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Fly Fishing for Advanced Anglers

Fly Fishing for Advanced Anglers

Have you been at this fly fishing game for a while? Need a new technique to challenge yourself, something that broadens your fly angling skills and has crossover appeal? Advanced anglers often feel the predictability of fly fishing is unattractive and need stimulation to prevent stagnation. Challenging yourself with some advanced fly fishing techniques is the way to maintain interest.

Many advanced fly fishing techniques have huge crossover appeal for fly fishers that travel and pursue fish other than trout. Northern pike, largemouth bass and carp are but a few freshwater species, other than trout, that are true trophies for fly anglers world wide.

Advanced Fly Fishing Technique One: Streamer Flies and Tandem Rigs

Streamer fly fishing is a “big fish” technique that is the number one crossover technique for multiple fish. There is no better way to pursue trophy class fish than with a streamer fly. Large, water pushing streamers are used for tempting Northern Pike into an ambush attack. Casting big flies like pike flies requires anglers to use a Double Haul casting style. Advanced anglers will want to practice their double haul with the larger wind resistant flies. Timing for your haul is different than with a small, beadhead woolly bugger. 

Taking your streamer game well into advanced territory, fly anglers have embraced the use of tandem rigs, fishing two streamers at once. Stripping and casting two weighted flies is a technique that needs refinement. Jumping into the boat and slinging around two weighted flies is a recipe for injury. Give yourself and the other anglers around you some respect by practicing casting two streamers on a pond, in a pool or even on the grass. 

However this can be a deadly approach for a larger class of fish. Tying on two different varieties will help narrow the choices for what the fish are willing to chase. Anglers will want to use an Improved Clinch knot to secure the second streamer to the bend of the first streamer. Minimum of 18” of tippet between streamers often 24” or more is needed for a proper presentation. Streamers tied too closely together give the illusion of a chasing situation but are often too bulky and the visibility turns following fish away.

Advanced Fly Fishing Technique Two: Dry-Dropper Rigs

Dry fly anglers looking to up their game have Dr. John Barr to thank for one of our most popular fly fishing techniques, the dry dropper rig. This approach requires a large bodied dry fly often a foam bodied fly like a chubby chernobyl has a length of tippet secured to the bend of the hook and a nymph is attached to the end. The presentation is a dry fly on the surface with a weighted nymph or an emerger nymph trailing below.

The beauty of this approach is anglers can cover two levels of the water column at once. Trout could be feeding in a shallow riffle. The large dry fly carries the nymph through the water suspended at the appropriate level for success. Anglers in tailout areas below riffles can use two different stages of one insect, an adult and an emerger, mimicking the hatch as it is happening. 

Casting again is a challenge and should be practiced before applying. Ponds and lakes provide the ideal situation for practicing casting a dry dropper rig. The dry fly provides surface tension during the cast. And the submerged nymph provides resistance that requires attention on the backcast to prevent tangling.

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