Imagine the scenario: you are fishing upstream dry fly, working up a good pool. You’ve not seen a fish rise yet, but you are expectant, there are upwings trickle hatching and drifting by you on a light breeze. You are covering all the pool in front as you wade carefully, fan casting as you progress. Experience has taught you to keep your casts short, you have learnt from the fault I talked about in my last blog. Then a fish rises upstream of you, about 4 rod lengths away and slightly to your right. At this point what should happen is that your brain tells you:
- There is a feeding fish for the taking;
- It’s too far away to cast and fish effectively;
- I need to get closer with careful wading;
- But there may be other fish between me and the fish;
- So I’ll fish the pool just as I have been doing until I get in range and then make my cast.
|A rising trout on the River Ribble. It is possible to get|
very close to rising fish so avoid the temptation to
cast from too far (click to enlarge).
One other important thing should happen on spotting a fish outside the effective fishing range – pinpointing. Use natural reference markers to pinpoint exactly where you saw the rise, because when you do get within range the river often looks completely different and you are left waiting and wondering where exactly you saw it rising. It would probably be “2a” in the list of deductions above. The moment you see a rise give it a 'grid reference', e.g. opposite the dead tree stump and in-line with the pointed rock at the top of the pool; or on an imaginary line from the sapling on the left bank to the fence post on the right bank, about 6 feet out from the bank. In other words put the fish’s position in your memory, something to come back to later.