A quote often associated with summer fly fishing for trout is “the dog days”. I’ve heard this since first becoming interested in fishing as a child. Whilst classic summer conditions do bring challenges after the abundance of spring, success awaits the angler open to change!
Take for example the scene in the above image. The angler pictured was fishing a small bay on a clear lake. A light breeze came and went throughout the morning. He was positioned to cast across this breeze so his fly, a small buzzer appropriate to the naturals around, fished perfectly to cover the bay. He cast and fished well all morning, yet received no reward for his effort, despite his tactics and execution being sound.
Talking with this angler at midday, he mentioned how frustrated he felt about his morning’s fishing and asked what I had used to catch the large trout he had seen me land. What happened next was a huge surprise to him. Instead of showing him a fly as he expected, I played him this short video clip!
I had been fishing/filming with my good friend Don Stazicker that morning. Having noticed the angler opposite fishing as above, we compared the sport we enjoyed throughout the day with his. From our vantage point, trout were clearly visible in the bay the other angler fished with excellent technique. We saw fish react positively to his fly and he did in fact receive several takes. He just did not know it!
Despite fishing a highly productive technique correctly, one key element failed. Bite detection! If you don’t know a fish ate your fly, it might as well not have.
The key difference between success and failure that day had been taking bite detection as close to the fly as possible. I had been casting a fly to sighted fish, watching their reaction to my presentation, setting the hook when I saw the fish actually eat the fly. The other angler had been watching his fly line as it swung in a slight curve across the water, waiting for it to slide away. On this occasion it did not.
Having watched the short video and talked a few minutes more, the angler thanked me, went on his way with renewed confidence and adapted his tactics for the afternoon. You won’t be surprised to hear he caught several fine trout later that day. I think I was even more delighted than he so evidently was!
I hope this helps you too? Thanks for reading.