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Old 07-05-2018, 09:04 PM
Bucksnort Bucksnort is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 373
Straight Line vs Dropper (Old habits die hard)

When I began fly fishing, around 1977, small adjustable cork strike indicators were becoming popular for moving water. Some die hard purists didn’t like nymph fishing with indicators and wouldn’t be caught fishing with another angler using them. I had no problem with them because they worked for me in pocket water and I knew of no other way, so for me, it was the way it was done. Over the years, they became standard equipment for anglers.

Now, the current rage is to use indicators in still water. I think it’s called the indicator dropper method or just the dropper method. It can be with a strike indicator or a large dry fly on the surface. It has been around for a few years and is gaining in popularity. I guess I’m like the anglers who didn’t like indicators in moving water; I am having a hard time adjusting to the idea of indicators in still water.

Again, when I began fly fishing, I was taught to use what is now called the, “straight line method” of catching trout in lakes. I knew no other way. It has been a very productive way to catch a lot of trout.

About ten years ago, I spoke to a fly angler, a snob of a fly angler, who uses the dropper method. I told him I use the straight line method to which he replied, “you’ll never get ‘em with that method”. If only he could know how many trout I’ve caught on the straight line method. I have caught thousands well, maybe hundreds, on the straight line method in lakes.

When I use the straight line method, I am at a lake that has a lot of trout and a lot of surface or surface film activity. Rising trout tell me there are trout there and they are feeding on something. Whether I’m in a water craft or from the shore, I like casting to rising trout with a nymph, streamer or dry fly. If I can determine the direction the trout is moving, I will cast in front of the fish with the hope of drawing a strike but many times, the splat of the fly or fly line hitting the water spooks them. As soon as my nymph or emerger hits the water, I begin stripping immediately with a jerky erratic movement. With a dry fly, I will slightly twitch the fly to draw attention but the key for me is to get the fly as close and as quickly to the rise ring as possible. If I can’t determine direction, I place my fly as close to the rise ring as possible. There are many times when rising slows or stops for a while so this is when I cast blindly in hopes of getting a strike. This works too.

My main frustration with lakes in Arizona is, I’m not finding lakes with a lot of surface activity. I’m catching 4” sun fish. I will leave the sun fish to the kids. Although I’ve done this, I’m not one to troll large flies deep. I’ve hit a couple of lakes in the White Mountains where I’ve seen a few rises but I’ve had no luck finding lakes with a lot of activity. Perhaps I’m not at the lake at the right time.

I did go to some lakes in the White Mountains last October, but became discouraged when I saw no surface activity and all the antlers were on the shore drowning worms or using power bait. There were no fly anglers anywhere. The Greer lakes are a good example of this. I know the lakes are stocked with trout but I’m not launching my pontoon boat for a day of no activity or catching sun fish.

This year at the White Mountains, I will “bite the bullet” and try the dropper method. I have a good idea of which flies to use. I think what turns me off about this method is it’s like sitting on a dock with a red and white plastic bobber, a cane pole and a container of worms waiting for a fish to come along. Yeah, yeah, I know, Carnero and Becker Lakes can produce some nice fish this way.

Please don’t misread this posting. I am not a snob angler. I just like catching trout on a fly rod and I don’t care if they are stocked fish or small. I can thank all those stocked catchable size rainbows over the years for honing my skills.

Suggestions and comments are greatly appreciated.
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