I frequently encounter trout sitting in the tail of a pool just above the start of the next rapid. So the trout is in slow water with much faster water downstream of it. So typically the fly is swept downstream too fast by the line and leader in the faster current. How does one avoid drag in such a situation?

An across or downstream presentation works sometimes but frequently vegetation prevents this.

  • 1
    That's a classic problem, and one I'm afraid I haven't solved. The best I've been able to do is to accept that you're only going to get a few seconds worth of acceptable drift, and present closer to the fish than you would typically want to do.
    – That Idiot
    Feb 7 '20 at 13:03

Use the fast moving water as cover, approach from downstream and present your fly holding the rod high and keeping as much line away from the water as possible. Remember that in most cases the fish is facing upstream when feeding, so you can get close enough to drop the fly a few feet ahead of it if you keep a low profile yourself.

This situation is where a longer rod with a longer leader or very light fly line helps you. Think Tenkara or European style nymphing.


Fish that hunt moving targets respond to abnormal movement, try to think of it as a kind of color blindness, they can't see your lure/fly well at all if it is moving with the current, its like it is invisible. So my advice, if possible is to jerk the line as the fly floats towards the trout so the lure arrives at its nose a second quicker than it would if it was just floating, don't jerk it so it moves away faster, ambush hunters will ignore that and wait longer, they instinctively strike at movement that is disadvantageous to its prey

  • I was thinking of nymph fishing and dry fly fishing where a natural drift with the current is best but you've made me think that when I know I can't get a natural drift I could just try a streamer
    – tjjjohnson
    Jan 10 '21 at 20:53

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