Fall River has been kicking out some really big fish lately, and in good numbers. The weeds are starting to come up higher in the water column, which means the break-off has started. The days are starting to get hotter and longer, which also means the window on the dry fly fishing is starting to slow down a little. However, when one window closes another one opens, and so does the opportunity for other styles of fishing.
Here is one of my favorites….
Most people – if given the chance – will fish the dry fly over any other type of fishing. It is the number-one-requested method, no matter what river I’m working on. The main problem is that I see a lot of folks trying to fish a dry when the fish are not eating them. They keep casting and casting to a fish that is actually eating the nymph just under the surface so all that comes of it is a spooked fish and a frustrated angler, leaving a catchable fish with a tough-to-catch reputation. Being able to identify this “smutting rise” takes a little observation. Not seeing the fish’s head – or just seeing its dorsal fin – can be a dead give-away. Sometimes you may just see a boil. If you cannot see the fish physically eating the dry, chances are that is not what he is after, and you stand a good chance of spooking him. Instead, try swinging a soft hackle or the nymph of the dry that you see coming off to the fish. Cast the fly about five feet above the ring and let it swing through the ring of the fish. When it reaches the area where you think the fish are, you can either let it swing or give it some short strips. This can be done with a dry line and a small split shot or an intermediate line. You will catch more fish this way and spook fewer. Believe it or not, this will also elevate your catch rate with the dry by making the time you spend doing it more productive.