Archive for February 2015

Automatic Systematic   Leave a comment

Hidy Ho Good Neighbors!

Automatic systematic.   That’s what I think of as I prepare to fish or guide another day. I want to take a step by step approach to attacking the river, and do my level best to take out guessing what I need to do, and instead approach the river with options. Just like a quarterback at the line of scrimmage, I want to be able to audible or change the play, in a systematic way. In other words, if this is presented, I do this, if this presents, I do this, and so on. Try not to guess.

The quarterback “reads” the defense and I try to incorporate that into my mindset. There are several reads that need to occur. First off, read the water. Most everyone has heard that term, but my experience tells me a lot of anglers really don’t read the water, they see it as they see all typical runs, and fish it accordingly. I submit that even though a run may appear as other runs you’ve fished, it doesn’t take much to make it fish very differently. Therefore, you’ve got to study the run and look for everything from shelves to obstructions that could harbor fish. One well-placed boulder can change the behavioral drift in an instant. Slow down and really study.

Read the fish. Look for where fish are holding both laterally and longitudinally. This will tell you volumes. If fish are belly down on the bottom and actively feeding in a side to side, short sway action, they are probably eating nymphs in the lower column. If fish are in the middle column and actively chasing side to side in a longer swinging pattern, it’s a good bet they’re eating pupa or emergers of some sort. If the fish are in the upper column and elevating to eat in the film, then most likely they are eating bugs either trapped in the film, or bugs that are just about to emerge. These examples are simply basic ways to look at feeding behaviors, and there’s still a missing piece of the puzzle. What about the bugs?

Read the bugs. A good, blue collar ability to read basic insects and their stages is critical for this systematic step. If you can tell the difference between an adult Pale Morning Dun and an adult Blue wing olive, then you’re on your way. If you can read them through their life-cycle that’s even better.   When you flip a few rocks rummaging for bugs, and not only can you identify, but match and know the next stage of that insect, you are really ahead of the game.

Ok, so you’ve read the water, locating likely holds, and determined how to fish the nuances for the best behavioral drift. You’ve also read the fish and have determined how they’re eating, giving clues as to what stage of the insects are being consumed. Finally, you’ve identified the bugs either in the air (preferred) or by rummaging rocks. Simply reverse engineer systematically.

I see caddis adults in the air and capture one to look closely at size and body color. I don’t see any splashy rises but the fish are swinging side to side and elevating up and down with urgency. It’s a good bet the fish are feeding on the pupa phase of the adult caddis you’re seeing. Find a good soft hackle with appropriate body color and size, and dead drift and swing that bug in the proper columns with confidence.

My examples in this post are simplified for sure, but I hope you get the idea of the systematic approach. Certainly, there’s a lot more to it like the adjustments you can make to really dial in your drifts, but let’s save that for a bit down the road.   Stay systematic my friends.

Fear No Water,

Duane

Read it!

Read it!

Reverse engineer from here once you've read the water and fish....

Reverse engineer from here once you’ve read the water and fish….

 

 

P.S>  I’ve attached this years speaking schedule, if you’re in the area, look me up!Also, if you want me to speak near you to a group. class, organization, or club, just let me know!

Duane Redford’s Fly Fishing Presentation Schedule 2015

 

Denver Fly Fishing Show- January 9, 10, 11 (Check show times for Destination Theater)

Tucson, Arizona- March 4th– Old Pueblo TU Chapter #531. Viscount Hotel 6:30pm

Salida, Colorado- March 11th– Collegiate Peaks Trout Unlimited. Boathouse Cantina 6:00pm

Parker, Colorado- April 4th – Minturn Anglers, Book Signing TBD

Aurora, Colorado- April 9th– Cherry Creek Anglers. Parker Senior Center 7:00pm

Lakewood, Colorado- April 11-12th – Ascent Fly Fishing Rendezvous, Holiday Inn April 12th 1pm

Evergreen, Colorado- April 15th– Evergreen Trout Unlimited. Beau Jo’s Pizza 7:00pm

Bailey, Colorado- April 22nd – Platte Canyon University, Platte Canyon HS 6:00pm

Eagle, Colorado- April 29th – Eagle Valley Library, 6pm

Colorado Springs, Colorado- May 7th-Cheyenne Mountain Trout Unlimited (TBA)

Chandler, Arizona- May 13th– Desert Fly Casters. 1775 W. Chandler Blvd, Chandler AZ 6:00pm

Phoenix, Arizona- May 14th– Arizona Flycasters Club. Sunnyslope Community Center 7:00pm

Lakeside, Arizona- May 20th– White Mountain Fly Fishing Club. Lakeside Fire Dept. 6:00pm

Steamboat Springs, Colorado- October 7th– Yampa Valley Fly Fishers (TBD)