So i am relatively new to dragging, swinging, and skating flies.
I guess a lot of my focus has been on the drag free aspects of tenkara. Working to a natural presentation.
So…when there are fish around and that is not working…what to do???
Drag, swing, skate…
So it works, but I am trying to understand it all. When asked folk, they say it agitates the fish to strike. A friend explained to me…even though the profile is not of a fish… the motion is. Sort of like how salmon flies look like nothing natural and look like they were designed by Liberace. The idea is to bring attention to the motion not the profile or the natural representation of a natural forage. Sort of weird abstract concepts.
Like making a cat act like a dog…
On two specific occasions. I had a lot of fish feeding actively. Sucking off and breaking the surface…just porpoising. I could not identify the forage, but I assume it was small. My daughter and I fished for a while. We were using size 12 flies…we actually got several takes, but the fish were difficult to hook. It was a one and done sort of chance…then they just would not bother even inspecting the fly.
Finally right before we left, I sized down to a sparsely tied 14, one of the smaller patterns. I dead drifted a few times and could see a number of fish rise and refuse. Maddening. Then I started swinging and skating flies. That got them riled up but still refusing… I had one fish chasing after it and refusing it a number of times.
A month ago I ran into a spin fisherman who was leaving a pool that I knew held fish. I asked him if he had luck…he said no. So, I told him the details of the pool and I could see that there were fish in it. I acted as a spotter and told him where to cast. Noticing his technique we got to talking about it. He would cast straight across the pool. He noted his buddy who was an experience spin fisherman instructed him this way. It sort of reminded me of my buddy’ s instruction to me when targeting salmon. noting that the timing of the broad side presentation of the fly is very important to getting a strike.
So, on a couple of occasions I have employed this broad side presentation in tenkara. It is uncanny how it works. Even to fish that know of your presence. After fishing a stretch for an hour …I tried this broad side cross current drag and swing…and picked off two very nice browns.
I have done the same on another outing with large brook trout. Same situation…same result. In both cases the rod is held out at a 45 upstream and cross current. It is an awkward presentation, but it worked in both cases when everything else failed.
Does anyone do this too?
I still am trying to understand why it works, so if anyone can shed more light on it.
It seems to be some sort of irresistible trigger.