but it can change in a heart beat, so check the flows before you go.
Focus on fishing bubbles, and places the others don’t…….
Bring a head light for extra innings!
Getting a little harder to meet a fish……but still turning both browns (in softer water) and Bows (in bubbles).
Many rods have been waving over the river. Fish are hip to our trip…….
The flows have come down to Summer flows, at about 220cfs in town.62deg and rising. The canyon is about 500cfs, and nice.
Very clear and pleasant temp for humans…which means lots of floaters on the water mid-day.
I say, go early and late for a more enjoyable experience.
Definitely bring your sneak skills, and get a good drift!!!
Golden stones are happening…moving to the stretch along hwy 89 towards Tahoe city.
Little yellow sallies are still going for it. Some nights there are a bunch going off. Think dry fly. Glossisoma Caddis, and a few larger ones in the evening. Swing it for the added value fish.
Still using the switch rod, but a short stick will work almost as well..
I’d say get after it soon!
OK…….so…… we have flows at perfect temps, and volume 517cfs. We have perfect weather.
We have GREEN DRAKES……
We have big fish eating on top!
The only issue…..is we are up to our wader tops in floggers.
People sometimes don’t like my typecasting fishers…..just remember I was flogger at one time.
I’ve said, many times that the best way to fish, is not like the other guy.
Walking the trail at high-noon next to the water in a white hat, false casting and making 200 drifts over the same fish, without adjusting their rig even once.
It may sound harsh and even an exaggeration…..but keep in mind I have 48 years walking the water, and 30 on the Truckee river, and nearly 300 days a year on water.
Just standing around watching carefully, can help you become a better angler…..
4th of July is THE month not to fish like that other guy. The fish know exactly what we are up to, and so are profiling hard. A single errant cast can ruin a hole, and casting 50-200 times doesn’t help you increase the odds in a positive way…..
If you observe locals fish a high pressure river with big fish that are wild (Henrys fork ranch water, Silver creek, etc….) you will see them stand around mostly just watching.
They wait for a fish to feed, and sight fish them. If you know their position, and the food preference, you only need one good drift. If the fish misses the take, or you take it away (normal as well….)the universal fisher will fire several casts right back at them. I suggest ya go sit down, drink a beer or other inspirational bev, and wait till the fish goes back to work catching dinner. More casts, and more drifts, are the antithetical approaches.
Stalk that fish like you are a seal team sniper…..don’t think more drifts, think one good shot. And make it so…..
I realize that slowing down is hard when you don’t haunt the water all the time, but it’s the best advise I can give another fisher. Besides……GO FISH!!!!
Edit…..Bring a good flash light…it ain’t high noon fishing time.
Best bring 3x for your dries, anything lighter, you will either break off the big guy, or play them too long out of caution….once shadows are on the water, go big.